Many of our clients owe the majority of their wealth to their existing businesses. For them, real estate investment is an important element in their long-term wealth diversification strategy.

Real estate is one of London Wall’s core competencies and gives us a significant advantage in this asset class over others.

Our real estate team is one of the most experienced in London with expertise in every aspect of property investment, including, equity and debt investment, legal work, appraisals, structuring, transaction, management and development.

London Wall’s founding partners have advised on real estate investments totalling over £2 billion, working with many of London’s leading investors, developers, agents and banks.

Our long-term transaction history, and reputation in the market gives us access to opportunities that others may not have. The relationships we enjoy with the industry’s leading figures allow us to offer our clients the best and most informed advice.

Our real estate services include Investment, Portfolio Management, Acquisition, Real Estate Lending, Real Estate Development, Real Estate Consultancy and Property Management.

Managed accounts and investment appraisal

We specialise in designing investment strategies, including in relation to structuring investment in the form of debt, and building and managing bespoke London property portfolios to fit our clients’ specific requirements.

Portfolio management

We offer expert appraisals and analysis of our clients’ existing global property investments to help design a bespoke management strategy.

Acquisition

We monitor the London real estate market daily, and can identify opportunities, execute transactions and ensure that their potential is fully realised.

Some examples of our strategic investments for clients

  • In 2014, in an open-market transaction, and against stiff competition from institutional funds, we purchased a multi-tenanted office building in the City of London for £142.2 million. Within 6 months, we renegotiated several of the existing leases to enhance the term and rental income and we are now improving the building to increase the reversionary rent and provide the client with a stable long-term cash flow. The estimated value of the building (July 2015) is £163 million with further value add opportunities to be explored with refurbishments and rent reviews going forward.
  • We secured the palatial 50 St James, W1 property in 2009 for a client in an off market transaction. We managed the asset and recovered tenant arrears, established vacant possession, and generated over £2 million rental income. The property was sold for a gross return in excess of 40% within fours years of purchase.
  • We negotiated the off-market purchase of three adjoining hostel buildings in London’s Bayswater for £13.3 million in 2011. We appointed a new operator to improve the property and the rental income. Having considered ways to maximise long term value, including change of use, the properties were sold for £20 million in 2015 without the need for further capital expenditure.
  • We purchased a flat, off-market, in Mayfair for £4.6 million. Within 6 months, our construction team refurbished the property, and we sourced a new tenant, generating a rental income of £100,000 per annum. The flat is currently valued at approximately £8 million.
  • We purchased a house in Belgravia for £11.5 million and obtained planning permission for a £6.5 million redevelopment to increase the living space from 5,800 to 7,200 sq. ft. The construction is ongoing, but once complete, the value of the house is estimated to be £25 million.
  • In 2010 we acquired a Mayfair office building for one of our clients for £5m and obtained planning permission for a change of use to residential and a comprehensive refurbishment costing £2.8m which was undertaken by London Wall’s team. The property is currently valued at approximately £16 million.

Real estate lending

LW monitors the lending market for exempt real estate lending opportunities in all tranches of the capital structure including bridge, development and mezzanine lending.

Our clients lending is generally focused on newly originated first charge whole loans and second charge mezzanine debt, from £500,000 to £15 million, with gross average annual gross returns of approximately 8 – 12%, dependent on the market, the terms of the lending and the asset.

Our clients are not regulated lenders, thus borrowers are typically companies and or commercial borrowers.

Real estate development

We have the in-house expertise to handle every aspect of real estate development, whether as an integrated part of a managed investment strategy or to enhance a client’s own residence. As at 2015, we are managing multiple construction projects with a cumulative GDV in excess of £70m.

Our services cover Development management, Design & planning, and Development appraisal.

Development management

We offer end-to-end property development management. This could be at the request of a client with a property they wish to develop, or the initiative may come from our investment team, who have recommended developing a particular property to realise its full value.

