Encore hires Invesco exec – Exclusive

The Boca Raton, Florida-based real estate investment firm has hired its first dedicated capital raiser as it launches its third opportunistic fund.

Encore Capital Management has tapped former Invesco executive Jeff Gardner to lead the firm’s capital raising efforts as its next real estate fund is coming to market, PERE has learned.

Gardner has been named senior director of investor relations at the Boca Raton, Florida-based real estate investment firm and will be responsible for fundraising, investor coverage and business development initiatives. He will be focused on expanding Encore’s investor base from US-based foundations and endowments to also include public and private pension plans, as well as international investors.

Gardner will also be opening the firm’s fifth office in New York, adding to existing locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boca Raton and Orlando.

Jeff Gardner

Gardner previously worked for four years as a director in the global client portfolio management team at Invesco Real Estate. At the firm, he focused on new and existing client relationships while also overseeing fund formation and capital raising for Invesco Real Estate’s value-add, opportunistic and credit funds in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US. Before Invesco, he was a senior associate at Metropolitan Real Estate, the indirect real estate arm of The Carlyle Group.

Gardner is joining at the firm at a time when Encore is understood to be launching its third opportunistic real estate fund, Encore Housing Opportunity Fund III. The residential vehicle will have a target size of $400 million with a large co-investment sidecar of $200 million. A first close of approximately $100 million is expected this fall. Encore is said to be warehousing a couple of deals so that the vehicle will have a prespecified portfolio. Encore declined to comment.

Encore Housing Opportunity Fund II, collected a total of $462 million against a $600 million target in 2013, according to PERE data.

Similar to its predecessors, Fund III is focused on the US for-sale residential sector, acquiring land in bulk and subsequently subdividing and selling the land to developers; or developing the land lots with basic infrastructure and then selling them to developers of affordable, entry-level and senior housing. Additionally, Encore can offer acquisition and development financing to developers, a space where few lenders are currently active, through the fund.

Founded in 2010 by Art Falcone and Tony Avila, Encore currently has $4 billion of assets under management, primarily in California and Florida.