22 JANUARY 1972, Page 25

Converting property

Geoffrey James, Chairman of Compass Securities, worked for Fred Cleary of Haselmere Estates until three years ago, when he started on his own He buys and converts property — mainly older buildings for office use—for which large medium-term borrowing is necessary. This has meant parting with equity, but he still owns 40 per cent of the company.

It hasn't been revealed, but Dawnay Day, one of the main merchant banks backing him, are urging a flotation and a figure of £20 to £25 million market capitalisation is envisaged. Dawnay Day want to take advantage of the buoyant new issue market, but I suspect they are also taking a nervous view of property values over the coming years, with so much new property still unlet and huge office building programmes under way in London.