Business Standard
November 19, 2007



In the first of its kind among property consultants, the UK-headquartered Knight Frank Group will launch a $250 million India-focused real estate fund.

According to sources in the know, the offshore fund will raise investments from high net worth individuals and other investors from the UK and will have an investment threshold of $0.5 million and above.

However, employees of the consultancy can invest smaller limits and the fund will invest in FDI-complaint projects in the country, according to sources. The fund-raising is expected to begin by January 2008 and will close in a couple of months.

Rutley Capital Partners (RCP), Knight Frank’s real estate private equity and investment management arm, is expected to spearhead the launch of the India fund. However, an e-mailed questionnaire to Robert Hannington, managing partner, RCP, did not elicit any response.

RCP has two property funds, Rutley European Property Fund, a Europe-focused fund and Rutley Russia Property Fund. Knight Frank also has an Africa-focused fund. India will be the fourth fund.

Though the company is awaiting certain approvals, it has started discussions with potential investors and is putting a management team to run the fund.

Knight Frank India Executive Director Keku Cola is expected to head the new fund and the group has also roped in Pranav Datta from Mahindra Gesco to head one of its operations, according to sources.

Though Knight Frank India is operating in the country for the last 12 years and has four offices in Mumbai, Gurgaon, Pune and Bangalore, the new fund will operate independently and have a separate team.

“A property consultant can draw a lot of synergies from launching a fund because the organisation has a deep understanding of local markets, rules and procedures, issues and relationship with developers and buyers,” said a top official from a management consultancy.

Along with its US-based real estate partner Newmark Knight Frank, the Knight Frank Group’s global network encompasses more than 165 offices in 36 countries across six continents.

It has over 5,300 professionals and handles some $36.1 billion worth of commercial, agricultural and residential real estate annually.


Now, that's an interesting piece of update. Will it bring a turn-around in the functioning of property consultants or is merely an add-on?
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