AFH Financial Group Plc

November 05, 2012 02:00 ET

New ?50m Tax Efficient Property Fund Launched

                                                                                            5 November 2012
                                          AFH Financial Group PLC
                                         ("AFH" or the "Company")
                               New ?50m Tax Efficient Property Fund Launched
AFH,  winner  of  the PLUS-SX Newcomer of the Year 2012 award and a leading independent financial  advisory
("IFA")  and wealth management firm, today announces the launch of a first to market open-ended high  yield
fund to invest up to GBP50 million in industrial, office and retail properties throughout England and Wales.

The  St.  John's  High  Yield  Property Fund (the "Fund") is believed to be the first  Property  Authorised
Investment  Fund ("PAIF") to be available to retail investors in the UK. The FSA authorised  Fund  will  be
offered  to  AFH  clients  seeking to diversify their investment portfolios and  gain  exposure  to  a  low
volatility  asset class with yields of between 6 and 9%. The Fund is geographically non-restrictive  within
England  and  Wales  and  will  focus initially on the Midlands region, taking advantage  of  opportunistic
property  lots  with the potential of a high return on investment. Furthermore, investing in  the  Midlands
again represents an opportunity for AFH to contribute to its local economy.

The  Fund  has been designed to pursue a core strategy focussing on well-let but higher yielding mainstream
industrial,  office  and retail properties.  The Fund will initially look to spend  GBP20  million  and  will
invest  up  to  GBP50 million in total, depending on the availability of suitable properties. The  Fund  will
concentrate  on properties with individual lot sizes of between GBP2 million and GBP5 million,  but  will  also
consider  smaller  or  larger lots if the return on investment is appropriate. The  Fund  is  ungeared  and
therefore  able  to  move  quickly  and decisively when suitable opportunities  are  identified.  Sale  and
leaseback deals will also be considered.

The  new Fund marks not only AFH's first property Fund, but is the first of its type in the UK marketplace.
The  St.  John's  High  Yield Property Fund will be run and managed by AFH. Terry Corns  FRICS,  a  leading
property specialist, will be lead property consultant, reporting to AFH Chairman and CEO, Alan Hudson.

Commenting  today, Terry Corns, said: "The launch of the St John's High Yield Property Fund is an  exciting
new venture. The Fund, which is expected to have up to GBP50 million to invest, involves an initial spend  in
the Midlands and the wider UK commercial property market.

"The  injection of these significant investment funds into the commercial property market will be a welcome
boost  at  a  time  when  there  has been a shortage of confidence and willing  investors  in  the  sector.
Initially, sound pre-let properties in the industrial, office and retail sectors will be sought but, as the
fund progresses, development opportunities and sale and leaseback deals will be considered.

"The  fund  will be free of bank lending restrictions and will be able to move quickly and decisively  when
suitable opportunities are identified."

Commenting today, Alan Hudson, Chairman and Chief Executive of AFH, said: "We are extremely pleased to have
secured  FSA  authorisation for the fund. The investment landscape is still difficult. With fixed  interest
yields so low and the return on cash negligible it is difficult to create the level of income and portfolio
diversification we would want for our clients. With the Fund, we are aiming for an after charge yield of 7%
with  low  volatility by purchasing properties whose tenants would be acceptable to our client base.  As  a
PAIF, the fund also has significant tax advantages over traditional commercial property funds.

"Not  only  is  this  an important milestone in AFH's growth but it also demonstrates  our  ability  to  be
innovative  in our approach to delivering good client outcomes. Our focus in the coming months will  be  to
invest this new Fund; indeed we have already identified potential initial acquisitions."

The directors of AFH Financial Group PLC are responsible for the content of this announcement.


AFH Financial Group PLC                                                                01527 577 775
Alan Hudson, Chairman and Chief Executive

St Helens Capital Partners LLP                                                         020 7368 6959
Mark Anwyl or Duncan Vasey

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Dominic Barretto

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