The Co-operative Insurance Society has reportedly shortlisted eight property fund managers to run its £2.1bn property portfolio. The list is understood to include Prudential Property Investment Management, LaSalle Investment Management, CB Richard Ellis Investors, Cordea Savills and AXA, with Nelson Bakewell as its property manager. ING Real Estate, one of Europe’s largest property fund managers, is not thought to have made the shortlist.
It emerged at the start of the month that CIS was planning to close its property investment division, leading to the loss of up to 60 jobs. It was reported at the time that a third-party fund manager would be brought in to manage the portfolio.
The decision followed a strategic review of CIS’s investments. The review recommended that most of the company’s investment activities should remain in-house. However, CIS added that “the review concluded there was a lack of scale within the investment property portfolio”.
Significant properties within the portfolio include a block on the corner of New Bond Street and Brook Street in London W1; Sunlight House on Quay Street, Manchester; and the Clyde and Glenrothes shopping centres in Scotland.
CIS is currently going through a consultation period to see whether its property team could be given new roles either within the company or with the new investment manager. However, a significant number of redundancies is likely.
All bidders for the portfolio are operating under strict confidentiality and refused to comment.