04 June 2018 - AREF promotes transparency & corporate governance with launch of Quality Mark
The Association of Real Estate Funds (AREF) has today launched a Quality Mark to highlight those member property funds which are achieving a high standard of transparency and corporate governance.
One of AREF’s key aims is to ensure that its fund members offer consistently high-quality products and services to investors through adherence to its Code of Practice*. The Code outlines a framework for good corporate governance within real estate funds, as well as aiming to promote consistency and comparability between funds.
The newly launched Quality Mark indicates those funds which are compliant with the Code across three categories including: governance of the fund, operation of the fund, and unit dealing and performance reporting.
The Code is split into two levels of compliance: a minimum compliance standard which all funds are required to meet and a best practice level, which funds are expected to adopt wherever possible. Currently, 65% of AREF funds achieve best practice in at least half of the areas measured. This information is published online so that investors can see how funds perform on each point of the Code.
John Cartwright, Chief Executive of AREF said, “Our Quality Mark will shine a light on those companies which are committed to maintaining high standards and help investors easily compare different funds.”
“AREF is committed to placing the interests of savers at the heart of the real estate funds sector. We would like to see all real estate funds and trusts sign up to the AREF code of practice as a demonstrable commitment to the highest standards of corporate governance and transparency.”
Adrian Benedict, Chair of the AREF Corporate Governance committee said, “The introduction of the Quality Mark is intended to raise awareness amongst our member fund’s investors of the importance of maintaining and continually improving governance standards. AREF has a long history of experience to draw upon when implementing standards that put it in good stead to better anticipate future challenges.”
Graeme Rutter, Chair of the AREF Investor Committee, commented that, “Investors will take confidence from funds carrying the new AREF Quality Mark, and in particular reassurance from the fact that approved funds can demonstrate the highest levels of governance”.
Notes to Editors
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* AREF Code of Practice 2018: http://www.aref.org.uk/our-committee/code-practice-2018. AREF requires its members to self-certify on an annual basis with a 10% sample of fund members being audited on a half yearly basis. The review of member funds’ compliance with the Code is carried out each year by an AREF Affiliate Member law firm. This year’s review will be conducted by Charles Russell Speechlys.
** AREF Self-Certification Matrix 2017 http://www.aref.org.uk/our-committee/code-matrix-2017
About The Association of Real Estate Funds (AREF)
The Association of Real Estate Funds (AREF) is the voice of the real estate funds industry. AREF represents over 60 funds with more than £60 billion AUM.
We are recognised by policy makers, regulators, tax authorities and other official organisations as the leading spokesperson for real estate and therefore have the ability to influence the way our industry evolves.
Investors and advisers are aware of the high standards our members adhere to, both in transparency and corporate governance, therefore enabling us to promote their confidence when they invest in real estate.