EXCLUSIVE: Cornerstone hire sees Spanish expansion

The Hartford, Connecticut-based real estate investment manager has hired ex-HIG Capital principal Adolfo Favieres to lead the firm's expansion into the region.

Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers has opened an office in Madrid, its first opening in Spain, as the Hartford, Connecticut-based real estate investment manager continues to expand its European footprint.

To lead the office, and to work as head of Spain, Cornerstone has hired Adolfo Favieres. He was formerly with private equity investment firm HIG Capital where he was principal of its European real estate group. During his two years at HIG, Favieres was responsible for overseeing European acquisitions, asset management and disposals across multiple real estate asset classes.

At Cornerstone, Favieres will be sourcing real estate equity and debt investment opportunities in Spain, as well as raising capital from Spanish institutions for investment into Cornerstone’s US, European, and global debt and equity funds. He will report to Nick Pink, chief investment officer and head of fund management – Europe.

“There are clear opportunities in the Spanish real estate market, both on equity investments and direct lending across different asset classes, as well as Spanish institutions keen to allocate capital,” said Favieres.

The opening of the Spanish office is the latest stage in the expansion of Cornerstone’s European business, following the recent opening of Cornerstone’s Italian office in Milan and several senior appointments, including: Albert Yang as managing director and head of business development – Europe; Jorge Duarte as director of fund management – Europe; and Valeria Falcone as country head of Italy.

The bolstering of its European footprint will enable it to do something it has wanted to for some time: launch pan-European funds. Two pan-European funds are believed to be in the works and are expected to be launched later this year, or early next. One is expected to be a core open-ended fund and the other a value-add product. The value-add, closed-end vehicle will have a target return of 11 percent to 13 percent and is expected to be up and running first.

The open-ended, core fund will be benchmarked against the most appropriate IPD indices as the portfolio is built up. Although no fund raising is underway, it is thought that Cornerstone’s parent, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), will seed each fund, with between $100 million and $200 million of sponsor equity.