FORMER Conservative Party treasurer Lord Stanley Fink has given financial backing to a new peer-to-peer and crowdfunding property investment platform.
Lord Fink, who was previously chief executive and deputy chairman of investment giant the Man Group, has led a £7m fundraise to help launch British Pearl.
The platform, fully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, lets investors put as little as £100 into a property development company as either a P2P loan or by taking some equity through crowdfunding.
P2P investors can receive a set rate of interest, paid monthly, and can earn returns tax-free in an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA).
Those using crowdfunding will earn dividends proportionate to their shareholding and will also get a share of any net sale proceeds.
Rental properties on the platform are set to last for five years and development projects for two but British Pearl also offers a secondary market so lenders can sell their holdings.
“Despite the doom-laden predictions that are being mooted because of Brexit, I’m backing British Pearl and UK property for three reasons, first, the country is in desperate need of new homes, which the government is working hard to provide, so the fundamentals are strong and the property market still presents many attractive opportunities,” Lord Fink said.
“Second, property has been one of the most consistent, profitable and trusted asset classes in recent times, and, third, British Pearl is not only making property investment accessible but giving people two different ways to invest in it through one platform.
“We know investors don’t always want all their money tied up in property equity investment, so we’re giving them the option to diversify their portfolio into debt within the same platform. My investment in British Pearl is my own personal vote of confidence.”
The platform has launched with three investments made up of six residential units — in Acton, Portsmouth and Lancaster.
“Our goal is to give investors the all-important choice as to how they invest in the properties they select, whether the reduced risk associated with conservative loan-to-value property loans, the greater potential upside of equity stakes or a mixture of both,” Ali Celiker, chief executive of British Pearl, said.
“Ultimately, we’re empowering people to design and diversify their investment portfolios to suit their own specific needs and individual risk profiles.
“It’s important to note that the debt investments we offer are not bonds issued by a company but first charge loans secured against property — just like a mortgage from a high street bank. The fact our debt product can be held in a flexible ISA is something else we expect to drive considerable interest.”