Corporate overview

At Columbia Threadneedle Investments we know investors want strong and repeatable risk-adjusted returns and we aim to deliver this through an active and consistent investment approach that is team-based, risk-aware and performance-driven.

Our core strengths lie in multi-asset investing, equities and fixed income, while we offer an innovative range of specialist alternative strategies and investment solutions.

Global reach: we have built a global team of 2,000 people working together, including over 450 investment professionals covering all major asset classes and markets.

Research intensity: behind every investment, you’ll find original, independent analysis powered by our research experts. Responsible investment (RI) principles are key and, with our proprietary RI tools, add real value to investment decisions.

Forward-looking: our independent Investment Consultancy & Oversight team ensures the integrity of each strategy we manage, working with our portfolio managers to foster continuous improvement.

Investment principles & strategy

With over 25 years’ experience, our UK Real Estate team includes dedicated investment, asset management, property management oversight and risk/governance experts working closely together to maximise performance from our portfolios.

Our UK Real Estate team is active in all market conditions across the full risk/return spectrum. This gives us visibility on the whole market, with a network of advisers covering all disciplines and locations providing a unique insight into occupational demand patterns, enabling us to track rental trends and identify value.

At the heart of our capability is a clear and consistent investment philosophy:

A preference for high yielding investments: income returns dominate total returns over the long term. As such, assets with high sustainable income yields form the key component of our investment portfolios.

Flexible buyers: we seek value and investment potential across all sectors, geographies and lot sizes, typically avoiding ‘trophy assets’, which command lower yields and are more demanding on rental growth.

Stock picking is key: selecting properties on individual merit is a key driver of long-term performance, supported by forensic asset-by- asset due diligence.

Proactive asset management unlocks value: our specialist asset management team maximises returns from our properties, increas- ing capital value and improving rental growth potential via refurbish- ments, lettings, lease renewals and rent reviews.

Avoid speculative development: this kind of activity locks up capital and can be risky. Our preference is to buy standing investments, especially in our core portfolios, with the potential to improve returns via refurbishment.

Sector Forecasts


  • Low vacancy rates
  • Development pipeline modest, particularly estates
  • Competing land uses, particularly in South-East
  • Accelerated growth in on-line retailing generating enhanced demand
  • Strong investor appetite, although already re-priced relative to remainder of the market.


Central London

  • Heightened 2018/19 development supply largely assimilated – pipeline now modest
  • Low vacancy rates
  • International investors now actively back and drawn to generous yields by international comparison
  • Particular dependency on public transport deterring return to the workplace
  • Brexit fears thus far unfounded

Rest of UK

  • South-East and provincial markets have skipped a development cycle
  • Robust take-up and positive rental growth pre-COVID
  • Large-scale impact of residential conversion
  • Low vacancy rates
  • Encouraging signs of occupier and investor re-engagement post lockdown
  • Centre specific dynamics


High Street Retail

  • Longstanding structural change in retailing behaviours
  • With long-term squeeze on retailer margins
  • Accelerated and accentuated by COVID enforced closures – wave or retailer distress
  • Rental values to decline further in many but not all town and city centres – some winners in retail hierarchy
  • Re-purposing of town centres to be a long-term feature

Retail warehousing

  • Favoured by retailers and shoppers alike
  • Better linkage into multi-channel retailing – click and collect and returns
  • Easier adaption to social distancing and avoidance of public transport
  • Preference for low rented, discounted schemes – with retailers that have prospered in the on-line environment
  • Ongoing retailer take-up and potential alternative occupiers – gyms, coffee, fast food, supermarkets, car charging

Strategic corporate development

Columbia Threadneedle Investments is a leading global asset manager providing a broad range of actively managed investment strategies and solutions for individual, institutional and corporate clients around the world. In the UK, Columbia Threadneedle is a substantial manager of property assets, with c£8bn invested across a range of funds.

Our fund range comprises open-ended balanced funds, strategic partnerships, closed-ended leveraged structures, and the specialist Carbon Neutral Real Estate Fund, which has a specific remit to undertake office refurbishments to a low carbon standard. Columbia Threadneedle is part of Ameriprise Financial, a US-based financial services provider, and we share a strong culture and commitment to helping people feel confident about their financial future.

We are equally committed to a responsible investment approach that creates sustainable long-term value. We strive to be responsible stewards of our clients’ assets within a framework of good governance and transparency. Being a responsible investor helps us generate better investment decisions and outcomes for our clients. It is integral to our business proposition and defines how we act in the marketplace. Columbia Threadneedle is a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

Managing real estate assets responsibly: our approach

We believe that investing in real estate responsibly is complementary to our core objective of delivering strong risk-adjusted investment returns for our clients. Key to our approach is an understanding of the environmental and social risks posed by real estate assets. We focus on mitigating those risks and seeking continuous improvement by assessing the environmental and social impacts throughout the lifecycle of our property assets. This approach is ingrained within the day-to-day activities of our business.

Performance verification

Columbia Threadneedle periodically evaluates its performance against a number of benchmarks, according to best market practices. The performance of each fund is measured and analysed by independent third parties on a regular basis.

Important Information

For use by professional clients and/or equivalent investor types in your jurisdiction (not to be used with or passed on to retail clients) Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments and any income is not guaranteed and can go down as well as up and may be affected by exchange rate fluctuations. This means that an investor may not get back the amount invested. Your capital is at risk.

This material is for information only and does not constitute an offer or solicitation of an order to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments, or to provide investment advice or services. The analysis included in this document has been produced by Columbia Threadneedle Investments for its own investment management activities, may have been acted upon prior to publication and is made available here incidentally. Any opinions expressed are made as at the date of publication but are subject to change without notice and should not be seen as investment advice. Information obtained from external sources is believed to be reliable but its accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Issued by Threadneedle Investment Services Limited. Registered in England and Wales, Registered No. 3701768, Cannon Place, 78 Cannon Street, London EC4N 6AG, United Kingdom. Authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority. Columbia Threadneedle Investments is the global brand name of the Columbia and Threadneedle group of companies.