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Accord makes first platform investment

 The San Francisco-based investment management and capital advisory firm has acquired a minority stake in a new Finnish real estate manager and is partnering with the firm on its debut investment.

Accord Group Holdings, the San Francisco-based capital advisory firm led by former Presidio Partners co-founders Jack Berquist and Desi Co, and former Mesirow Financial executive Jeff Sobczynski, has struck its first entity-level investment.

 Accord has bought a minority stake in Sirius Capital Partners, a Finnish investment manager that was launched last year by the former chief executive of Nordic private equity real estate firm Sveafastigheter.

 “Less than a year ago, we launched a new line of business – partnering with investment managers that have demonstrated the ability to enhance value to their investments,” said Sobczynski in a statement. “In Sirius, we have found a company that fulfils all of our requirements.”

Accord traditionally focuses on emerging investment strategies in the US and abroad.

Meanwhile, Accord also has entered into a partnership with Sirius, where its European affiliate will provide co-investment capital in connection with Sirius’ debut investment, the acquisition of a portfolio of Finnish grocery stores for €25 million.

“Finnish grocery stores is a segment where we have been active before and one that we think is very interesting at the moment,” says Patrick Gylling, chief executive of Sirius Capital Partners.

Gylling previously served as chief executive of Sveafastigheter and had worked with Jonas Ahlblad, who is now chief investment officer of Sirius, and Matti-Pekka Sävelkoski, who is now chief financial officer, in the firm’s Finnish office. Over a four-year period, the team made six investment totaling some €350 million. Last June, the trio launched Sirius, which will focus on opportunistic and value-add real estate investments in Finland. The firm will make co-investments on a deal-by-deal basis, as well as through funds or club deals based on an investment theme.

PERE understands that Sirius currently is in the market with its first real estate fund, Sirius fund I Grocery, which was launched in September. The firm already has held a first close on the fund, and secured a US pension plan as a cornerstone investor for the vehicle via a global multi-manager.

Accord is said to be advising Sirius on the new offering. Both Sirius and Accord declined to comment on the fund, however.

Accord, which was launched by Berquist, Co and Sobczynski in 2013, has been active in Europe as of late.  The firm recently represented Highcross Strategic Advisers, a UK-based fund manager, in the sale of its business to New York-based Northwood Investors, in a deal that was announced last December.