Macquarie is close to signing up Asgard and BT Wrap to include its new direct property fund on their platforms.

The Macquarie Direct Property Fund (MDPF), launched late October, will be included on Macquarie’s own wrap but Richard Cutler, Macquarie Direct Property chief executive officer, said it was designed to meet the criteria for external platforms too. It is an amalgamation of five of Macquarie’s unlisted existing property syndicates but also includes an allocation of between 5 to 50 per cent to listed property trusts which provides more liquidity than a traditional direct property fund. “We had to spend a lot of time to see not only what Macquarie Wrap wanted but what the other platforms wanted as well,” Richard Stacker, Macquarie Direct Property fund manager, said. Due to their illiquidity, direct property funds have traditionally found it hard to make their way onto wraps. Macquarie Direct Property spent nine months consulting with advisers and developing the new fund. The MDPF represents a strategic change in direction to Macquarie’s syndicate approach to direct property. According to Cutler, the market has matured and is no longer accepting of the risks involved in single asset property syndicates. “The syndicates of yesterday are hard to sell in the current market environment. Investors want diversification… The pendulum has swung toward direct property trusts,” he said. Part of the evolution has been driven by more retail money going through the platforms. Cutler said the new approach does not mean Macquarie will no longer be launching property syndicates but Macquarie Direct Property will be concentrating on the new fund for the medium term. Any new syndicates would most likely include more than one property. The MDPF has $236 million in seed assets and a minimum investment of $10,000 with a management fee of 1 per cent.

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