Janus Henderson suspends UK property fund to explore potential sale

Janus Henderson Investors has suspended its UK Property PAIF fund and associated UK Property PAIF Feeder fund while it explores the potential sale of the fund’s direct property portfolio.

Dealing requests received since the valuation point at 12pm on 3 March 2022 will be rejected, the company said.

It has taken the decision to suspend dealing in the funds in agreement with the funds’ depositary/trustee and “to protect the interests of all investors”.

In an announcement to shareholders on 4 March, Janus Henderson Investors stated: “The ongoing uncertainty in the UK over the future of open-ended funds invested in direct (physical) property within a daily-dealing structure has led to persistent net redemptions from the funds, despite their strong relative and absolute performance.

“We have been monitoring this carefully and have become concerned that if future events continue or accelerate this trend, the funds are likely to shrink to a size where the property portfolio’s key characteristics will be fundamentally different to present.”

Janus Henderson said that having considered “a broad range of options”, it now wants to find a single buyer for the sale of all the property assets of the Janus Henderson UK Property PAIF.

If the sale goes ahead, and is finalised towards the end of March/early April this year, Janus Henderson anticipates it will be able to return any proceeds to investors towards the end of April.

Janus Henderson has appointed CBRE to bring to market the portfolio of the fund.

Ryan Hughes, head of investment research at AJ Bell, said: “This uncertainty will undoubtedly unsettle investors and it could have resulted in a number of them looking to sell the fund, which in turn could create liquidity pressures on the fund that we have seen before with open-ended property funds.

“By suspending the fund, it will allow for a more orderly process in selling but will no doubt cause significant concern for investors in the £1 billion fund who now can’t access their money again.”

He added: “It’s certainly possible that this move may push investors in the few other open-ended property funds to re-evaluate their exposure and potentially sell out, causing a ripple effect.

“The whole property sector has been under a cloud for some time, given the FCA’s review into the space and we still await the outcome of that process.”

© 2022 funds europe



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