Prestige Fund Management Limited (PFM) has sourced an additional US$100 million in investor commitments during the final quarter of 2016, illustrating increasing demand for its brand of asset-based direct lending to small and medium UK businesses.
Sources of new commitments have come mainly from outside the UK, including from Middle East sovereign wealth funds and sovereign pension groups, Swiss foundations and Swiss corporate pension schemes.
Prestige specialises in providing loans to small businesses in agricultural related sectors, including alternative energy and bio-mass projects. Its activities are playing a crucial role in helping to sustain and grow the UK rural economy. The firm hosted 15 institutional site visits in Q4 2016 alone and has seen increased traffic to its website in 2016, with over 1000 unique visits per week.
“Despite Brexit, institutional interest in UK lending strategies is higher than ever,” said Craig Reeves, Founder of Prestige. “The world is facing the prospect of increasing interest rates, more market volatility and future political uncertainty. In this environment, institutional investors must still grapple with falling corporate and sovereign bond yields. I believe the UK will continue to be a top 5 destination for foreign direct investment”.
Reeves was invited to speak at numerous institutional investment conferences in Europe, North America and Asia in the course of 2016, and is looking forward to continuing his busy schedule in 2017.
He added: “Many pension funds are facing serious deficits while still having to meet their liabilities. This is a consequence of the underperformance of many equity markets over the course of the last 17 years which, in many cases has led to reduced allocation to equities. Many active equity managers also continue to disappoint, as we have seen last year.”
Launched in 2007, Prestige has raised over US$1.3 billion for its lending-focused strategy. It provides secured financing for a wide range of projects and activities within the UK’s rural economy.