Urban Splash Fund Management
Urban Splash has a proven track record managing assets and co-investments with third parties including c.800 residential apartments with Places for People and a £100m commercial workspace portfolio with Pears Property. Our latest venture is the Urban Splash Residential Fund.
The fund was established in June 2017 to acquire design-led homes in urban regeneration areas across the UK - both through the Urban Splash pipeline and through opportunistic acquisitions.
Today the fund owns and manages 164 homes across five different Urban Splash neighbourhoods including in Bradford, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol. We offer our residents everything from studio apartments to four bedroom town houses, with an average rent of less than £800 per month. The fund’s current net asset value is c.£30m, with average occupancy of 95% and a target net return to our investors of 10% per year.
Our ambition? To keep on growing, creating an institutional quality, UK-wide residential portfolio of real scale; one which is vertically integrated, with an experienced residential management team – and we hope to leave the world a slightly better place in the process.
The fund strategy
The Urban Splash Residential Fund strategy is to hold the majority of homes for rental income, and crystallise capital growth through a limited amount of individual sales.
We have a target annual 10% net return including a 3% per annum dividend distribution. The fund does not take development risk and will be low leverage (currently no debt); in the 12 months to 31st March 2020 we delivered returns to our investors of c.12%.
The initial fundraise was from high-net-worth professional individuals, and was oversubscribed. Current investors include a number of private equity partners, real estate professionals and experienced investors. The income from our portfolio has been really resilient with occupancy increasing during lockdown, and we recently did a successful follow-on investment round, with over 60% of existing investors choosing to invest additional capital into the fund.
Investment and Risk Committees
Independent Chair, Investment Committee
John is Chair of the Investment Committee, and brings with him a wealth of experience in real estate fund management. Prior to setting up John Forbes Consulting in 2013, he spent over 25 years at PwC, where he led the real estate industry practice in Europe. John is also Chair of the Independent Supervisory Board of the UBS Triton Property Fund, which in 2020 was awarded the AREF Investors’ Award for outstanding achievement as a result of its exemplary governance and demonstrable ESG achievements.
John is an independent consultant advising real estate investment managers, investors and others in the industry on topics including product development, governance and regulatory matters for real estate funds. In 2017, John received the Association of Real Estate Funds award for “Outstanding Individual Contribution.”
Paul is a member of the Investment Committee, and has almost 25 years’ experience in acquisitions, investment and fund management. He is currently Managing Partner of STAR Capital, a European private equity firm focused on the acquisition and development of asset-based businesses. Since its inception in 2000, STAR has acquired businesses with a total enterprise valuation in excess of €5 billion across a wide range of sectors.
Prior to STAR, Paul held several corporate finance positions with Credit Suisse, working out of their New Zealand, Australia and London offices. Paul has sat on the boards of a wide range of transport, infrastructure, and financial services-related businesses. Currently, Paul sits on the boards of Infratil Ltd, STAR Asset Finance, Ignition plc, First Capital Finance, Kennet Equipment Leasing, MPC Container Ships, Synergy LMS, GSLS, and ASL Airlines. Paul is a Founder Investor of USR in a personal capacity.
Tom is a member of the Investment Committee, and brings with him over 30 years’ experience in real estate development and investment. He is Chairman and Founder of the regeneration company Urban Splash, which has received 430 awards for architecture, design and business success, and has been responsible for development projects across the UK with a GDV over £2 billion.
Prior to founding Urban Splash, Tom built and successfully exited several businesses, including Splash poster publishing, Crash FM radio station and the Baa Bar pub chain. In 1999, he was awarded an MBE for Services to Architecture and Urban Regeneration. Tom has held a number of additional positions, including Chairman of Manchester International Festival, trustee of Tate, the Manchester United Foundation, Bloxham Charitable Trust, and member of Arts Council England and UK Government Property Advisory Board.
Investment & Risk Committees
Julian is a member of both the Investment and Risk Committees, and is an experienced finance director in the real estate industry. He currently holds the position of Chief Financial and Operating Officer at Urban Splash, and takes a lead role in all JV arrangements, working with public and private sector partners. Since joining the business over 15 years ago, Julian has put in place over £400m of facilities with banks and public sector institutions to deliver complex regeneration projects across the UK. He has a detailed oversight of all development and construction projects, and led the stabilisation and turnaround of the group’s finances throughout the recession. In 2013, he led the significant and complex restructuring of the Urban Splash group, which involved the restructuring of over £250m of debt. More recently, he jointly led the demerger of the Urban Splash modular housing business, and the raising of £60m in new investment from Homes England and Sekisui House.
Prior to joining Urban Splash, Julian worked at Arthur Andersen and Deloitte, advising many of the largest private and listed businesses in the North West and across the UK. Julian is also a member of the NSPCC Advocate Network and is a Trustee of Inner City Music, Manchester.
Liz is a member of the Risk Committee, and is General Counsel and Compliance Officer at STAR Capital. She assists in overseeing STAR’s responsibilities as AIFM of the Urban Splash Residential Fund, and brings over 15 years’ experience in fund structuring, regulation, legal and risk.
After qualifying as a solicitor in 2001, Liz spent 5 years as an associate in the corporate department of Clifford Chance LLP. During this time, she advised many private equity, hedge fund and infrastructure clients, including STAR Capital, which she joined as its first General Counsel in 2006. More recently, following a child-related career break, Liz spent 4 years in the international funds department of SJ Berwin LLP / King & Wood Mallesons LLP, advising on a wide range of fund establishments and investments as well as corporate transactions, prior to rejoining STAR Capital in 2016.
Akeel handles the day-to-day running of the Urban Splash Residential fund. Previously he worked at UBS Investment Bank where he was part of the Real Estate, Lodging & Leisure (RELL) team advising on M&A and Capital Markets transactions with a combined value of c.£20bn. Prior to this Akeel co-founded the education technology platform Aula, which successfully raised $4.2m in seed funding in 2018. Akeel graduated from Pembroke College, University of Oxford with a BA in Economics & Management. Akeel also sits on the Fundraising Board of the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust Charity & Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
James works with Akeel on the day-to-day operations of the Urban Splash Residential Fund. He worked previously as a management consultant at McKinsey, where he supported clients from a range of industries on diverse business challenges. James graduated with an Economics & Management degree from the University of Oxford.
As well as compelling financial returns, we strive to deliver positive impact in cities across the UK through our exciting ESG agenda.
This builds on the extensive ESG work that has already been done by Urban Splash over the past 27 years. We strengthen the value of our investments by delivering measurable, verified sustainability, social value and corporate governance actions. We continue to look for ways to engage with and support the communities around our homes, guided by our ESG Strategy which is available here. More information on our latest initiatives can be found below.
News and updates
As well as the identified pipeline from Urban Splash, we also believe that there may well be some attractive acquisition opportunities in the coming months, and will be looking to apply our 27 years of expertise and industry connections to source deals and add value. For details of these and other homes currently available to rent click here.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.