Legal & General (L&G) has formed a £4 bn (€4.5 bn) partnership with Oxford University to develop homes for University staff and students, together with science and innovation districts in and around Oxford.
'Oxford University is one of the best in the world. It has inspired generations of academics and researchers, and today nurtures outstanding modern businesses with world-leading potential,' said Nigel Wilson, CEO of L&G Group.
As funding and development partner for the University, L&G’s Future Cities business will provide up to £4 bn of funding over the next ten years from L&G’s shareholder, annuity and LGIM-managed funds.
Subject to planning, L&G said that the funding would deliver a series of projects for the University. Oxford is one of the UK’s fastest growing cities according to the Centre for Cities 2016 'Fast Growth Cities' report, and competes among the top technology clusters in the world.
However, according to L&G, the city lacks affordable residential and commercial space that is essential for the University to continue to attract research graduates, and support spin-out and scale-up businesses.
L&G said that the joint venture will not only invest shareholder funds but also create assets for Legal & General Retirement (LGR) to back pension risk transfer deals and LDI-compatible assets with the potential to form part of LGIM-managed funds.
'My colleagues and I are delighted to have formed this partnership with Legal & General,' said Professor Louise Richardson, vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford.
'We look forward to working together to address some of the most pressing challenges facing the University today. We will build much-needed graduate accommodation, subsidized housing for University staff, and new science parks, where academic departments, University spin-outs and commercial partners can work together to create new companies as well as high quality jobs.'
Legal & General’s most recent Future Cities investments include its partnership with Bruntwood to create the UK’s largest property platform dedicated to driving science and technology growth in cities, its partnership with Goldacre to develop and manage data centres, and the regeneration of Bath’s riverside at Bath Quays North.
Legal & General Capital also has investments in the Oxford spinout company, OSI, and in Oxford-based companies specialising in innovative clean energy solutions.
'Our partnership with Oxford University is leading the way in bringing together dynamic cities and patient capital, creating great outcomes for long-term investors and for the cities themselves. Legal & General’s partnership with the University is a terrific example for cities across the globe to follow,' Wilson concluded.