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DWS expands retail capital capabilities

The Frankfurt-headquartered global manager has promoted Brian Maute to lead a dedicated team targeting registered investment advisers and broker-dealers.

DWS is expanding its US high-net-worth and family office capital raising capabilities by establishing a dedicated team focused on raising individual investor capital across its alternatives business. It previously focused its retail capital raising on real estate and real assets.

Maute: Will lead the new team focused on retail capital raising

The Frankfurt-headquartered global manager has promoted Brian Maute to be head of alternatives distribution, US wholesale, PERE has learned. Maute has been at DWS since May 2011, most recently serving as the divisional director of the country’s West region.

The newly formed alternatives distribution team will include Matthew Hilding, DWS’s US head of wealth since September 2020. Maute and Hilding’s strategy is to utilize the firm’s existing retail channels, including its RREEF Property Trust platform, to raise capital from individual investors for its institutional funds in real estate and other alternative asset classes. It will include 18 distribution professionals.

“It’s [about] not walking into a particular relationship and thinking in the back of your mind ‘I wish I could talk about RPT with this adviser,’” Hilding told PERE. “The goal is to be able to articulate and showcase our overall firm, holistically.”

DWS expects to grow its retail platform primarily by expanding its set of relationships. The majority of retail capital market-wide for alternatives previously came from wirehouse relationships, Anne-Marie Vandenberg, president and CEO of RPT, told PERE.

Increased interest from registered investment adviser, broker-dealer and wirehouse clients is the impetus for creating the team and pursuing more retail capital. DWS plans to expand its relationships across all three retail capital access points. The firm will launch its products with several broker-dealers in the coming months, Maute said.

DWS is planning to launch new products that would target retail investors and likely focus on real estate debt or specific property types such as industrial or multifamily. It will also continue to raise capital for RPT. Vandenberg added that the first ever real estate debt investments could be made out of RPT should agency financing from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to face shortfalls. This could help capital raising for new products focused on real estate debt. The capital raised from the new offerings would be used to expand DWS’s current holdings in the four main property types.

The manager is looking to increase its exposure to multifamily and industrial, not just in RPT but across its institutional platform as well, Vandenberg said. The firm is also keen to explore retail opportunities, particularly in grocery-anchored and pharmacy-anchored centers. Vandenberg noted this is because there is still strong cashflow and potential for income growth in those sectors.

However, DWS is tepid on office and expects to continue to be very selective. “We’re a bit reluctant to make substantial allocations to traditional office but are open to the subsector of medical office,” said Vandenberg.