Markel acquires part of fund that saved Richmond development

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The investment arm of Markel Corp. has purchased 50 percent of the fund manager that saved a $300 million mixed-use development in Richmond.

Markel Ventures, subsidiary of a Richmond-based specialty insurer, announced Thursday it had purchased half of E|CLASS MB Fund Management, which will be renamed Markel|Eagle Asset Management LLC.

Markel has also committed funding for the E/Class MB Partners Fund 1, which invests in Virginia properties, including West Broad Village in Henrico County. E/Class invested almost $9 million into the property in December, saving the project.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Markel will occupy two of the five seats on the fund’s board of directors, including Tom Gayner, president and chief investment officer at Markel, and Michael Heaton, senior director at Markel.

“We believe Markel|Eagle’s hands-on approach to solving complicated real estate issues will yield excellent results,” Gayner said in a statement.

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