25 Mar 2020

As part of our more regular member communications at this time, here is a brief update on AREF’s key activities last week and the plans for this week.

Last week…

On Tuesday, we facilitated a call with the Retail Funds Committee to discuss the material valuation uncertainty prevalent at this time. Following this, we issued statements regarding material valuation uncertainty both for all our members and to help the press.

On Wednesday we, along with the Investment Association (IA), discussed issues with the RICS, seeking to ensure very clear communication of the current situation.

Thursday saw a pan-European conference call of the European Real Estate Forum to share local experiences and coordinate messaging to respective regulators, central banks and governments.  This will be a regular fortnightly call until further notice. 

The same day, via a web meeting, AREF initiated a temporary working group for all the institutional open-ended funds, that price either monthly or quarterly, to discuss potential ramifications of the material uncertainty clauses. The overriding need of member funds was for AREF to seek further guidance from the FCA.

Friday, there was a meeting of the Property Industry Alliance (PIA) where sharing and coordinating responses to the BoE, FCA, Treasury and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government were all discussed.  These calls are now daily to ensure joined-up communication from across the UK property industry to Government, Bank and regulators.   

A personal message from me was sent out to all our members, a copy of which can be found here.

This week…

We are busy with ongoing liaison with the FCA, BoE and Treasury regarding potential ramifications of market conditions and material valuation uncertainty, seeking appropriate guidance and providing granular information.

On Thursday, there will be another online meeting of the working group for all the AREF institutional open-ended fund members. 

We continue to have calls with the PIA on a daily basis at this time to ensure clear lines of communication are maintained between AREF and the various other industry bodies.

It is important to remember that rather than providing guidance itself, AREF’s primary role is to facilitate effective communication across our members in the real estate funds industry, and to act as a conduit of communication between the FCA, BoE and Government.  All three are currently hungry for detailed real-time information, and we would therefore ask members to keep AREF updated on important developments in the market or with your own funds.      

I should like to reiterate that AREF is here for its members. Please do contact us, should you think there is something AREF can help with.   

I hope everybody and their families are keeping well.


Paul Richards

Paul Richards

Managing Director, AREF

Paul is the Managing Director of AREF.

Before joining AREF, Paul was Head of the European Real Estate Boutique within Mercer’s investment consulting business for almost 10 years, previously he was Head of Indirect Real Estate Investment and Global Managed Accounts at LaSalle Investment Management, where he was responsible for managing global portfolios of unlisted real estate funds for clients from Europe and Asia Pacific.

He has over 25 years of real estate experience in investment, corporate finance and research, and has advised investors, occupiers and venture capital companies on property portfolio strategy and on financial structuring, including PFI, senior and mezzanine debt and joint venture arrangements. His employers have included LaSalle Investment Management, Cushman & Wakefield and Henderson Investors.

Before coming into the world of real estate, Paul worked in marketing and market research. He originally studied Physiological Sciences at Lincoln College, Oxford and has a Master of Science in Real Estate from City University Business School, London, now Cass Business School.