van Eyk is likely to enter into a property fund research partnership with either Adviser Edge or Aegis Equities Research following the end of its partnership with Managed Investment Assessments (MIA) last month.

It is understood that van Eyk has been negotiating with both of the investment research companies and will make its decision within the month. “;We’re looking around at alternative ventures,”; Stephen van Eyk, van Eyk founder, said. Adviser Edge conducts agribusiness research for van Eyk and has done so for the past three years. Last November, Adviser Edge hired Louis Christopher, former general manager of Australian Property Monitors, to lead its newly-launched property research team. “;Adviser Edge is going into the property area, with sector reviews and comprehensive market updates,”; Christopher said. “;We’re in the process of writing our first market review now and are currently building our team of analysts,”; he said. Shane Kelly, Adviser Edge managing director, said the review would be released towards the end of February and the Adviser Edge property team was “;currently in recruitment mode,”; with a view to increase its staff from two to four by the end of calendar 2007. Kelly would not confirm if Adviser Edge and van Eyk had agreed to enter a property research partnership, but said a number of people in the industry had “;put two and two together”;. Aegis currently provides equities and structured product research for van Eyk and will soon pitch its property fund research capabilities to the company, according to Craig Northey, Aegis head of investor relations. “;We will present it to them when we look to renew our equities and structured product partnerships,”; Northey said. Northey would not disclose the date of these renewals. In a statement, van Eyk confirmed it will keep promoting MIA-researched funds where appropriate and publish MIA-rated funds on the iRate website until next January. “;They will gradually be replaced by future projects as they happen,”; van Eyk said. van Eyk and MIA began jointly researching property sector funds in April 2005. Their partnership generated reviews of the mortgage trusts sector, Australian listed property trusts and global REITs.

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