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”.