We act as our client’s management team on the ground. If required, we can take care of everything from the selection and instruction of the professional services team, including architects, designers, project managers and contractors, to the management of the construction process to final handover.

Our clients often have major developments already underway and retain us to act in a supervisory role, to ensure the work is done properly and cost-effectively. This frequently involves an independent audit of developers’ proposals.

Design & planning

For any development, getting the right design and negotiating the associated planning permissions are key drivers of value. This can be a time-consuming and complex process. To ensure it all goes smoothly, we work with a small team of highly experienced professional service providers, including planning consultants, M&E consultants, structural engineers, architects, interior designers and other specialist consultants.

We can manage all aspects, from the initial site survey and the investment appraisal to the final handover.

Development appraisal

Our clients often have properties that they are considering developing or which are already in development.

If work has begun, we can conduct an audit to determine if the client is getting value for money from their appointed architect and contractors. If we are asked to make an appraisal, a viability study will help us to determine what sort of development is worthwhile.

We can assist clients in raising finance for major development, by preparing a viability study, complete with a thorough economic analysis.

Real estate consultancy

The London property market is an international asset class, attracting global investors looking to diversify from the traditional equity and bond markets. For anyone unfamiliar with this market it can be full of pitfalls as it remains a local market, with its own set of rules and dynamics.

By drawing on our extensive local knowledge and years of experience of the capital’s real estate market, we can help our clients to buy and sell with confidence, and avoid the errors made by many international investors with little local knowledge.

Our services cover Acquisitions, Managed sales, and General property advice.

Acquisitions

Finding the right London property takes time. In order to secure it, one often has to act quickly. By being thoroughly familiar with our clients’ objectives, we can execute on their behalf, and save them time and money.

With our local knowledge and solid connections within the London real estate world, we can source the most appropriate properties. On many occasions, we have identified and secured these before they come onto the open market.

Once a suitable property has been identified, we will work on the client’s behalf, conducting due diligence, negotiating acceptable terms and pricing, and liaising with estate agents, lawyers and surveyors to ensure that the purchase goes to plan.

Managed sales

We work with all the major London real estate agencies and brokers. When a client chooses to sell a property, we will ensure that the most appropriate agent is appointed and that their fees are kept to the minimum.

Our team understands what it takes to prepare a property in order to maximise its chances of an efficient sale at the best possible price. Our development team can handle any refurbishment or cosmetic work required to enhance the property’s marketability.

General property advice

There are many circumstances in which we can offer our clients real estate advice that will save them time and money.

As an example, one of our clients had purchased a hotel that he wanted to turn into flats. We produced a viability report on the proposed development and advised him on the likelihood of obtaining planning permission. In the interim, we managed the hotel so that it continued to provide an income.

Property management

Our property management services range from the management of investment properties to monitoring our clients’ own homes while they are not in residence.

We can also appraise the value of clients’ property portfolios, suggesting possible options for alternative asset allocation. We liaise with lawyers to manage all the legal requirements of property purchase, leasing and sales.

Tenanted property management

Many of our clients have properties that provide a rental income. We currently manage over 100 such properties, making sure that rents are collected, dealing with any problems and ensuring that necessary repairs are carried out quickly and efficiently.

Where appropriate, we appoint and manage letting agents, hold deposits, act as keyholders and conduct regular inspections.

Given the breadth of our legal experience, and the resources to which we have access, we are also knowledgable of the multiple tax implications as they apply to overseas landlords, and can alert our clients to these issues, sourcing them legal advise as necessary.

Owner/occupier management

Most of our clients have multiple properties in London, for their families to use when they are in the UK. When they are not in residence, they appreciate having someone who can keep an eye on them.

During vacant periods, we will ensure that all utility bills are paid, deal with the housekeeper and other staff and make sure that our development team carries out any essential repairs. We can also have the apartment prepared in good time for the family’s return.

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