Wealth manager St James’s Place (SJP) has suspended dealing in its £924m Property unit trust.
The firm has reduced ongoing charges in the property unit trust by 15bps, in what the wealth manager said was a “proactive measure” intended to protect the interests of clients.
SJP has also deferred redemptions in its Property Life and Property Pension funds.
The wealth manager highlighted a number of challenges as reasons for the closure, including a fall in demand for UK commercial property, office space remaining vacant post-Covid, and clients either increasing withdrawals or limiting investments.
The move follows M&G’s decision last week (19 October) to suspend its £565m Property Portfolio as it seeks regulatory approval to close the fund, while Canada Life AM recently announced the closure of its UK property fund.
Tom Beal, director of investments at St. James’s Place, said: “We have taken this step to protect the interests of clients. A combination of factors has led to our decision to suspend dealings in the Property unit trust and defer payments in the pension and life funds.
“This action is also aimed at preventing the challenge of having to sell properties quickly to generate cash. Selling properties under such pressure may lead to the fund manager selling them for less than their actual market value, potentially resulting in financial losses for the fund and its investors.
“During this period of suspension, we will be assessing market conditions and closely monitoring valuations of properties within the fund. We are committed to resuming dealing as soon as we are satisfied that conditions are right.”