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  • Peer to Peer Lending

    Concerns about investing with East 8 / LCD

    (*Moderator note:  Title changed as not in line with our T & C's*).

    I am going to a Crowd Funding talk tonight. When reading about the talk I remembered when I nearly invested via Crowd funding a few years ago as it all looked very exciting with great returns.

    There is a developer who has been featured on PT, whom Vanessa seemed to warm to who I enjoyed reading about, called Nicole Bremner of East Eight.

    Below are two of Nicole's projects that she was raising finance for, offering great returns, selling the dream and I nearly invested in both. I am very glad I didn’t.

    Nicole Bremner was raising finance for this project in 2016, the refurbishment was complete in 2017 when it was listed to sell. Investors were told they would make 24% return on their investment. However, here it is still on the market years later:

    https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for...34736.html

    Nicole Bremner was raising finance for this property below in 2017, saying it would be complete in 2018 and that investors would make 47% return on their investment.

    Here is the property on the market today:

    https://www.rightmove.co.uk/commercial-p...09662.html

    Note: The pictures for this property aren't even photos, so I am guessing the refurbishment isn't complete yet. I'll go and have a look later in the week.

    These are the only 2 projects that I looked in to when thinking about investing with Nicole Bremner of East Eight. Perhaps I am just unlucky and these projects are the only 2 that haven't gone according to plan. I haven’t looked into any of her other projects.

    Perhaps I’m mistaken, and investors did get their advertised returns in time. Or perhaps I've missed something here? I just thought this was worth pointing out.

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    You are a little behind the curve here.

    There is an on-going discussion - Nicole Bremner / East 8 / SimpleCrowdfunding - where concerns have been raised and I have been raising concerns since 2017 - all documented on the link.

    Is it a crowdfunding talk by Nicole Bremner that you are attending tonight?  If so, it would be interesting to hear what she says.

    I have heard on the grapevine that she is looking to raise another £1million from private investors to support her existing projects.

    The property you linked to in Kensington has been rented out as a short term let while awaiting the improvement of market conditions in prime London.

    The price has been dropped on that Kensington property you provided a link for by £750K.  It was originally marketed at £5.25million and is now on the market for £4.5K.

    If any of Nicole's investors HAVE received a return, then, in the interests of balance, I invite them to comment on this thread.

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    Oh - thanks for that. I am indeed behind the curve!

    When in doubt, blame Brexit. 

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    Do you know whether investors will be paid back with the agreed returns plus 5 year interest? Otherwise, even if the money does get returned, it will be a failed investment.

    Are we looking at a very bad investment here?

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    I am sorry, but I do not know the answer to your question.  I personally believe your biggest threat is dilution of your shares, and again, this was mentioned on the other thread.

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    I heard her on the "property voice" podcast week I recall she said something about paying back all the investors so they didn't lose any money. Not sure if thats true but might be worth checking out that interview ahead of tonight.

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    I also heard her on Property Voice -  here is the podcast  https://www.thepropertyvoice.net/series-5...-451604433

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    All comments are made in good faith and are given to the best of my knowledge and experience but I would advise you to consult an expert before making important decisions and I accept no liability for comments made.

    Translation from the podcast:

    "Lows – cashflow! Valuations are always challenging. As developers we have a glass half full approach. Our best, mid and base case always seem to work out as base case.

    ​Cogress said that not a single project in their £1bn+ list of development projects came in on time and on budget. So, now add in extra contingency on both time and budget on existing contingencies already in place. Lenders pulling finance at short notice can be really stressful. Valuations can be such a challenge as well, paid £4m for a property that was subsequently valued at £1.8m!".

    And Richard Brown, the founder of the Podcast also commented:

    After this interview recording, I became aware of some disquiet or concern around some of Nicole’s development progress and investor communications. I then had a conversation with her around this to establish her views on this, which is available in social media.

    Essentially, Nicole told me that there was a development that did experience some delays and there was also a period of time where the investor communications were not as regular as they could have been.

    This was partly down to how the platform used works with investors. For example, with Cogress, they control all investor updates and undertake regular checks along the way, so that communication and update burden is removed from the developer there.

    However, with the Simple Equity platform, it is left to the developer to manage all of this themselves and so could lead to some challenges when investor updates and communications are not part of the core business of the developer.

    Nicole also told me quite openly that she has 169 individual investors through the crowd platforms she has used. In her own words, 2-3 of these were unhappy, 5-6 are so-so but with the significant majority at least contented with what was happening with regard to their investment updates and the development progress.

    Perhaps it is worth highlighting once again that property development is a risky area and anyone investing in an equity share should be either a High Net Worth or Sophisticated Investor, which means they can appreciate and tolerate the ups and downs of such an investment at the same time.

    From what I understand, all of Nicole’s development update communications are now operating and so any individual investor should be able to receive these updates through the platforms through which they invested. Finally, as Nicole clearly stated during out interview, she will not allow any investor to lose money and in the case of an equity investment, this is not by any means a contractual commitment at all, so that’s a big commitment to make in all honesty.

    My position here is a neutral one, with no judgement applied in either direction and so people should always form their own judgements based on their own independent research and due diligence.

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    She can say what she wants as I am still very very glad I didn't invest with her.

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    I would be more worried about banking covenants being breached, with the high end market in free fall it only takes one bank to get cold feet and the whole lot will collapse.  No amount of being a social media influencer will get u out of that shit storm !

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