Established in 1970, Ratcliffes is an independent partnership of Chartered Surveyors, specialising in the creation, management and value enhancement of prime commercial property investment portfolios.
Our Clients come to us through recommendation, as we do not undertake corporate advertising. They comprise a range of Private Individuals, Property Investment Companies, Pension Schemes, Friendly Societies, Charitable Trusts, Overseas Investors and Off-shore Funds.
Property Portfolios under our management range in size from £1 million to in excess of £50 million. Our Bankers are HSBC, our Solicitors are Druces LLP, and our Accountants are Arram Berlyn Gardner - all of whom have acted for the Firm since its foundation in 1970.
In 2004 Ratcliffes passed the landmark of its 100th syndicate property investment resale and for the first time published the syndicate investment returns, from the first resale in September 1991 to the 100th in September 2004. Over an averaged ownership period of 3.6 years the averaged return achieved for the Syndicate Investors on their capital invested was 86.6%, with an average annual compound return of 27.48% over the thirteen-year period. Furthermore, no syndicate had, as yet, made a loss. A record broken alas, by the sale at a loss of the 123rd syndicated property. Currently, some 93% of our syndicate properties have been profitably resold.
To date over 275 properties have been acquired in some 233 syndicates with a gross investment value circa one-third of a billion pounds.
Despite the booms and busts experienced over the first 40 years of Ratcliffes existence, the impact of the five-year Great Recession that followed the financial crash of 2008, has proved to be deeper and longer than any recession in living memory.
Coupled with the devasting value destruction in the retail property sector that has taken place over the last ten years, this has proved to be the most challenging decade of the Firm’s existence.
Despite this, value driven opportunities have been identified and acquired, bringing returns that are still well ahead of the commercial investment property and stock market indices.
No business can succeed without customers. Ratcliffes are fortunate to have loyal and nice Clients – we know our Clients are nice because we resigned those who were not years ago!
A business can only be as good as its people. Anthony Ratcliffe wishes to place on record his gratitude and appreciation to his Partner Malcolm Brown and to Lesley Driscoll for the past 47 years of loyal support and unstinting hard work through both good times and bad. Thanks are also due to Sharon Benad-Smith who has been with us over 39 years and to Dawn Ransom who has been with the firm for the past 11 years.
That the Firm is still here as one of the handful who reach 50 not out, is in no small measure due to the unfailing support and advice received from its Accountants and Solicitors, both of whom have acted for Ratcliffes since the founding of the firm, and the Architects, who have acted since the founding of their firm. Ratcliffes record their thanks to Arram Berlyn Gardner; Druces LLP, and Le Sage Associates.
Finally, we should not overlook the Salukis who shared our offices for some 35 years - Hayes (1973-1986), Zar (1986-1997), and Dhani (1998-2008). Today, we have a Vizla, Franklin (born 2015).
As for the future, last year Anthony’s son, Rupert joined the firm as an Associate Partner, with the brief to expand the remit of our syndicated investments into the residential sphere.
2020 has also seen the launch of our Residential/Retail Development Fund, Vision 2020, which comprises a closed end fund with an envisaged 5-year life cycle to place circa £50 million within this specialist sector.
We look forward to the next generation taking the firm forward into a future that will be as challenging and rewarding for Ratcliffes and our Clients as the last 50 years have been.