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EXCLUSIVE: Perella Weinberg, RE unit formally split

Leon Bressler has begun a new chapter with a fully independent company, and goes on the fundraising trail with Fund III, targeting around €1.3 billion

Perella Weinberg Partners, the New York-based boutique bank and advisor, has separated from the real estate unit it set up in 2006 with Leon Bressler, the former chairman and chief executive officer of French property giant; Unibail.

According to multiple sources, Bressler has taken the business with its 20-person staff completely independent and is now trading as PW Real Assets.
The decision to become completely independent and autonomous is said to be a natural evolution of the RE unit. It has always been run in London by Bressler and his team as a separate entity, but the separation has now been formalized.
The timing of the spin coincides with the launch of the business' third real estate fund.

Marketing materials of PW Real Assets suggests the objective is to keep Fund III as a similar size to the first two funds, and maintain the business' pan European value-added/opportunistic strategy.

Perella Weinberg Partners and Bressler launched their maiden fund together in 2007 and held a final close in July 2008 on €1.2 billion. It is now fully realized with gross IRRs above 20 percent. The follow-up Fund II closed in July 2013 on €1.3 billion of commitments, which was around €100 million above its original target. That fund is said to be now 80 percent committed – the traditional threshold for launching a fresh vehicle.

When Perella Weinberg Partners announced it was entering into real estate investment management and unveiled Bressler as the joint venture partner, it heralded a new arrival on the European real estate opportunistic market.
At the time, there were thought to be synergies between Perella Weinberg's global banking and advisory business and a real estate business hunting for opportunities across Europe. However, the real estate division has been sensitive over any suggestion that conflicts of interests might arise. The new independent company removes any such doubt.

Though the formal separation has been in the works for months, it became effective on July 31.

Perella Weinberg Partners' website says the firm continues to maintain a non-controlling partnership interest in the real estate advisor. It also states Bressler is “no longer an active limited partner of Perella Weinberg Partners due to his retirement effected in connection with the Real Estate Advisor becoming an independent business enterprise”.