Northwest-based investment group Seneca, has expanded its investment capability with the launch of its property investment business, Seneca Property. Joining as Managing Director of Seneca Property is experienced real estate professional Jeff Morton MRICS, formerly an equity partner at property private equity firm, Henley Investments and prior to this a Managing Director at BlackRock and Head of Investment for the £3Billion BlackRock UK Property Fund.

Seneca, which already has c.£500m under management across a range of investment platforms, marked the launch of the new venture by simultaneously announcing the £20m acquisition of a portfolio of six branded business centres known as “BIZ HUB” acquiring from vendor M20.

The portfolio provides 170,000 sq ft of office accommodation and a further 50,000 sq ft of light industrial accommodation, let to over 200 tenants at strategic locations in the North of England with some further development opportunities possible.

Richard Manley, Managing Partner of Seneca Partners said: “We are delighted to be able to announce the launch of our property investment business with this £20m acquisition. This is a timely and logical move for Seneca and one which perfectly complements our existing range of investment platforms.

“We have been able to assemble a first class property team and we’re delighted to have somebody of Jeff Morton’s calibre on board to lead the business. Jeff and Property Investment Director, Chris Bullough who have worked together previously, have exciting plans to develop and grow the business and we will be committing significant funds to achieve this.”

Jeff Morton, Managing Director of Seneca Property said: “I am very pleased to join what is already a first class team at Seneca Partners. I was impressed with the rapid growth of Seneca and its outstanding track record of significant achievements across the wider investment sectors.

“Chris and I have met with many Seneca investors to understand their investment needs and objectives and it was clear that there is strong appetite for a personal, highly focused and results orientated approach to real estate investing, which Seneca now offers.

“Our first deal has been sourced off-market and is an excellent acquisition, having procured a good quality, high yielding and low capital value psf portfolio, with sound property fundamentals all of which has been very well-managed by the vendor. The portfolio is currently generating strong returns but also provides us with numerous upside opportunities to increase revenues and capital value.

“Importantly we now have c£100m of fire power for UK property opportunities and are actively looking for suitable investments and joint venture partners.”

Seneca Property is headquartered in Haydock, with a separate London office in St James’s Square.