Hearthstone appoints David Gibbins as Fund Manager ahead of residential property fund launch (UK)

Hearthstone Investments has announced its intention to launch a new residential property fund – Hearthstone UK Residential Property Fund - in Q1 2011. Highly experienced fund manager David Gibbins has joined the business to run the fund.

David Gibbins, Fund Manager, Christopher Down, Chief Executive, Jef

FLTR: David Gibbins (Fund Manager), Christopher Down (Chief Executive), Jeff Pulsford (Chairman).

The Hearthstone UK Residential Property Fund will seek to track the performance of the UK residential property market as well as provide a modest income return. It will be ungeared and available to both retail and institutional investors. As an asset class, market-let residential property has out-performed all other asset classes over the long-term and demonstrates considerably lower levels of volatility. Ungeared returns from residential property have averaged around 16% p.a. since 1970, comfortably outperforming equities, commercial property and Gilt markets. Demand for investment in the sector remains strong despite the downturn, with over 60% of the UK public surveyed stating that they would prefer to invest in residential property over equities.

Christopher Down, Chief Executive of Hearthstone Investments, said: "I am delighted to welcome David Gibbins to Hearthstone as Fund Manager. David will be invaluable internally as a key decision maker and will hold responsibility for managing all external property related relationships for the business."

Down added: "The Hearthstone fund will be the only fund of its kind available to both retail and institutional investors and will provide diversified residential property exposure without the management burden. This is particularly relevant for first time buyers that are trying to save toward the larger deposits now required by lenders, and also professional investors wishing to diversify their commercial property holdings. Our research suggests there is a significant latent demand for simple, indirect exposure to this asset class, and we hope that this fund and others that follow will play a role in addressing the much-needed expansion of funding within the private rented sector."

David Gibbins, Fund Manager at Hearthstone Investments, said: "I feel the emergence of a specialist residential fund management house is long overdue. I am very pleased to be associated with an organization where residential property is at the core of our business, rather than a peripheral aspect of fund management operations primarily based around commercial property."

David has specialized in the residential property sector for more than 20 years and has been involved in or advised on residential property transactions with a total value of £1bn+. Prior to joining Hearthstone he was residential fund manager for Goodman Property Investors, responsible for the Regent Residential Partnership. This fund was benchmarked against the IPD Residential Index and, under his stewardship, performance was transformed from lower to upper quartile in only two years.

David spent four years with Morley Fund Management (now Aviva Investors), w

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