Hearthstone Investments becomes latest supporter of long-standing professional advice website unbiased.co.uk

28 Mar 2012

Unbiased.co.uk, the organisation that promotes the benefits of independent financial advice, today announces Hearthstone Investments as its latest sponsor. 

Hearthstone Investments plc is a specialist residential property fund manager. It aims to provide collective investments in residential property for all investors, from first-time buyers and private investors through to large-scale pension funds. The Hearthstone team is behind the UK’s first residential PAIF, an authorised fund which will launch in Q2 subject to final FSAapproval.

Christopher Down, Chief Executive of Hearthstone Investments said, “At over £4 trillion, residential property is the single largest asset class in the UK. Despite this, there have been no authorised funds in the sector, with investors having little choice other than direct ownership of bricks and mortar. Hearthstone’s funds will allow both retail and institutional investors to access residential property in the same way as they do every other asset class, adding liquidity, professional management and collective buying power. Further, because the funds will be eligible for tax wrappers like ISAs and SIPPs, individuals will no longer have to decide between getting government contributions to their pension pots and investing in residential property.”

"As a product provider, we recognise the important role that professional advisers play in enabling individuals, families and companies to make sensible investment choices in an increasingly complicated financial world. We are therefore proud to sponsor unbiased.co.uk in their work championing the IFA industry.”

Karen Barrett, Chief Executive of unbiased.co.uk said, “First time buyers and savers are facing a difficult time at the moment in accessing income and building capital – our research tells us that more than half of (55%) first time buyers looking to purchase a property are still saving towards their deposit – which is why it’s great to see young firms like Hearthstone Investments presenting first time buyers and investors fresh opportunities which should also positively impact the housing market

We have seen strong demand for advice over the past year as personal finance continues to dominate the agenda.  In a challenging economic climate promoting the IFA industry and the proposition of professional financial advice to consumers is as important as ever, so we are thrilled to have the support of Hearthstone Investments.”

The sponsorship of unbiased.co.uk confirms Hearthstone Investment’s commitment to the intermediary sector and will enable them to gain greater insight into the independent financial adviser industry and the ongoing promotional work that unbiased.co.uk undertakes by educating consumers about the value of independent financial advice. 

Unbiased.co.uk is now in its 23rd year and each year fulfils around 450,000 consumer requests for details of local IFAs and with the help of its media IFAs has generated more than 4,000 positive pieces of media coverage over the last year alone.  Its ‘find an IFA’ search has white label versions on over 60 partner websites and media portals, promoting the benefits of independent financial advice to the consumer.


Research based on Opinium Research results, 2010 online interviews, from 21st February – 23rd February 2012 (nationally representative)

For more information contact:

Karen Barrett, Chief Executive, unbiased.co.uk: 020 7833 3131

Lisa Grando/ Emily Falla/ Maddy Morgan Williams, Lansons Communications: 020 7294 3682

For expert commentary or case studies from over 190 media-friendly IFAs, journalists should visit www.unbiased.co.uk/bluebook.

Twitter: @unbiased_co_uk

LinkedIn: Unbiased.co.uk - Online networking for professional advisers

About unbiased.co.uk, the professional advice website

The unbiased.co.ukportal is a free and confidential UK-wide search matching consumers with local professional advisers: ‘find an IFA’, ‘find a mortgage adviser’, ‘find a solicitor’, and ‘find an accountant’. These searches enable consumers to find professional advisers by postcode, area of specialism, qualification and payment method. In 2011, unbiased.co.ukfulfilled around 450,000 searches for local, professional advice. 

Unbiased Ltd promotes the benefits of independent financial advice to consumers.  Unbiased Ltd is supported by the following companies:


Unbiased Ltd - Registered Office: 12-14 Berry St, London, EC1V 0AU.  Registered in England: No. 06775878)

About Hearthstone:

Hearthstone Investments plc is a specialist residential property fund management business which was launched in 2010. It aims to provide access to collective investments in residential property for all investors, from first-time buyers and private investors through to large-scale pension funds. The Hearthstone team is behind the UK’s first residential PAIF, which was submitted to the FSA in October 2011 for approval and is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2012.

In early 2012, the business completed a strategic investment deal with the Connells Group, a subsidiary of Skipton Building Society, who agreed to invest £2m in return for a 25 per cent equity stake in the business.

Hearthstone’s management team draws on talent from across the financial services and property sectors. Chairman Jeff Pulsford is the former CEO of Arlington Securities and Goodman's European business with £8bn FUM, while Senior Fund Manager David Gibbins has specialised in the residential property sector for more than 20 years, including as Residential Fund Manager for Goodman Property Investors and Morley. Sales and Distribution Director Mark Forman is former Sales Development Director at L&G Unit Trust Managers, and Commercial Development Director Mark Witherspoon has a long history in the mortgage industry at Barclays and as the former CEO at UK Valuation.

Non-executive Director Mike Kirsch is a former Executive Director at Norwich Union and former Chief Executive of IFA group AWD Chase de Vere. Fellow Non-executive Directors Ben Freeman (former FD at PruPIM), Nick Baker (former Head of Communications at Barclays Global Investors) and Nigel Pope (former CFO at Goodman European) complete the team.

Hearthstone's FSA authorised funds will be operated by Thesis Unit Trust Management Limited (Tutman), with Eversheds acting as legal advisors. Northern Trust will supply administration and custody services while NatWest Trustee and Depositary Services will act as depositary for the schemes.

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