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EXCLUSIVE: Nordics supergroup formed

Simon de Chateau, Christofer Lundquist and Sloan Wobbeking, executives from Sveafastigheter, Hemso and Niam respectively have teamed up to form a new private equity real estate firm called Alma Property Partners.

A trio of senior private real estate executives from some of the best known firms in the Nordic region have teamed up to form a private equity real estate firm called Alma Property Partners, PERE can exclusively reveal.

Simon de Chateau, who co-founded Stockholm-based Sveafastigheter and was its chief executive officer, Christofer Lundquist, the former head of real estate at Stockholm-based property company Hemso, and Sloan Wobbeking, the ex-director of business development and investor relations at Niam, the region’s largest real estate investment manager, have combined to build a firm that will undertake value-add real estate investments on behalf of institutional investors.

de Chateau and Lundquist are already on board while Wobbeking has agreed to join in January.

de Chateau is Alma’s chairman and chief investment officer, while Lundquist is its partner and chief operating officer, and Wobbeking will be its partner and chief executive officer. The three of them will own the equity in the business and no external sponsor has be sought.

“We think that the time is right for a fund manager in the Nordics that is firstly entirely independent from an advisory firm and secondly entirely-owned by the people working in the business,” de Chateau told PERE. “We think those factors will separate us from most of our competitors in the Nordic markets. That should enable us to attract the best talent in the Nordic market.” Indeed, Alma is expected to hire a fourth principal shortly and is planning to hire between eight and 10 staff in total.

Alma’s formation comes concurrently with the launch of a debut, closed-ended vehicle, Alma Property Partners I, for which it hopes to raise €200 million. The fund is slated to be deployed 50 percent into Sweden and 50 percent into other Nordic markets, including Finland, Denmark and Norway. Investments will be in the commercial and residential sectors. It has a three year investment period and a life of an additional seven years. Its return targets are 16 percent gross, leveraged IRRs and the manager’s incentives will kick in after a preferred hurdle of 9 percent has been achieved.

de Chateau said fundraising prospects for Nordic investments currently look strong and that there are plenty of investment opportunities. He said: “But you have to be able to find the niches where there is value to be gained. Value-add investing is about finding opportunities where, through active asset management you can enhance returns and not be as dependent on market movements. A strong market like we have now is beneficial in the sense that it decreases exit risks.