Redemption at last?

There was a piece in the FT last week or so reminding readers about the illiquidity of open-ended property funds.   The fund in question on this occasion was Aviva’s Asia Pacific Property fund. It’s quite unusual to see an open-ended fund experience such problems in the absence of a general market downturn. However, it highlights their substantial liquidity risk compared to listed funds. In contrast to listed property funds, open-ended, private property funds seem to offer the diversification benefits and access to specialist management of listed funds without the volatility. However, the low volatility may be an artefact of appraisal-based performance measurement and, as Professor Dirk Brounen once put it, open-ended funds may be like the Hotel California – you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave.   Well, only a limited number of investors can leave at any given time.

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