Aviva InvestorsDec 8 2022

Aviva Investors postpones fund payout after delay in asset sale

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Aviva Investors postpones fund payout after delay in asset sale
Jason Alden/Bloomberg News

Aviva Investors’ UK Property Fund has postponed a payment to investors after a delay in the sale of one of its properties.

In an email to intermediaries, seen by FTAdviser, Aviva said the payment has been delayed from December 12th to “likely” the end of January.

Aviva had previously emailed investors in the fund, which was closed in May last year, to confirm the payment would total around £62mn.

A spokesperson for Aviva Investors said: "We are committed to returning proceeds to investors as quickly as possible however, our preference is to aggregate proceeds of sales as efficiently as possible rather than making multiple smaller payments in relatively quick succession."

The fund's net asset value was £96mn on December 6.

Fund closure

The decision was taken to wind the fund down after the uncertainty caused by the pandemic made it increasingly challenging to generate positive returns whilst also retaining enough liquidity to re-open the fund.

At the time, Aviva Investors highlighted how, given the expense of acquiring, managing and disposing of property, size was particularly important for real estate funds.

However, due to the level of cash it anticipated it would need to fulfil redemption requests once it re-opened, the benefit of the economies of scale and diversification of the fund would be limited.


The fund was gated in March 2020 alongside a slew of other property funds, after independent valuers said they were unable to accurately value real estate due to the market turmoil.

The issue raises the problem once again of the fundamental mismatch between the daily dealing of some property funds and the illiquid nature of their underlying holdings.

The issues began after the Brexit vote in 2016, when the funds rushed to gate for redemptions amid concerns over valuations.

The FCA opened a consultation into the future of open-ended property funds, however last May it said it would not confirm specific property fund rules until a consultation on the long-term asset fund had been completed.

This was concluded in October last year, and the regulator has not outlined any further details to date. 

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has warned that the high redemptions seen in open-ended bond funds could trigger further outflows, constituting a “major potential vulnerability”.

The body said these withdrawals could amplify market stress and “potentially undermine the stability of the financial system”.