Knight Frank to launch East Africa property fund

Having recently reported an increase in value and growth in the region, the firm’s private equity real estate arm will launch an East Africa-dedicated fund, its fifth fund in the last two and a half years.

Rutley Capital Partners, the real estate private equity business of property agent Knight Frank, will launch an East African property fund by the end of the year, the firm said.

The fund, which will be run in conjunction with ICEA Asset Management, a subsidiary of the Insurance Company of East Africa, will invest in a balanced portfolio of prime properties in selected countries throughout the East African region. The main target countries include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, and Mauritius. The firm hopes to produce a return to investors of at least 20 percent.

Knight Frank has been operating in Africa for 42 years and has over 380 staff in 16 offices in nine African countries.

Rutley Capital Partners, the real estate private equity business of Knight Frank, has raised approximately $447 million since its founding, with Knight Frank Corporate Finance acting as the lead placement agent for all of its funds. This will be its fifth fundraising in the last two and a half years.

In August, Knight Frank consolidated its investment management and private equity divisions under the Rutley Capital Partners brand. The firm has an LSE-listed European Property fund concentrating on commercial property prospects on the continent, and it also recently launched Rutley Russia Property fund to invest in standing and development commercial assets in that country.

With about £1 billion under management, the new combined business is run by managing partners Rick Abbott, Nick Burnell and Robert Hannington.

The Insurance Company of East Africa was established in 1964 and has seven offices in Kenya and Uganda, employing over 290 staff.

Knight Frank Research recently released its first Pan African Property Report, covering the commercial and residential property markets in 33 countries in Africa. The report identified an increase in value and in growth in the East African region.

The firm said it would be ready to release more detailed information about the fund in late October.