UK/GLOBAL - Chris Thorne, technical head of valuation at property consultants Atisreal, has been appointed the chairman of a new International Valuation Standards Board (IVSB).

The move follows a restructuring of the International Valuation Standard Committee (IVSC) - created more than 25 years ago to encourage global uniformity in the valuation approaches used in real estate markets - which is designed to improve independence and accountability and satisfying a growing demand for wider valuation standards, used for financial reporting and bank lending.

The IVSC announced the creation of the IVSB and the International Valuation Professional Board (IVPB) on 18 November and also, with the aim of providing a focus for the current disparate valuation profession around the world.

"In recent years it had become obvious that to gain wider status and credibility with governments, financial regulators and bodies like the International Accounting Standards Board, the IVSC could no longer remain an exclusive club made up of professional bodies, mainly from the real estate sector," said Thorne. 

"There is growing demand for valuation standards across the spectrum, not least because of the growth of fair value accounting, and it was necessary to create a much more broadly-based organisation," he added.

The Standards Board will be made up of international valuers of intangible assets, such as trademarks, royalty agreements and customer relationships, but will also include businesses, extractive industries and real estate.

Marianne Tissier, Executive Director at the IVSC, said the committee is planning to reveal more information on the valuation process of intangible assets in the next two weeks.

Brad Wagar, director at BCMP Architects in Canada, has also been appointed chairman of the new Professional Board and members of the Boards are to assume their responsibilities with immediate effect and are expected to meet in January 2009.

Thorne said the financial crisis has made it even more important to establish credible, global standards.

"Valuation has been in the headlines because many people are blaming "fair value accounting", and by implication valuation, for many of the ills besetting the banking sector. There can be no argument that the disclosure of property and consistently derived valuations is not only important to investors but also a vital tool for management," he added.

Thorne said valuations are unlikely to escape increased pressure for regulation and argued it would be "far better for the profession to demonstrate it has an effective regime in place for creating and maintaining standards than to leave this to legislators."

The International Valuation Standards are already recognised and accepted by a variety of organisations, including the European Real Estate Association, UK Financial Services and Hong Kong Securities.

Membership of the IVSC currently includes users, providers and regulators of valuation services, as well as professional bodies.

Commenting on the appointment of Thorne, Tissier said: "Chris has been a member of the IVSC for quite a long time and before we restructured he was a member of the old board. It seemed like the right decision."

Atisreal is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas Real Estate, a division of the French financial services group BNP Paribas.