The URF, which listed in 2012 and invested in residential properties in New Jersey, Brooklyn and Manhattan, is owned largely by clients of Dixon Advisory, the wealth management firm that merged with David Evan’s Evans & Partners in 2017 before listing in May 2018.
The URF was a large contributor to the revenues and profits of Dixon Advisory ahead of the merger but as it has been forced to cut fees and stabilise the fund, Evans Dixon’s bottom line may be hit.
The URF has attracted controversy because of the high fees charged to investors, including fees relating to the buying selling and renovating of properties in the fund.
Over five years, the fund, which has a market capitalisation of $350 million has charged $227 million of fees to investors, including $94 million of fees relating to its project development arm.
The high fees coupled with the low rental income, high interest costs and high dividend has prompted some property experts to question the sustainability of the fund.
The share price of the URF has fallen significantly from $2 in May 2017 to 95¢ this week.
That has angered some clients of Dixon Advisory, that also have exposure to the fund via listed bonds and preference shares.
“While there are areas in the Evans Dixon business where we must and will improve
performance, there have been many achievements for our business so far this year, and we remain focused on ensuring client expectations are met,” Mr Evans said in a statement to the share market.