Ex-CPI Asia head Hansoty seeks $350m for debut fund

The former Morgan Stanley and John Buck Company executive aims to tap into India’s growing residential and hotel sectors via investments alongside joint venture partners, but may also invest more widely via shares in Indian property companies.

Ravi Hansoty, ex-head of Asia Pacific at Citi Property Investors (CPI), is seeking to raise up to $350 million from investors for an Indian real estate fund targeting residential properties, entity investments and hotels.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Hansoty, who left CPI last month when it was acquired by New York private equity firm Apollo Global Management, aims to raise the capital for the eight-year fund by the end of next year.

The fund’s management business would be located in Mumbai, Hansoty said, meaning he could relocate from Hong Kong, where he led the CPI’s Asia platform.

The fund would seek to invest its capital alongside domestic joint venture partners and would ultimately seek to produce opportunistic IRRs of 20 percent or more from investments in residential and hotel developments and existing hotels.

He told Bloomberg: “Home ownership is extremely low in India. There is significant demand that is going to come online in the future for housing needs.” On hotels, he said: “In that segment, there are very few hotels which have been branded, meaning you have a recognized brand which one can relate to and have a chain of these hotels across India. Given the size of the country, there is plenty of opportunity to do that in multiple cities.”

The fund could also invest in real estate companies, particularly listed entities which have seen their shares underperform, subsequently offering opportunistic investors attractive discounts. “There may be some opportunities to go back and work with those companies to recapitalize their balance sheet,” he said. Bloomberg said just two of five Indian real estate firms which listed their shares since the start of 2010 are trading above their opening stock value.

Hansoty took charge of CPI’s Asia business following the departure of David Schaefer in 2009 – Schaefer is now head of Asia Pacific and global head of institutional capital at DTZ, the global property services firm.

In addition to his role at CPI, Hansoty also worked for the real estate business of Morgan Stanley and US real estate development and fund management firm, The John Buck Company.