Dragons’ Den Star Teams Up With British Entrepreneur On £1bn Property Investment Firm

Dragons’ Den star James Caan has teamed up with Spire Ventures founder Faisal Butt to back a new real estate investment company.

QuoinStone Investment Management, which was founded in February, is targeting value-add assets and aims to build a diverse real estate portfolio in London and regional locations with an initial £1 billion of assets under management.

It will invest in multi-let assets valued between £10 million and £50 million-plus and will predominantly focus on office markets that have become undersupplied due to residential conversions.

The commercial market in prime locations is still relatively healthy — there is an undersupply and rents are high

QuoinStone is led by founders Tim Struth and Steve Howling. Struth advised on more than £12 billion of development and regeneration projects while at Savills before launching his own private property company, SB2 Property Ventures. SB2 invested and managed £275 million of office, retail, hotel and residential properties.

Howling worked at Savills and CBRE Investors before joining Fidelity and expanding its UK fund. He has managed more than £1 billion of real estate funds over the last 10 years for institutions and corporate investors.

Struth and Howling’s expertise will be combined with the financial backing and knowledge of entrepreneurs Butt and Caan.

QuoinStone has already secured its first mandate to manage the £100 million-plus Telephone House in Shoreditch. It is looking to attract further investment from both domestic and overseas Asian, Middle Eastern and emerging market buyers looking to purchase property in the UK.

“Given our broader experience and success with 90 North and a range of other real estate businesses, we are well-positioned to help Tim and Steve achieve their ambition to build a world-class business and invest £1 billion of capital in the next few years,” Butt said.

“Ultimately, I am a backer of people and in Tim and Steve we have found two professional operators who understand the nuts and bolts of creating value in property transactions,” Caan added. “Their institutional background and entrepreneurial approach is just the right combination for investors like me as well as domestic and overseas family offices and institutions.”

Caan was one of the Dragons from 2007 to 2010.
Source: Flickr

QuoinStone believes that with many investors switching to lower risk, core and long income strategies due to doubts over Brexit, there is less competition for property stock in the value-add arena, providing better value for buyers.

Consolidation among larger fund managers has also led to less choice of manager for investors looking for alternative property investment solutions, providing a good opening for a new entrant to the market, it said.

Quoinstone will co-invest in every investment proposition it secures.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Spire Ventures and James Caan,” said Howling. “Faisal and James share our passion for creating value from real estate and our ambition to provide an exemplary client experience. We believe that with their support and backing we have the foundations in place and combined expertise that will enable us to build a business capable of competing at a global level.”

Butt and Caan have co-invested in several property-related businesses including 90 North, Accouter, emoov and, most recently, property management company POD.

DealMakerz reckons the backing of Butt and Caan significantly increases QuoinStone’s chances of success, making it an attractive option for value-seeking property investors.

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