Cypriot investment manager Consulco has maintained an impressive presence in the UK and Europe over the past few years, managing real estate, credit and private equity investments. In an interview with “Forbes”, Consulco’s CEO, Marios Hajiroussos referred to the Group’s success, describing the business model of London Credit, Consulco’s London-based financing company as well as why investing in the London Credit Fund is a guarantee for solid and profitable investments. Mr Hadjirousos also outlined the Group’s next steps and the expansion of its activities into the UK’s private equity market.
- Can you tell us a few words about Consulco’s area of expertise?
Consulco is an investment manager structuring and managing real estate and credit investments in the UK and Europe. Our clientele includes high-net-worth individuals and families as well as pension funds, provident funds and insurance companies. Our mission is essentially to assist our clients in covering their future financial needs through solid and profitable investments.
- Why would someone invest in the United Kingdom, especially after Brexit?
It is true that in recent years, the UK economy has had to face a series of challenges, including Brexit, the pandemic, the impact of the war in Ukraine, high energy prices, inflation as well as high interest rates. Nevertheless, it has managed to withstand the shocks, and as a result, recent polls have shown that business confidence in the British economy is at its highest-ever level. At the same time, London remains as the most attractive investment destination worldwide, according to recent surveys carried out by several international financial firms.
- What investment products does Consulco offer, and what are their advantages?
Consulco’s activities in the UK are carried out through Consulco Capital, operator of the London Credit Fund, which was founded two years ago. The Fund has two sub-divisions; the first one provides lending secured against residential property in London, while the second, newly established sub-division, provides lending secured against commercial property. In 2023, the residential lending fund has been yielding an average return of over 6% for its sterling investors, and over 5.90% and 4.40% for its investors in US dollar and Euro, respectively. We expect that the new sub-division of the London Credit Fund will achieve higher returns than the residential property fund. Investors enjoy steady income payable quarterly, as their underlying investments are secured against UK real estate, while they can easily exit the investment with a six-month notice.
- How have the current economic trends affected your business activities and what is your plan of action?
Our investment portfolio includes residential and commercial real estate in the UK. Our aim is to gradually reduce our residential real estate portfolio, whose prices are relatively stable, offering reduced potential for higher returns over the next few years. At the same time, we plan on expanding our commercial real estate portfolio by acquiring new properties at low prices in areas of Central London such as Soho, Covent Garden and Farringdon. Our aim is to take advantage of current opportunities in commercial real estate. Meanwhile, the recent interest rates hikes seen in the UK have been very beneficial for London Credit, leading to increased lending rates and higher interest income. Under these circumstances, London Credit is considering expanding its range by offering other lending products, such as revolving credit facilities and real estate loans in new areas, such as Scotland. The new products are expected to further expand our UK portfolio of financing activities. Our extensive experience in the commercial real estate sector is the best guarantee for the success of our new lending activities.
- What will your next investments in the UK be?
We are currently planning to invest in real estate in London, Birmingham, and Manchester. Both we and our investors will benefit from the recovery of property prices once inflation and interest rates start to decline. Firstly, we will be investing in Central London areas and later in Greater London areas that are expected to benefit from large redevelopment projects over the next few years.
- Are you planning on expanding your activities into other areas?
As an organisation we plan to expand our activities into the UK private equity sector, investing in the following two types of businesses:
- Existing and successful British SMEs that need capital to grow.
- Established and new Cypriot and Greek companies that require resources and capital to expand into the UK market.
We will be able to provide more details very soon.