Fund of brotherly love

Philadelphia-based Rubenstein Partners has closed its first real estate fund with a little help from its sister firm Lubert-Adler.

Philadelphia-based private equity real estate investment firm Rubenstein Partners, a member firm of Independence Capital Partners, has held a final close on its first vehicle, a value-added office fund, on $475 million (€372 million). The firm exceeded its fundraising target of $400 million.

Rubenstein Properties Fund will focus on office markets in the Eastern United States, though its mandate also provides for select investments in conjunction with sister funds managed by Independence Capital, including investments in mixed-use assets and mezzanine debt, among other opportunities.

Investors in the fund include educational endowments, corporate pension funds and high net worth individuals. In addition to David Rubenstein, the senior managing principal of Rubenstein Partners, and other senior executives of the firm, the other cosponsors of the vehicle included Ira Lubert and Dean Adler, the founders of opportunity fund manager Lubert-Adler, another member of the Independence Capital Partners family. All told, the sponsors have committed approximately $25 million to the vehicle.

“Rubenstein Partners' association with the Independence Capital Partners family of funds and our partnership with Dean Adler and Ira Lubert, in specific, were key factors in reaching our goals,” noted Rubenstein in a statement.

“Dean Adler and Ira Lubert, in specific, were key factors in reaching our goals.”

Rubenstein Partners was founded in September 2005 by Rubenstein, the former president and chief executive officer of The Rubenstein Company, a private real estate firm that focused on Class A office buildings in the Mid-Atlantic region. Founded by David's father Mark in 1969, The Rubenstein Company sold most of its properties to Brandywine Realty Trust in 2004 as part of a $1 billion asset disposition.

At the time of the asset disposition, Adler noted: “The Rubenstein organization has consistently been, for more than three decades, one of the most astute investors in the region. Historically, they seem to know when it is time to invest and when it is time to divest.”

Founded in 1997, Independence Capital Partners consists of seven different member firms, including: Lubert-Adler, Quaker BioVentures, LLR Partners, LEM Mezzanine, Chrysalis Capital Partners, Rubenstein Partners, and LBC Credit Partners.

Pennsylvania PSERS commits $500m to real estate
The Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System has made three opportunistic real estate commitments in the last several months. Since January, the $56 billion (€44 billion) retirement system has committed $200 million to Lubert-Adler Partners' Lubert-Adler Real Estate Fund V, $400 million to the Blackstone Group's Blackstone Real Estate Partners V and $200 million to Prologis North American Industrial Fund. The pension fund has a seven percent target allocation to real estate.

Lead investor for Morgan Stanley
The Washington State Investment Board has agreed to be a lead investor in Morgan Stanley Real Estate Special Situations Fund III, a new vehicle that will make non-controlling investments in the securities of private and public real estate companies. The pension system has committed $150 million (€117 million) of equity to the fund, which is expected to raise $1.5 billion. The fund will buy non-controlling stakes in US, European and Asian companies. It is the third fund in the special situations investment program launched by Morgan Stanley in 1997.

Oregon invests in India fund
IL&FS India Realty Fund, an opportunistic vehicle being raised by IL&FS Investment Managers, has received $100 million (€78 million) in capital from the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, a $54.1 billion pension system. The fund, which is targeting $300 million, will seek a return of 20 percent or higher by investing in office, retail and residential properties in India.

AEW closes fifth fund on $690m
AEW Capital Partners has completed the final close for AEW Partners V, a closed-end opportunistic real estate fund, $690 million (€540 million). The fund will primarily invest in North America, but will also be able to invest 30 percent of its committed capital globally. The fund includes a co-investment of up to 7.5 percent from AEW.

KTR closes industrial fund on $505m
KTR Capital Partners has closed its Keystone Industrial Partners Fund with $505 million (€395 million) of equity commitments. The value-added fund should have $1.4 billion of buying power with leverage. The plan for the vehicle is to acquire and develop industrial properties. KTR is seeking a 13 to 15 percent return from the fund, which will be headed by former executives of Keystone Realty, a REIT acquired by ProLogis and Eaton Vance Management in 2004.

BlakelyStern launches new fund
BlakelyStern Investment Advisors, a New York real estate equity investor, is reportedly targeting foundations and endowments for its new fund, Ceres Realty Fund II. It will concentrate on the office, warehouse and retail sectors, and will target a 16 to 18 percent return. The firm hopes it will raise $100 million by the end of the year.

Mass PRIM hires Canlas
Lourdes Canlas has joined the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Board as senior investment officer for real estate and timber. She replaces George Wilson, who left in January to join the Boston-based institutional real estate consulting firm Morris and Morse. Canlas was previously senior investment officer with the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund. In her new capacity Canlas will help operate Mass PRIM's $4 billion (€3.1 billion) real estate portfolio.

New CFO for GSC Capital
Brian Oswold, 45, has replaced April Spencer as new chief financial officer for real estate investment trust GSC Capital Corp. Oswold was previously CFO and chief accounting officer with Capital Trust, a finance and investment management REIT. Oswold has 24 years of experience in accounting and financial control. GSC says Spencer will assist the company during the transition before pursuing other opportunities.

Crane Capital takes on new partner
Michelle LeRoy has joined Crane Capital Associates, an international placement specialist for private equity funds and alternative asset managers. LeRoy, who will join Crane as a managing partner, will lead Crane's origination, due diligence and fund-raising efforts for real estate funds and institutional investors. Prior to taking on this role LeRoy was head of investor relations for two different real estate investment trusts: SL Green Realty Corp. and Gramercy Capital Corp.

UC hires Gloria Gil
Gloria Gil is the new director of real estate assets for the pension and endowment plans of the University of California. Gil most recently served as senior investment officer for real estate with the Los Angeles County Employees' Retirement Association (LACERA). She will be responsible for developing and managing a real estate program for the university. The UC pension and endowment plans have allocated $3 billion (€2.3 billion) to real estate investments, representing 5 percent of their total assets. Trina Bigby-Sanders will replace Gil as interim head of real estate at LACERA.

Perseus adds three new execs
Washington, DC-based private equity real estate firm Perseus Realty Capital made three significant hirings in May. The firm has hired Brian Abrams as managing director on capital raising, investor relations and investor reporting; Lindsay Stroud as a vice president focused on debt and equity financing opportunities; and Andrew Burke as a vice president focused on originating joint venture investments for the company's investment vehicles. Abrams was most recently a portfolio manager for private investments at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Stroud previously served as a director with Philips Realty Capital and Burke previously worked in the international transactions group at AMB Property Corporation. Perseus manages the Perseus Capital City Fund, a $150-million, value-added fund.