Forum buys Australian fund management business

The Greenwich, Connecticut-based private equity real estate firm has established a presence in Australia via the acquisition of a real estate funds platform and the hire of a team.

The Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm Forum Partners has established a presence in Australia after completing the acquisition of a fund management business and the hire of a team to run it.

The firm announced today it had acquired Viento Property Limited and Viento Property Services, entities behind a A$109 million (€86 million; $114 million) property fund called Viento Diversified Property Fund from Australian Securities Exchange-listed boutique fund manager Viento Group.

Forum has also hired a team of six staff from another boutique fund manager, The Denison Group, to work through and enhance the value of the funds’ assets on behalf of its investors. The team is lead by Matthew Burrows who joins Forum’s Australia director Andrew Faulk in leading Forum’s activities in Australia. They will be based in Sydney.

As part of Forum’s investment into the Viento Diversified Property Fund, the firm will inject approximately $20 million of mezzanine capital from its third Asia private equity real estate fund, Forum Asia Realty Income III.

The Forum fund was launched at the end of 2009 and is close to completing its capital raising. Its capital is for investments in the structured equity and debt of real estate companies, hence the investment into Viento’s fund fits within its investment thesis.

Forum said the hiring of staff to service its new assets under management was also consistent with its strategy. Russell Platt, chief executive officer of Forum said: “Establishing a local presence is a logical next step in developing a strong footprint for Forum in Australia with local professionals who see eye to eye with our philosophy of providing growth and restructuring capital to property companies worldwide.”

“We also look forward to the anticipated investments that the fund will be making and enhancing the value of these for the benefit of investors.”

To read more about Forum’s investment in Australia, check out the next issue of PERE.