Realm, the specialist outlet asset manager, has launched a new division to provide advice to investors and lenders looking to break into the sector.
Realm Outlet Advisory will provide a broad variety of due diligence, advisory and asset underwriting services across the UK and global outlet market.
The launch of the division comes as the appetite for outlets increases from multiple investor groups – including many newcomers to the market – who are recognising the maturity and attractiveness of the retail sub-sector.
Mark Watts, one of Realm’s founding directors, will lead the team whilst maintaining his current role as finance director. The service line will span financial appraisals, business planning and growth strategies for current and target assets, and advice on management structures to data collection systems, new development opportunities, and operational performance to ESG.
The team will also guide on tenant mixes and rent sustainability, occupier intelligence and asset management initiatives that can deliver sales and income growth. The division will also support investors with acquisition and disposal advice for exit strategies.
In recent months Realm has advised institutional and private equity clients on the acquisition, sale, or development of £900m of outlets including Cheshire Oaks, Swindon, Bridgend and London Designer Outlet.
Dan Mason, managing director, Realm, said: “Having been involved in several of the biggest outlet transactions in the last 12 months, we noticed a clear demand for our specialist skill set and knowledge base. Whilst investment agency support is available, there is a need to couple this with an understanding of the day-to-day workings of the outlet and turnover model and a market-facing appreciation of occupier performance and requirements.
“We are well placed to bridge this gap, as we not only understand the theory, but have two decade’s experience putting it into practice. With this deep operational and transactional intelligence we can therefore help underwrite an outlet proposition or opportunity. We are on track to reach the milestone of advising on over £1bn of transactions in the next six months, making this the right time to build on our robust track record and take the natural next step to share our experience in a commercial advisory capacity.”