Segro chief executive Ian Coull today confirmed that the business space REIT was exploring a major move into fund management.

Speaking at `Sheds’, the event organised by Property Week and the Industrial Agents Society in south Wales, Coull said it was interested in following a trend set by two of international rivals Goodman and ProLogis.

He said a move into fund management would most likely see Segro injecting its £1.4bn Slough Trading Estate, which forms 60% of its assets by value, into a fund. The most likely scenario is that Segro would bring in external investors to own 80% of the estate and would retain 20% ownership and earn a management fee.

Coull said: `We are exploring the concept of fund management in great detail: we would like to be using other people’s money. We would retain a substantial interest in the trading estate, and I emphasise that we haven’t made any final decisions, but it is certainly something we may pursue.’

Coull confessed to being interested in the Goodman and ProLogis models, with both developer/fund managers overseeing portfolios worth around £20bn. Both Goodman in Australia and ProLogis in the US have generally commanded higher share price ratings because of their model, which sees developed and let properties sold to funds, which they co-own and manage.