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Billionaire US families look to Brexit to build London property empire



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  • FirethornTrust, a property investment firm run by two
    US billionaire families, is looking to invest heavily in London
  • The firm, run in tandem by two families, the Stephens
    and the Van Tuyls, is bucking the trend of delayed investments
  • “Brexit in its current status causes uncertainty. The
    uncertainty causes volatility and the volatility causes
    opportunity,” Peter Maher, one of the firm’s founders, told

Uncertainties surrounding Brexit has for the most part
slowed the amount of money flowing into the UK

ompanies are putting projects on hold,
staff are being relocated from London to other European business
, and London’s role as a dominant financial center is
under threat. 

A pair of billionaire American families, however, is
seizing on what they see as an opportunity.  

According to Bloomberg,
 the FirethornTrust — a firm run
in tandem by two families, the Stephens and the Van Tuyls — is
looking to invest heavily in the London property market in the
coming years amid potentially volatile, uncertain market

“Brexit in its current status causes uncertainty,” Peter
Mather, one of the FirethornTrust’s founding
partners told Bloomberg. “The uncertainty causes volatility,
and the volatility causes opportunity.”

The Stephens family made its money through the
Arkansas-based Stephens Inc, one of the largest privately run
investment banks in the US, while the Van Tuyls entered the ranks
of billionaires after selling their auto dealership business to
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in 2014.

The trust, which was reportedly started in September with
an injection of £200 million ($260 million), made its first
investment in London’s Canary Wharf district — home to the UK
bases of investment banks such as JPMorgan, HSBC, Barclays, and
Citigroup, as well as many major law firms.

It plans to turn the site, currently known as Quay House,
into a skyscraping luxury hotel to serve bankers visiting Canary
Wharf on business. The site cost the firm £26 million ($34

“South Quay is a highly desirable part of London and is a
perfect first acquisition for FirethornTrust as we look to build
a long-term and diverse portfolio,” Maher said at the time of the
acquisition in October.

You can read Bloomberg’s whole story here.

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