A Q&A with Justin Quan, Senior Associate, Berkeley Assets

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Why is Berkeley different to other private equity firms?

Unlike dealing in funds or securities, our business model is built around the development and management of tangible assets, a diversified portfolio including real estate projects and SMEs.

Our strategy eliminates most of the risk usually associated with private equity and offers complete transparency; we are really proud of our projects and readily share the details of them.

Surely there must be some risk?

There is no such thing as zero risk, the only way to grow as a business is to assume some risk. However, we take a very cautious approach and we favour projects which are backed by physical assets.

This gives us peace of mind as we always generate yield, even when market conditions are not favourable to asset values.

Our diversified portfolio also means that if one asset class or industry sector is not performing well, we can focus on the better growth opportunities that exist at that time.

Our institutional investors participate in project risk with us, however our retail clients are given a fixed return on a loan and do not participate in any investment risk.

Is there a minimum amount a person can contribute?

Our institutional investors work with us on a project specific basis and the capital requirement varies on each project. Retail clients can work with us for as little as USD20,000 or GBP20,000.

When does a client start to see return?

Our institutional partners will get return on investment at the end of a project when it has been completed and the full growth has been calculated.

With retail clients we simply pay interest at a fixed rate every six months, alternatively clients can choose to compound interest and receive it at the end of the loan term.

Who actually owns Berkeley?

We are an offshore British-run private equity company established under the capital of partners and private investors. We hold assets in the real estate, hospitality, logistics and technologies sectors in the UK and USA.

You can read more about the partners and senior team here.

And what about regulatory authorities?

Berkeley’s loan opportunities represents a short-term capital raising agreement between Berkeley and individual parties.

As a non-investment product it is not subject to financial regulations, but it is regulated under the laws of the British Virgin Islands, thereby providing due diligence and peace of mind to our clients.

- Justin is a practising chartered accountant in the UK and the UAE and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Based in the Dubai Office, he assists in developing Berkeley’s operational corporate strategy, with a focus on retail clients.