British Pearl, a property crowdfunding platform offering both debt and equity investments, is reporting a £7 million investment led by Lord Stanley Fink. British Pearl says the investment is indicative of a resilient property market even as Brexit looms.
Lord Stanley Fink , has been engaged in the financial services industry for many years. He is a Director at British Pearl and is of the belief that despite worries that Brexit may undermine the UK economy, the property market will remain robust. Lord Fink is the former Conservative Party Treasurer and this is his first Proptech venture. Lord Fink is also the ex-CEO of investment firm Man Group, with whom he was involved until 2008. He is currently Chairman of investment manager ISAM Europe LLP, non-executive director of Marex Spectron and on the advisory board of eToro.
“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. 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,” said Lord Fink. “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.”
British Pearl’s debt product has the added bonus that their investments may be held in a tax-efficient ISA. British Pearl describes these loans as lower risk, paying a fixed interest rate every month. British Pearl’s loan investments are ‘first charge’ secured, unlike some other peer-to-peer loans. Additionally, British Pearl’s property loans are between 50% and 70% Loan-To-Value.
The platform has launched with three investments made up of six residential units — in Acton, Portsmouth and Lancaster. Many more properties are expected to be added in the coming weeks and the company says it will extend its offering into commercial units.
For equity investors, British Pearl says there is increased protection since each property is ring-fenced in a standalone holding company, separate from the liabilities of other investments and British Pearl itself.
Ali Celiker, CEO & founder of British Pearl, says their goal is to give investors choice between debt and equity securities tied to property.
“Ultimately, we’re empowering people to design and diversify their investment portfolios to suit their own specific needs and individual risk profiles,” said Celiker. “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.”
British Pearl is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).