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Ray Bellm, IGA Automobile LP

IGA Automobile gears up to make ‘fast’ bucks

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Petrolheads can now own a share of some of the world’s rarest and most desirable collector’s cars through IGA Automobile LP. The new Guernsey-registered fund, believed to be the first of its type in the world, aims to deliver significant returns to investors through purchasing the lowest production iconic cars, taking into account market conditions, and later selling them following capital appreciation.

In IGA management`s opinion some alternative assets such as wine and gold have proved a strong investment hedge against inflation and recently the minimal interest returns offered by banks and equities. IGA Automobile LP has been established to capture the improving values of very special classic cars by concentrating investment in the most dynamic sub sector of the collector’s market.

Investment in the fund will benefit from the active management of the assets by a team of industry professionals and specialist experts. Three well known business men have set up the Fund which is the brainchild of Ray Bellm (pictured) and Grant Tromans. Bellm is former CEO of International Laboratories and former Chairman of the British Racing Drivers Club. He is also well known in the motor sports world having won three World Sportscar Championships and also a number of prestigious classic motor sport events. On the financial side, Grant Tromans has been instrumental in both the creation and establishment of funds for the past 10 years and competes in historic motor racing. The trio is completed by Nick Lancaster, founder of Lancaster plc which became one of the largest retail automotive chains in the UK. Nick is currently a major shareholder of H R Owen plc and its sister company, Jack Barclay.

Chairman of the fund is Jeremy Agace who floated Mann & Co Estate Agents on the UK stock exchange in 1986 when the company was renamed Countrywide. While he was Chief Executive the company subsequently grew to over 550 offices responsible for selling 8% of the UK housing stock annually. Agace is a keen car collector having owned over 30 historic cars and has competed successfully in historic racing including winning the Spa Six Hour. On the technical side, Paul Lanzante, the renowned classic car preparation expert and engine builder provides valuable experience and knowledge. Paul currently works privately for wealthy clients on very select historic road and competition cars.

The Advisory Board consists of the musician and founding member of Pink Floyd, Nick Mason, who has regularly competed in all forms of motorsport since 1973 and has a substantial personal collection of classic cars. He is also trustee and Chairman of the advisory committee to the National Motor Museum and is President of the Guild of Motoring Writers.

He is joined by Professor Gordon Murray, the former designer at McLaren F1 who also headed up McLaren Cars from 1991-2004 designing the road going McLaren F1 super car, and is currently CEO and Technical Director of the Gordon Murray Design Consultancy.

The final team member is Adrian Gayler, an historic car enthusiast and former Head of Private Banking for the Bank of London and the Middle East.

Through its team of specialists, IGA Automobile will acquire and manage a portfolio of rare and collectable cars that have the best potential for capital appreciation. As a tangible and scarce asset, rare vehicles have an underlying intrinsic value which helps to reduce the downside risk, which is proven by the strong historic investment performance of the asset class. Globally, rare and collectable car values have remained relatively immune to market fluctuations. Based on recent trends, investment in limited production and most iconic cars, IGA’s specific investment sector, has provided excellent returns.

Uniquely, for the investor, there will be the opportunity for active participation through the investor club, through a programme of international events, providing updates and briefings, and providing the thrill of a new asset class filled with passion, excitement and the opportunity to truly engage with the fellow members and the fund`s assets – the cars.

"For many years in our view private investors and institutions have invested in gold, art, wine and watches," says Bellm. "This fund is a world first for the investment in ‘art on wheels’. With an asset in limited supply and an increasing demand we anticipate a healthy growth in asset values over the medium to long term. These cars are tangible assets that are beautiful to look at, pleasurable to collect, with a history of consistent growth in value. Some 15 years ago I raced at Le Mans in a car worth USD1m, cars of the type are now worth in excess of USD4m”.

“It is extremely pleasing to see that Guernsey is yet again home to a world first," says Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance. "The Island’s finance industry has grown a reputation for innovation and no more so than our investment sector where the combination of flexibility and creativity provide an ideal environment for launching funds specialising in esoteric asset classes, such as iconic cars. The team at IGA Automobile LP have strong credentials and I wish them all the very best with this unique venture.”

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