Womack heads merged debt business for Aviva

Ian Womack, Aviva Investors’ global head of property, has taken over management of all of Aviva’s real estate debt business. For the first time, Aviva Commercial Finance, which makes long-term, fixed-rate loans to match Aviva’s annuity book, will become part of Aviva Investors.

Kevin Sale, who was head of Aviva Commercial Finance, has retired from the company after more than 43 years’ service. Womack is now responsible for the long-established annuity lending book, currently worth more than £10bn, and the shorter-maturity lending programme started this year with Aviva Investors’ UK Commercial Real Estate Debt Fund launch.

Managed by James Tarry, the debt fund makes senior loans at up to 65% loan-to-value ratios, with five- to 10-year maturities, targeting a yield between 2.5% and 3.5% above equivalent UK government bonds. Aviva Investors raised £287.5m of equity from seven investors and had made two loans totalling £53m by last month. The Aviva Commercial Finance team specialises in loans secured on commercial property, public private finance and GP practices. It will remain based in Norwich.