Ryan Hughes (pictured), Head of Active Portfolios at AJ Bell, comments on the closure of the Aegon Property Income fund:
“Hot on the heels of Aviva closing their Property fund, we have now Aegon announcing the same. Given the fund size had fallen to under £400m and would be expected to fall further upon any reopening, it was likely that the fund wouldn’t be viable in the long run and therefore it looks as if Aegon have made the sensible decision to wind up the fund. As ever, in this situation, it’s vital that Aegon communicate quickly and clearly with investors so they understand how the process is happening and most importantly, how long it’s likely to take.
“The challenge Aegon now has, like Aviva, is that the market knows they are a forced seller and this may make it difficult to sell down the underlying properties at the right price. As we have seen with the Woodford fund closure, getting the balance right between time and price is extremely difficult and sensitive and therefore the clear communication of this is key.”