Ex-Spearhead US head Leroy launches next venture

Michelle LeRoy has formed Tricon Real Assets Capital, a private placement and consultancy business aimed predominantly at real estate investment management firms.

The former global head of placement at Spearhead Capital Partners, which is winding down its activities, has launched her next venture.

California-based Michelle LeRoy has founded Tricon Real Assets Capital, a private placement and consultancy business aimed predominantly at real estate investment management firms.

An 18-year industry veteran, she was one of the founding partners of Spearhead Capital Partners, which launched in 2009 and went on to raise $469 million from the US, Europe and Asia for firms including GreenOak Real Estate, Pamfleet Group and Murray Hill Properties. PERE revealed last month, how, following differences of opinion about the strategic direction of the business, the firm is to wind-up at the end of June.

LeRoy told PERE: “My priority is to continue servicing Spearhead’s legacy clients. The launch of Tricon enables me to follow through on this commitment and provides a platform to expand the team and engage new business.”

She said: “The current fund-raising environment is unprecedently difficult, making the need for a seasoned and sector specific advisor important. Tricon will take on a limited number of clients to ensure we are able to provide the level of attention and service needed in today’s competitive market.”

While real estate will be the firm’s predominant focus, Tricon will also offer services to investment vehicles in the infrastructure, land, agriculture and energy sectors too.

Aside from providing traditional capital placement services, LeRoy said Tricon had also been launched to offer specialty consultancy services to emerging and minority-owned investment managers, a group she described as “under-represented in real estate”.

Specifically, Tricon plans to offer firms using its consultancy service with help in developing a capital raising strategy, target investor lists, marketing materials, a network of other services providers, administrative support, vehicle structuring and project management.

Tricon launches as a four-strong firm that includes LeRoy, ex-Kimco Realty Corp chief operating officer Barbara Pooley, ex-Ernst & Young Real Estate Consultancy Group executive Jennifer Picciano and administrative coordinator Jennifer Berry.

Spearhead’s other senior executives have formed boutique businesses also. The firm’s former chief executive officer Craig Wallace and its Asia chief executive officer Sam Whiffin have formed Promote Capital, a boutique business focused on partnering with Asian real estate investment managers specifically for single-asset transactions, joint ventures and clubs. The remit for Hong Kong-based Promote could also include placing capital into these transactions.

Meanwhile, Australia-based Nick Ridgewell, Spearhead’s chief operating officer, has teamed up with Anthony Biddulph, Spearhead’s London-based senior consultant, to form RiverBridge Capital Partners, a Europe, Middle East and Asia-focused private equity real estate capital markets advisory and placement group. Like Promote, RiverBridge plans to raise capital for joint ventures, single accounts and club deals but will also continue to serve more traditional fund vehicles.

To understand more about the split and current market conditions in the placement agent space, see the current issue of PERE.