New service promises better returns for investors in challenging UK market

A new service could help property investors make better returns in the current challenging UK market.

Launched by consultant EC Harris, the service will initially focus on distress avoidance and project recovery.

Matthew Cutts

If this is fails, it will then try to find solutions to complete property developments. This could mean repackaging and selling on, the introduction of another developer, or managing the completion of the development and its sale on behalf of the fund.

Matthew Cutts, global head of lenders and investors at the consultant firm, said: "We estimate that there will be a 20 to 25% increase in development projects outside the top tier developers defaulting to the extent that the banks will have to step in and take an active role in the project recovery to best recover their debt.

"Our approach is to consider and weigh up with the client all the options available for the project in question, with that client’s drivers ever in mind, not adopt in advance a prescriptive attitude.

"Our emphasis is if possible to allow recovery of the project with the minimum of disruption."

The initiative will be an integrated solution based service that will involve other EC Harris specialist resources to meet the needs of investors.

It will be led by Partner Martin Cannon with John Willmoth providing day to day support in the area of project audit, and recovery and distressed debt.

EC Harris expects potential clients to be the main clearing banks, secondary and merchant banks, insurance and pension funds, as well as key investment decision makers, such as solicitors and accountants.