Forum captures first $200m for third Asia fund

The Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm has raised in excess of $200m for its Forum Asia Realty Income III fund. The vehicle, launched last autumn, is expected to complete its first investment by September.

Forum Partners, the Greenwich, Connecticut-based private equity real estate firm, has made inroads into its capital raising campaign for its third Asia real estate investment fund.

According to sources, the firm, led by founders Russell Platt, Caroline McBride and Andrew Walker, has managed to corral $200 million from investors for its Forum Asia Realty Income III fund. The vehicle, which aims to return between 18 percent and 20 percent to its investors, is expected to attract $1 billion in equity in total.

The vehicle is yet to complete an investment, PERE understands, with the first expected by September. Through the vehicle, Forum is aiming to make investments in the structured equity and debt of real estate companies.

According to a marketing document for the vehicle, obtained last year by PERE, the fund will make between 10 and 15 investments, averaging $75 million each, in “middle-market property companies” via “preferred equity, straight or convertible debt and other structured securities”.

Forum currently operates in Asia from Hong Kong, Beijing and Seoul. The Asia platform is led by managing director and head, Merrit Maddux.

Its first Asian fund closed on $41.5 million in November 2004, just more than two years after the firm was formed. The vehicle realised an IRR of 35.2 percent. Its second vehicle was closed on $642.4 million in August 2006. That vehicle, which still has uncommitted equity, has realised an IRR of 81.7 percent as of 30 June 2009.

Forum declined to comment on the fundraising when contacted.