Fund manager hoping to rescue Home REIT

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A fund manager hoping to rescue a struggling Home REIT has been backed by several big investors.

Edinburgh-based RM Funds sent out an offer called “Project Casa” in late February to try to convince shareholders that it could take over as investment advisor for the sheltered housing group.

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A previous consultant, Alvarium, cut ties with Home REIT as it became embroiled in a series of mounting crises.

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Worried: RM Funds sent out an offer called “Project Casa” to try to convince shareholders that it could become an investment advisor to a sheltered housing group.

In a draft shareholder proposal seen by the Mail, RM offered an “immediate reduction” in advisory fees and also promised to reinvest a percentage of them into buying shares.

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RM said it wants to keep the company’s “social goals” of providing housing for vulnerable people, a promise originally made by Home REIT founders Gareth Jones and Jamie Beal, who manage Alvarium’s funds.

The proposal has been submitted to the landlord’s council. On Wednesday, the company announced that it was in talks with several candidates for the position of investment advisor.

RM’s proposal won support from over a third of the group’s shareholders, including several top investors.

A source close to the matter said that if the board does not accept RM’s proposal, the risk of a “rush sale” of the Home REIT portfolio will increase, meaning that many vulnerable residents will have to be relocated.

They added that the Home REIT filing submitted by Blue Star Capital, an investment firm whose director Benoit Gottlieb has ties to Alvarium, was “worthless” because it limited information at a time when transparency was critical.

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