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Hermes Real Estate Investment Management Limited Forms a Strategic Partnership Launching a US Real Estate Income Fund

Hermes Real Estate Investment Management Limited (HREIML), one of the largest real estate managers in the UK with over £5.8 billion assets under management, has today announced that it has joined forces with UOB Global Capital (UOBGC), a subsidiary of United Overseas Bank Ltd., one of the leading banks in Singapore and Hampshire Real Estate Companies (Hampshire), a privately held US based real estate operating and investment company, to launch a new closed-end commercial real estate income fund. The HUH US Real Estate Income Fund (HUH) will be available to international institutional investors and pension funds.

This partnership will be a fusion of Hampshire’s local real estate market expertise, UOBGC’s origination and distribution platform and HREIML’s strategic risk oversight and corporate governance expertise. The result is the creation of core excellence and an innovative approach for international institutional investors and pension funds to invest in income producing US real estate. The HUH US Real Estate Income Fund’s strategy will focus on investing in inefficiently priced, well-located and “well-leased” properties typically located outside of the major city central business districts (CBD) in the United States, with primary focus on the Eastern US.

HREIML, on behalf of the British Telecom Pension Scheme (BTPS), will provide up to USD$150 million capital with UOB and Hampshire each committing USD$25 million.

Chris Taylor, CEO, Hermes Real Estate Investment Management Limited (HREIML), said:

“The agreement to enter into this joint venture alongside such a proven local operator as Hampshire, with the backing and support of UOB Group, is the culmination of a detailed review process designed to identify the best partnership platform from which to implement our desired diversification into US real estate investment.

HREIML has established itself as a leader in the real estate industry, and at the core of its philosophy lies a key commitment to corporate governance and investor alignment. Partnering with Hampshire and UOB Group brings together combined expertise to launch a ground-breaking real estate strategy focused on direct investment, in income producing US real estate in a value focused, risk aware, low-leveraged manner.”

Jon F. Hanson, Chairman, Hampshire Real Estate Companies, said:

“Hampshire is pleased to partner with Hermes Real Estate Investment Management Limited (HREIML) and UOB Group. HREIML is an established and proven real estate investor and manager, who will enable us to continue to grow our core-plus fund investment platform. From our standpoint, it was important for Hampshire to find a partner that is not simply a ‘capital partner,’ but one who also understands the dynamics of real estate and shares our long-term view of real estate investment, and values our investment approach. We are excited to establish a long-term relationship with HREIML that will assist us in developing a solid platform for US real estate investment for overseas investors.

We are equally excited about our relationship with UOB, and to tap into the network of off-shore investors that they have put together seeking alternative investment asset classes and investment in US real estate.

Hampshire will be relying upon its broad experience – 90-plus years of investing in US commercial real estate – and will focus on market inefficiencies by avoiding the major US markets, which, today, have tremendous competition of capital for product. Up to now, these markets have been a primary focus of foreign investors. However, we wanted to create an opportunity to avoid these pricey markets, and to take advantage of smaller but still dynamic markets that provide a greater distributable cash flow potential. Hampshire has real estate interests in 31 states and has invested across the United States for over 40 years. We will be relying upon our broad investment experience in a wide range of asset types in numerous geographic locations, proven through multiple real estate cycles, to provide excellent risk-adjusted returns that produce stable cash flow distributions from operations and long term appreciation.”

Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and CEO of the UOB Group, said:

“UOB is pleased with the opportunity for our subsidiary UOB Global Capital to team up with Hermes Real Estate and Hampshire, recognised leaders in their respective fields, to structure a high-quality US real estate product for investors. The UOB Group’s strong international network puts us in good stead to help investors meet their global needs.”

For further information, please contact:

Jean Dumas
Hermes Fund Managers Press Office
Tel: +44 (0)20 7680 2152
Email: j.dumas@hermes.co.uk

Ceri Edwards
Redwood Consulting
Tel : +44 (0)20 7828 5553 Email : ceri@redwoodconsulting.co.uk

Notes to Editors:
Hermes Fund Managers

Hermes is a unique fund manager – we have been an industry leader in Responsible Investing for over thirty years and offer clients the unparalleled combination of:

  • Our Multi-Boutique Structure gives institutional and pension fund clients globally the benefit of access to a broad range of specialist, high conviction investment teams operating within an established and robust operating platform.
  • Our Investment Office is a crucial function, acting as a performance risk ‘radar’ for all boutiques’ investment activity and is central to our mission to deliver Sustainable Risk-Adjusted Alpha to all our clients.
  • Our commitment to behaving as a Responsible Asset Manager, not merely by being a ‘Responsible Investor’ in quoted companies but also by applying these principles across all asset classes and by behaving as a ‘good fiduciary’ on behalf of our clients.

Hermes' investment solutions include:

  • Government Bonds: Inflation-Linked, Investment Grade, High Yield
  • Alternatives: Commodities, Fund of Hedge Funds, Real Estate, Private Equity, Infrastructure
  • Equities: Global, Emerging Markets, Small Cap, Europe, Japan

Hermes manages assets on behalf of over 170 clients* across these investment areas with £25.1billion* assets under management. Additionally, we support pension funds and other global institutional investors worldwide in meeting their ESG responsibilities through our market leading Hermes Equity Ownership Services, which takes on a stewardship role engaging globally on more than £80 billion* of assets.

With a thirty year history of being owned by and the principal fund manager of the largest pension fund in the UK**, Hermes Fund Managers has a growing global presence. Supported by our head office in London we also have established offices in Boston, New York and Sydney.

* As at 31 March 2011
**Pension Funds and Their Advisors 2010

About The Hampshire Companies
The Hampshire Companies, headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey is a full-service, privately-held fully integrated real estate investment firm with equity in assets valued at over $2 billion. The Hampshire Companies, has more than 90 years of hands-on, cycle-tested experience in acquiring, developing, leasing, repositioning, managing, financing and disposing of real estate throughout the United States.

Hampshire currently manages several private real estate investment funds, supporting pension funds, large endowments and charitable foundations in addition to high net worth individuals. Whether the prime directive is quarterly cash flow distributions or long-term growth and appreciation, Hampshire pursues a value-added strategy for all of its fund vehicles. The firm is committed to delivering superior, returns to its investors through the acquisition, repositioning, operation and ultimate disposition of quality investment properties.

The Hampshire Companies is a vibrant, dynamic organization that combines creative vision and superior execution, thereby enabling it to create and enhance value in real estate investments. Additional information on The Hampshire Companies is available online at HampshireRE.com.

UOB Global Capital
UOBGC is the global asset management affiliate of the UOB Group, one of the leading banks in Singapore with a global network of over 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Western Europe and North America.

UOBGC, with offices in New York, Paris and Singapore, has the exclusive mandate ex Asia to create, introduce, distribute and manage investment products in all asset classes for investors. Through relationships with asset managers worldwide, UOBGC seeks to help meet the global asset needs of investors as well as the needs of UOB’s customers in Singapore and Asia.