Property asset manager Downing is co-founding a new real estate investment management business alongside Jessica Hardman, former head of European portfolio management and UK CEO of global investment manager DWS.

Hardman (pictured) has over 20 years’ experience in global real estate investment management and was recently appointed a president of the British Property Federation (BPF),

The new company, named Aboria Capital, headquartered in London, will leverage Downing’s 35-year development and operational track record, which has seen it deliver more than £3 billion in real estate development across the UK, including 14,500 beds in the PBSA (Purpose Built Student Accommodation) sector.

Her experience and senior leadership in international investment management will initially focus on realising Downing’s £1.6bn pipeline, which includes 10 new projects planned to start on site at locations across the UK in 2025 and 2026, including a flagship co-living scheme, Square Gardens in Manchester - a £400m project which will comprise more than 2,500 beds on completion. Assets which will seed the first stage of a multi-year growth plan for Aboria Capital.

Hardman said: “Downing is recognised as a seasoned, high-quality living operating and development business. The UK and European living sector continue to be the most favored sector by international investors especially where managers can offer the benefits of a vertically integrated value chain across both the investment and operational disciplines.”

Bay Downing, executive director of Downing, added: “We want to take advantage of the current dislocation in the market and the cyclical investment opportunities in front of us, which will produce long term generational value. We feel now is the right time to launch Aboria Capital, bringing together two hugely complementary skill sets in real estate and global investment management. We look forward to sharing more about our plans for this exciting venture in the near future.”

Downing is a vertically integrated real estate developer and manager with a 35-year track record and over £3bn of real estate developments delivered across the UK, with a future pipeline of £1.6bn. Other companies across the business include Downing Living (residential division), Downing Students and Downing Construction and On-Site Energy.