M&G offers hope to trapped savers as it plans to reopen its long-suspended property fund
M&G has said it may soon reopen its long-suspended property fund, offering some relief to trapped savers.
The investment firm froze its £2.1billion Property Portfolio Fund in December 2019, fearing that Brexit had caused too much uncertainty and that it would not be able to sell buildings fast enough to return cash to savers who wanted their money back.
Since then, the pandemic has piled more uncertainty onto the commercial property sector as shops have been shuttered and companies are looking to cut back on office space.
M&G froze its £2.1bn Property Portfolio Fund in December 2019, fearing that Brexit had caused too much uncertainty – but it now says it hopes it can be reopened soon
But as M&G revealed its 2020 results, chief executive John Foley said: ‘We have been working hard to make sure we sell properties in that portfolio so we are able to meet redemptions when it reopens.
‘I’m hoping that we are in a position to do something shortly.’
During 2020, M&G’s first full year as a stand-alone company after spinning out of Prudential, it made an operating profit of £788million – better than expected, but down from £1.1billion the year before.
And while investors have been flocking to some platforms to put the cash they have saved during lockdown to work, M&G’s funds were not a beneficiary of this. Customers pulled out £12.1billion more from its retail investment arm than they put in.