Peer Group plc was incorporated in 1976. In 1983, when Martin Birrane took the controlling interest and became Chairman and Managing Director of the Group, the property portfolio was valued at £2 million. By the end of 1996, it had grown to approximately £70 million and by the end of 2010, £160 million. As the Group has developed, the structure has evolved and now encompasses twelve wholly owned subsidiaries.
In the early 1970’s Martin Birrane successfully fought for, and was granted, the first ever planning consent in Southwark to change the use of Crowne House from an industrial property into an office. Securing this landmark consent paved the way for the beginning of the regeneration of this historically significant area of London around London Bridge, Borough Market and Bankside.
In the late 1970’s Martin Birrane purchased his first two wharfs in Mill Street, London Docklands. He went on to purchase a further six.
The arrival of Martin Birrane at Peer Group heralded the start of a series of acquisitions including The Hop Exchange, London SE1, which was purchased in 1985. On purchase the building was carefully restored to its former glory and transformed from being a depository to the iconic business centre that it is today. Peer Group’s head office then transferred to The Hop Exchange where it remains.
During the 1990’s Peer Group consolidated its financial position and enjoyed sustained growth and continuous profits through some of the harshest years of the recession.
Using understanding of local markets and asset management expertise, Peer Group pursued an investment policy of finding value-enhancing opportunities.
Since 2000, Peer Group has refinanced and restructured its portfolio, accumulated cash reserves, invested in the existing portfolio and opportunistic new acquisitions.
The current portfolio comprises a diversified range of assets across all UK commercial sectors and geographical regions. This is complemented by a significant residential joint venture with Bovis Homes plc and some carefully selected international property investments.