First Property Group plc is a commercial property fund manager with operations in the United Kingdom and Central Europe. The performance of its funds under management ranked No.1 versus the Investment Property Databank (IPD) CEE Benchmark for the three, four and five years to 31 December 2008, 2009 and 2010 and No.1 versus the IPD Polish Benchmark for the four and five years to 31 December 2009 and 2010. The business model of First Property Group is to:
•Raise third party funds to invest in income producing commercial property;
•Co-invest in these funds;
•Earn fees for the management of these funds. Fees earned are a function of the value of assets under management as well as the performance of the funds;
•Earn a return on its own capital invested in these funds.
UK Commercial Investment Property - a minefield? - presentation to Rugbeian Society by Fprop CEO Ben Habib
Alasdair Locke, MA (Oxon), Non-Executive Chairman
Alasdair is the former executive Chairman of Abbot Group plc, an oil services company which he founded in 1992. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange from 1995 until its sale in 2008 for £906 million to Turbo Alpha Ltd, a company controlled by a US private equity fund. He sold his remaining interest in the Group and stepped down altogether in 2009. His early career started in investment banking at Citigroup in 1974, where he specialised in shipping and oil.
Alasdair is also Chairman of Argenta Holdings plc, an unlisted holding company which trades in Lloyds of London
Peter Moon, BSc (Econ), Independent Non Executive Director
Peter retired as Chief Investment Officer of Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) in 2009 following a career steeped in the UK investment management industry. Aside from his 17 year tenure at USS, he was a member of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) Investment Committee between 1990-1995, and more recently an adviser to Lincolnshire County Council and London Pension Authority. Earlier roles included investment management positions with British Airways Pensions, National Provident, Slater Walker and Central Board of Finance Church of England.
Additional directorships include Scottish American Investment Company plc (Independent NED) and Arden Partners plc (Independent NED).
Ben Habib, MA (Cantab), Group Chief Executive & Chief Investmen
Ben founded First Property Group plc in 2000. He is responsible for all aspects of the operations of Fprop and its fund management business. Subject to the terms and conditions of any given fund’s corporate governance, he is amongst other things responsible for property selection, pricing, due diligence (legal, commercial and technical), negotiating property purchases, financing the purchases, and the subsequent asset management of the properties and sales strategy. He is very closely involved in all aspects of the business.
Prior to setting up Fprop, he was Managing Director of a private property development company, JKL Property Ltd, from 1994 - 2000, in which he held a 30% interest. Before joining JKL, he was Finance Director of PWS Holdings plc for 5 years, a quoted Lloyd’s reinsurance broker. Ben started his career in corporate finance in 1987 at Shearson Lehman Brothers. He was educated at Rugby School and Cambridge University.
George Digby, BA (Hons), ACA, Group Chief Financial Officer & C
George joined Fprop in 2003 and has overseen the rapid expansion of the fund management division during this period, including the development of the operation in Poland, involving in total 34 separate companies to date.
Prior to Fprop, George spent 10 years as FD of Fired Earth plc until its MBO in 1998, during which period he oversaw its listing on the London Stock Exchange, a tripling of its turnover and a doubling of its pre-tax profits. He qualified with Price Waterhouse in 1981, followed by positions with Collins Publishers and Nikon UK Ltd. After Fired Earth he set up and ran a successful accounting consultancy for five years. Aged 55 George brings broad financial experience to the Group. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is a holder of the IMC certificate.