Bruce Ritchie’s Residential Land has lost one of its largest financial backers as the fallout from the Presidents Club dinner continues, Property Week can exclusively reveal.
Canadian investment giant Ivanhoé Cambridge, which entered into a £650m joint venture deal with Residential Land in February 2015, has told this publication it has halted further investments with the firm following reports of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour at the men-only Presidents Club dinner earlier this month.
A spokeswoman for Ivanhoé said: “We are deeply troubled by the events and behaviours as reported by the media; they are clearly unacceptable and contrary to our core values as a global institutional investor.
“Under the circumstances, we have stopped future investments with the company. We will not make any further comments at this time.”
Ritchie is a trustee and co-chair of the Presidents Club charity dinner, which has been at the centre of a media storm since a Financial Times investigation alleged hostesses at the event were groped, sexually harassed and propositioned by some male guests during the evening at The Dorchester in London on 18 January.
A source at Residential Land confirmed the company was aware of Ivanhoé’s position.
The source said: “It doesn’t affect our existing portfolio of investments, which we jointly own. But, at this time, they will not be making new investments with us.”
Following the media reports, the Presidents Club has closed and the fallout has spread throughout the business and political worlds. The property industry has come under particular scrutiny after firms from the sector were alleged to have taken 10 of the 21 tables at the event.
Ivanhoé is one of the largest international real estate investment groups with more than £32bn of shopping centre, office and residential assets around the globe.
The Canadian firm’s deal with Residential Land involved a fund with investment firepower of £650m. Ivanhoé committed to an initial three tranches of £90m of equity, coupled with equivalent debt. Assets bought by the fund since its launch included the Circus Apartments in Canary Wharf, and Luke House in Westminster.
Residential Land, which was founded by Ritchie in 1991, is one of central London’s largest private landlords, and owns more than 1,200 flats and houses across the capital.