National Australia Bank has bought a majority stake in UK property fund manager Orchard Street Investment Management.
The bank’s wealth division, NAB Asset Management, will own 75%, adding the company to its existing roster of 12 investment boutiques.
The move comes amid growing interest in European real estate among Australia’s institutions.
Garry Mulcahy, executive general manager of NAB Asset Management, said: “We have been looking for an opportunity to provide our clients with access to this asset class.”
In 2011, National Australia Bank acquired a stake in global real estate fund manager Area Property Partners, before selling the interest to Ares Management two years later.
Orchard Street, founded in 2004 and owned by its seven executive partners, runs a number of separate account mandates and funds for UK pension schemes and institutional investors, as well as Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC. Over the past 10 years it has grown assets under management to £4bn.
Last month, it invested £95m in St Andrew’s Quay Retail Park on the outskirts of Hull on behalf of its UK Prime Property Partnership.
The day-to-day management will remain unchanged with partners Chris Bartram, Philip Gadsden, David Lee, Gary Felce, John Humberstone, Phillip Rodger and Barney Rowe continuing to manage client relationships. Bartram will remain as chairman and Gadsden will continue his role as managing partner and will head the senior management committee.
Bartram said NAB Asset Management and Orchard Street had a “strong cultural fit” and that the latter would benefit from “significant investment expertise” and “a strong balance sheet”.