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The original report written by John Forbes for the Association of Real Estate Funds, "Unlisted funds, lessons from the crisis" was published in January 2012. The report can be found here.
In May 2014, AREF and the IPF held a seminar hosted by PwC, "Unlisted funds, lessons from the crisis revisited". John's slides can be found here and a report of the seminar published in the IPF journal this month can be found here.
One of the key suggestions of the original report was that the response to the crisis could be an impetus for product development. Some investors invested in open-ended funds not because they wanted liquidity but because they wanted to deploy capital for the long-term without being tied in to the fixed life of a closed-ended fund. One of the predictions in 2012 was that this would create a demand for funds that blur the boundaries between open and closed-ended. This has proved to be the case, and over the past year, John has been involved in:
i). Overhaul of an existing open-ended fund that has included changes to the subscription and redemption arrangements to reduce liquidity;
ii). Conversion of a closed-ended fund to a long-term, semi open-ended investment vehicle;
iii). Development of a new semi open-ended fund.
There will remain a place in the fund spectrum for traditional open and closed-ended funds, but there is likely to be a broader range of products in between to give investors a greater choice.
Changing pension provision and the increasing importance of Defined Contribution schemes (for more details see here) is also likely to encourage product development in the open-ended extreme of the fund spectrum.
Thoughts on the third anniversay of the report can be found here.