Omigpi to back two new property funds

2011-03-01 12:14

Johannesburg - Two new property funds run by black-owned management companies will get under way in 2011, backed by Old Mutual Investment Group Property Investments (Omigpi).

Firstly, Neo Africa Properties is developing a fund of commercial properties leased to the government that will meet the department of public works' broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) policy for ownership.

Secondly, the Urban Growth Fund will comprise property investments that incorporate the core principles of responsible investment. Fund investments will include urban regeneration, township developments, investments in health and education facilities and green buildings.

The fund's activities are primarily development-led to maximise the growth of property assets in the responsible investment area.

Omigpi will have a minority interest in both greenfield management companies, said MD Ben Kodisang.

"Omigpi views this as the ideal way to transfer skills to the property industry in line with the requirements of the property charter," said Kodisang.

"By collaborating with these select partners to set up these initiatives, we are pioneers in promoting the expansion of asset management capability that will ultimately benefit the broader industry."

Neo Africa Properties is run by CEO Musa Ngcobo and executive director Nic Corbishley.

The Urban Growth Fund is run by Vusi Nondo and Anil Dhanjee, formerly portfolio managers at Omigpi.

Kodisang said Omigpi was providing start-up capital for the two management companies through interest-free loans repayable by 2012.

"While Omigpi will have joint control of the boards, executive responsibility will reside with the majority black shareholders. Omigpi will also be providing administrative support and operating infrastructure and intends to exit its investments in the medium term, once the businesses are well-established," Kodisang said.