UK - The BT Pension Fund has given UK property which is currently seen as a rare vote of confidence and upped its shareholding in UK developers Development Securities.
Hermes, which manages the scheme, increased its shareholding to 4.85% - above the threshold that triggers regulatory notification. It joins major shareholders including €215bn Dutch pension scheme ABP, which owns 4.22% of the company.
Development Securities focuses exclusively on UK projects, mostly forward-funded joint ventures in partnership with institutional investors. The firm claims this model, "quite apart from the significant reduction of downward risk", means it benefits from improvements in letting markets.
Its business model explains its appeal to pension funds. Based on "measured risk", with minimised leverage, it seeks to maintain a balance between short- and long-term returns, and between large-scale multi-phase projects and smaller scale developments across sectors.
Among its partners is the £28bn (€41bn) Universities Superannuation Scheme, which funded the first phase of the Cambourne Business Park development outside Cambridge. USS's investment in that phase, which built three office buildings, was £25m (€25.7m).
USS's Grand Arcade Partnership (GAP), with developer Grovesnor, also focuses on a Cambridge site, albeit this one is retail.