Aermont considers core-plus strategy – Exclusive

The firm in focus for PERE’s September Blueprint interview revealed it is considering supplementing its main, opportunistic fund series with a lower risk and return strategy for its investors.

Aermont Capital, the London-based private equity real estate firm led by veteran investor Léon Bressler, is considering the introduction of a core-plus investment strategy, it revealed.

In its Blueprint interview, which features in the September issue of PERE, Nathan Shike, one of the firm’s partners, said that, while there are no imminent plans to launch a vehicle dedicated to the strategy, it had discussed its introduction at a future point in time.

“We invest in prime assets and have been able to generate opportunistic returns from those. So it seems we should be able to move down the risk curve in a manner consistent with what we’re already doing,” Shike said.

Shike said the firm’s focus would remain on its opportunistic fund series, for which Aermont has raised an aggregate total of almost €4 billion. He said if the firm did introduce a core-plus vehicle, it would do it in a manner that would not conflict with the series. He also added that any move into the core space would be complimentary to the series and would be incremental in manner.

“It’s certainly a possibility,” he said. “As of today, there’s nothing in the works.”

Should Aermont press fire on a core-plus investment strategy it would be joining increasing ranks of traditionally opportunistic private real estate firms around the world attempting to meet growing demands for prime or core-like real estate investments from institutional investors. Among the biggest such firms to offer core strategies are Blackstone and Brookfield while in Asia, PAG Real Estate and SC Capital Partners are examples of traditionally opportunistic managers which have since offered core funds to their investors.

Aermont was originally launched in 2007, before the global financial crisis, as a joint venture between Bressler and US investment firm Perella Weinberg. It was renamed PW Real Assets last year as Bressler bought the firm out before being rebranded as Aermont in the summer.

The renaming came shortly after the firm hit its hard cap of €1.5 billion for the fundraising of its third opportunity fund.

Among the opening deals for that fund is Aermont’s £323 million ($430 million; €385.6 million) privatization of Pinewood, the London-based film studios business.

To read the full interview with Bressler, Shike and the other senior executives of Aermont Capital, click here.