Low-Carbon Workplace Trust announces new investment

The Threadneedle Low-Carbon Workplace Trust (LCW) has secured a significant equity commitment from The Townsend Group, a premier provider of global real estate investment solutions.  Together with an additional equity commitment LCW is at £100m.

Launched in 2010, LCW is a partnership between Threadneedle Investments, a leading UK property investment manager, Stanhope, one of the UK's leading commercial real estate developers and the Carbon Trust, a not-for-profit company with the mission to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy. 

LCW capitalises on the growing demand from investors for socially responsible investment opportunities, which also possess the attributes for delivery of outperformance, as well as the growing demand from occupiers for workplaces that deliver efficiency in use, both in terms of lower carbon outputs and reduced occupancy costs.  It looks to refurbish properties to best practice low carbon standards and uniquely offers occupiers ongoing advice and support to ensure the building's energy efficiency specification is achieved in-use.  It targets outperformance for investors through generating strong returns from its refurbishment activities, in addition to completed low carbon properties satisfying the considerable demand from high quality occupiers, delivering a secure, long term income stream to investors from its investment portfolio. 

LCW currently has a portfolio of four projects which are: Premier House, Twickenham; Grove House, Hammersmith; Mansel Court, Wimbledon and The Billings, Guildford. The Billings will officially be launched as the UK's first completed low carbon workplace in February and is already occupied in part by Investec Wealth and Investment Ltd. The forecasted return on equity across the four projects is well in excess of 20% against fund target of 15%. In addition, LCW is in advance stages of securing two more projects. 

This strategy is extremely relevant in promoting both responsible investment, which we are committed to under the United Nations PRI, and importantly providing occupiers with efficient modern workspace and lower occupancy costs. This investment is consistent with our objective of working with and investing alongside management teams who focus on active property management and have track records which provide investors with excess returns above market.

Damien Smith, Principal of The Townsend Group

We have reached critical mass with LCW. Since its launch 18 months ago, LCW has rapidly completed the acquisition and refitting of four buildings and secured high quality tenants. Townsend's investment further validates the strength of the investment case for this fund.

Don Jordison, Managing Director of Threadneedle Property

This is great news and a major shot in the arm for the sector. With this new investment and with LCW's first building scheduled to open in a matter of weeks we believe the market for low carbon commercial properties is now well and truly open.

Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust

With projects delivered and occupiers secured combined with the endorsement of such an important investor, we are now well advanced in establishing an industry norm for low carbon refurbishment.

David Camp, CEO of Stanhope

For further information

For further information please contact:

Ella Tekdag, Threadneedle - 020 7464 5082
Rob Watts, Stanhope - 020 7170 1700
Marcus Rand, Carbon Trust - 020 7544 3100

Notes to Editors

The roles of the partners:

Threadneedle is the fund manager for the Threadneedle LCW Trust.  Threadneedle has one of the largest and most experienced property teams operating in the UK today with 26 investment professionals.

Threadneedle has been investing in commercial property since 1994 and currently manage more than £5.8 billion in property assets (as at 30.09.2011).  Our property team have an average of 17 years' market experience and have been with Threadneedle for more than nine years on average.  This stability has been a key factor in the team's success.  The team was awarded the Property Asset Manager of the Year at the 2011 Financial News Awards, Property Fund Manager of the Year at the 2011 Property Week Awards for the second time in 3 years and the fifth time in 16 years. Fund Manager of the Year at the 2009 Property Week Awards - the fourth time they have won this high profile award, and were also awarded Europroperty's Fund Manager of the Year 2009.

Stanhope Plc is a specialist UK real estate developer of major commercial and mixed-use projects.  With 25 years experience, and more than £10 billion of completed projects behind it, Stanhope has built an unrivalled specialist in-house team which has earned a reputation for quality and integrity that is second to none.  

Stanhope will devise and deliver all the refurbishment work for LCW.  With a strong focus on research and innovation, Stanhope has been at the forefront of sustainable innovation in the built environment for over a decade.  Stanhope's experience in the field and established supply chain, along with a commitment to working with the occupier throughout the design process, will reduce both financial and material waste.

Stanhope's completed projects include Broadgate, the Royal Opera House, Tate Modern, HM Treasury and Paternoster Square and totals more than 30 office buildings delivered for owner occupiers or pre-lets. The team is currently working on a pipeline of 10million sq ft across 17 projects with partners including the Crown Estate, Legal & General, BSkyB and Schroders.

The Carbon Trust is a not-for-profit company with the mission to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy, providing specialist support to business and the public sector to help cut carbon emissions, save energy and commercialise low carbon technologies.

Low Carbon Workplace Limited is the exclusive Carbon Advisor to the Low Carbon Workplace Fund and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Carbon Trust. It  contributes low carbon design advice for refurbishments, coordinates the Low Carbon Workplace Standard and provides ongoing low-carbon assistance to occupiers under the Low Carbon Workplace Charter. 

Notes to Editors

About Threadneedle

Threadneedle is a leading international investment manager with a strong track record of outperformance across asset classes. We actively manage £61.9bn (as at 30 Sep 2011) of assets, investing on behalf of individuals, pension funds, insurers and corporations. We are the 4th largest UK retail fund manager1 and the 11th largest UK fund manager1 by AUM. In Europe we rank in the top 402. Established in 1994 in London, Threadneedle operates in 15 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and North America.

Threadneedle's distinctive investment approach is based on creative thinking, sharing of ideas and rigorous debate. Our 120 investment professionals invest across developed and emerging market equities, fixed income, commodities and UK property. As at 30 Sep 2011, 59% of Threadneedle funds outperformed over 1 year, 69% over 3 years and 84% over 5 years3. Year-to-date, Threadneedle has won 125 prestigious fund management industry awards globally4.  

Threadneedle is owned by Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP), a leading US diversified financial services company with over US$600bn (as at 30 Sep 2011) in owned, managed and administered assets. As its international investment platform, Threadneedle provides Ameriprise and its retail and institutional clients with world class investment solutions.

This press release includes forward looking statements, including projections of future economic and financial conditions.  None of Threadneedle, its directors, officers or employees make any representation, warranty, guaranty, or other assurance that any of these forward looking statements will prove to be accurate. Please note that the performance target may not be attained. Threadneedle Investments is a brand name and both the Threadneedle Investments name and logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Threadneedle group of companies.

1 UK IMA ranking, Sep 2011, see www.investmentfunds.org.uk

2 Europe ranking, Morningstar Sep 2011

3 All funds managed by Threadneedle, including segregated accounts/portfolios. The data does not include funds sub-advised by third parties or guest funds on a Threadneedle platform. All  figures are as at 30 Sep 2011, in GBP unless stated otherwise. Total value of funds outperforming their relevant benchmark expressed as a percentage of total assets under management. This information aims to demonstrate the overall performance capabilities of Threadneedle's asset management team. It is not intended to indicate the performance of individual funds or products. Please refer to product specific documentation in relation to individual funds. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments and any income is not guaranteed and can go down as well as up.

4 For details see: www.threadneedle.com/awards