Lawyer turned property investment entrepreneur Tal Orly established Cogress – a private equity house offering high-net-worth individuals and sophisticated investors the opportunity to invest in big-ticket property developments usually reserved for institutions – in London last year.
The launch followed on from Cogress’ sister company based in Israel.
“We saw a lack of opportunities for smaller investors to invest in property in general and a lack of options in terms of the returns,” Orly says. “There is no way in the world someone can partner with a development of multi-million pound sized projects – they won’t have the negotiation power. We wanted to create an investment opportunity for someone by going out to find the right developer, the right property and negotiate on behalf of the group.”
Minimum investment is GBP20,000 and the firm has more than 750 registered investors and GBP42 million in direct investment, with a gross development value of more than GBP200m and 16 developments already up and running.
Properties tend to be a mix of new build and conversion, such as a Soho conversion of office buildings into residential or a former petrol station converted to a house of multiple occupancy.
The average return previously achieved in the Israeli version was 21.7 per cent per annum net and Orly is confident that all the investments they launch in the UK could return between 20 per cent and 30 per cent a year and anything in between.
The most recent development completed early at 24 months, thereby earning its investors an annual return of 25.07 per cent.
The only exit route for the investment is when the projects are completed, so investors’ money is locked in for at least 12 months and up to 36 months and beyond.
Currently Cogress is an appointed representative of Resolution Compliance Ltd., which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The investments are structured as unregulated collective investment schemes, so they are not suitable for all investors. “We are trying to find a way to enable other people to use us,” Orly says, explaining that the future “might hold a bond offering”.