Schroders has announced that following an Extraordinary General Meeting, investors in The Hercules Unit Trust ("HUT"), have voted to extend the life of the fund for a further 10 years from 2010 to 2020.
The extension is a strong vote of confidence in both the asset class and British Land Property Advisers' ability to manage the portfolio on behalf of investors. Furthermore, Schroders, in its role as manager to the Trust, has incorporated liquidity features into the Fund enabling it to be one of the most widely traded closed-ended Jersey property unit trusts on the secondary market.
Since its inception in 2000, HUT has delivered average total returns of 13.3% p.a., 28.5% p.a. and 27.5% p.a. over the last 1, 3 and 5 years respectively.
HUT is now one of the UK's largest specialist retail property unit trusts with a property portfolio of £3.1 billion comprising 24 retail and shopping parks (as at June 2007) representing circa 5.6 million ft². The Trust owns some of the UK's most prestigious shopping parks either on its own or in joint venture including Fort Kinnaird, Edinburgh, Glasgow Fort and New Mersey Retail Park, Speke.
HUT's investor base now comprises 55 corporate pension funds, 27 local authority pension funds, 11 charities, 4 common investment funds, 12 pooled property funds and 25 others (including property companies and High net worth individuals).
Commenting, Michael Clarke, Head of Property Distribution at Schroders, said, "HUT has grown to become a core holding for many real estate investors due to the scale and quality of the portfolio and its specialist management. Since its creation, the property investment market and investors' requirements have undergone considerable change. We are pleased that HUT has been at the leading edge of this and today we have a property vehicle which meets our investors needs in terms of both sector exposure, liquidity and transparency."