The first standard reporting structure for Europe’s E400bn (£273bn) non-listed institutional property funds market was launched today at MIPIM by the industry’s representative body INREV.

The body is also developing a model performance and valuation Benchmark, possibly paving the way for a unified investment asset class.

‘We are confident due to the extensive input we have received from investors, fund managers and accountancy firms in the consultation period, that the industry will want to use these reporting guidelines,’ INREV chief executive Lisette van Doorn said.

‘Together with the uniform reference we are developing for calculating the net asset value of funds, these initiatives should provide a base for consistent and transparent standards for non-listed funds and attract more capital from institutional investors into the sector.’

Non-listed real estate funds have grown dramatically in recent years, but the rapid pace of expansion has been accompanied by the emergence of a bewildering number of investment structures and different standards of reporting.

‘In the past the only thing that was likely when you picked up three separate sets of accounts for property vehicles in the UK was that they were all different. Managers interpreted things in different ways and applied them differently,’ said Angela Crawford-Ingle, real estate partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in London and co-chair of INREV’S reporting committee.

The emphasis of INREV’s reporting guidelines is on the operational review at the ‘front end’ of a manager’s annual report. This should give life to the numbers at the back, in terms of the fund’s strategy; a detailed explanation of the composition of its asset base; the risks and opportunities of the vehicle; its historical context and what might happen in the future.

Another major issue is the calculation of an INREV NAV, which allows the comparison of performance and valuations of funds of different durations. The INREV NAV is under development and a model template will be launched in coming months