Church Commissioners bless M&G’s new debt fund with £20m contribution

The Church Commissioners has invested about £20m in M&G’s Real Estate Debt Fund, which had its first closing in January. M&G’s fund will invest in Europe, but The Church of England’s investment management body, which manages a property portfolio worth £1.5bn, is also considering committing capital for property debt in the US market, probably via mezzanine funds, and is reviewing possible strategies.

M&G Real Estate Finance, part of M&G Investments, is still raising capital for its new debt fund, which will underwrite subordinated debt positions in new or refinanced loans and will also buy debt, mainly in the UK and Germany. Former Barclays Capital and JP Morgan banker Jamil Farooqi joined last month. He will work with Peter Foldvari, who previously worked for Goldman Sachs, as well as the fund’s manager and head of real estate finance, John Barakat.

Barakat said: “We are fortunate to have been able to hire this kind of high-quality professional and this is an opportunity for them to continue in their area of expertise.” Last month, the Church Commissioners wrote off the entire £40m value of its investment in the Peter Cooper Village-Stuyvesant Town residential complex in New York.