Property Week – Caan Backs Sharia Compliant 90 North
Former Dragon’s Den star James Caan has given his backing to a sharia-compliant investment vehicle 90 North, launched by the former head of property at Gatehouse Bank.
Caan, through his real estate arm Hamilton Bradshaw Real Estate, is to provide financial backing to 90 North, which has been founded by Philip Churchill, who left his post at Gatehouse Bank in August, and Nicholas Judd, who has spent the past four years as head of investment at Unicorn Investment Bank in the Middle East.
The company aims to serve the growing band of investors who prefer to invest in sharia-compliant real estate. And it is part of Caan’s new strategy to invest in property entrepreneurs rather than in real estate directly. Caan will be chairman of the company.
The company will initially focus on Gulf-based investors that want to invest in the UK. Churchill and Judd will invest in income-producing, long-let properties throughout the UK. Their portfolio will include prime residential in London and the south-east priced between £10m and £50m and “dynasty” assets in and around Mayfair and the West End, which will protect investors’ wealth long term. They will also consider the student housing sector.
Churchill and Judd will lead 90 North as founding partners, and advise and arrange funding for all the investments according to Islamic financial rules. There are strict rules on how sharia-compliant investors acquire real estate, from restrictions on the types of assets that can be acquired to how the debt is structured.
“We have been working for and with Islamic institutions in London and the Middle East for over a decade,” explains Judd. “We want to use our knowledge to help the growing number of people who are looking to invest according to sharia principles.”
Churchill and Judd have both specialised in Islamic real estate for the past 10 years. Until August Churchill ran the real estate team at sharia-compliant Gatehouse Bank in London. He has held senior roles at both HDG Mansur and Citigroup and launched the latter’s two European sharia-complaint real estate funds.
Judd was previously head of real estate fund management at sharia-compliant Gulf Financial House. Caan revealed to Property Week earlier this year that he wanted to invest in property entrepreneurs having seen a large amount of them coming to him with great investment ideas but not enough equity.
Article from Property Week