Hodes Weill goes global with three senior hires

The New York-based real estate advisory firm has opened offices in Hong Kong and London as part of its global expansion, which also marks the firm’s entree into the third-party capital raising arena.

Hodes Weill & Associates, a New York-based real estate advisory firm with a focus on the investment and funds management industry, has added three senior professionals for new offices in Hong Kong and London as it seeks to expand its services globally, PERE has learned. In addition, the firm has begun offering third-party capital-raising services following the expiration of a two-year non-compete agreement between the firm’s founders and their former employer, Credit Suisse.

Earlier this month, Hodes Weill opened its first international office in Hong Kong, hiring Alfredo Lobo as a partner. In the new role, he is responsible for managing the business activities of the firm in Asia and Australia, including coverage of institutional investors and investment and fund managers.

Next month, Hodes Weill will open a new office in London with the hiring of Dominic Field and Eric Lemer. Field will join as a partner and will be responsible for managing the business activities of the firm in the UK and Europe, while Lemer will have primary responsibility for covering investment and fund managers and executing capital raising assignments in the region. Field and Lemer previously worked with the co-founders of Hodes Weill at Credit Suisse in the firm’s Real Estate Private Fund Group (REPFG).

 “We are pleased to welcome Alfredo to the firm and are looking forward to working again alongside our former colleagues, Dominic and Eric,” said David Hodes, co-founder and managing partner.  “With this global expansion, we are positioning the firm to facilitate the two-way flow of investment ideas and capital to deliver innovative solutions on a global basis.”

The reasons for entering the capital-raising arena and for expanding globally have much to do with current industry and fundraising trends. Hodes Weill believes that net new allocations will drive growth in real estate assets under management over the next three to five years, with institutions maintaining – or, in many cases, increasing – target allocations to real estate. Coupled with the finding by Kingsley Associates that, on average, institutions are 1.8 percent below their 10.3 percent target allocation to real estate, Hodes Weill estimates that institutions are under-invested by more than $300 billion, relative to target allocations.

“While institutional allocations to real estate are accelerating, the task of raising capital from institutions remains challenging in today’s market,” said Doug Weill, co-founder and managing partner.  “The institutions that are allocating capital are more widespread from a geographic perspective and they are increasingly seeking highly customized investment strategies and vehicles.  We are committed to expanding our global coverage of the institutional market and look forward to further additions to the team over the coming months.”

Prior to joining Hodes Weill, Lobo was a managing director of LXL Capital Partners, a Hong Kong-based investment and advisory boutique he formed in 2009 to focus on Pan-Asian fundraising and M&A advisory assignments in various market segments, with a particular focus on real estate. Prior to that, he was a founding partner of Latitude Capital Group, a China-focused boutique investment bank specializing in M&A and private placements.

Meanwhile, Field most recently was the director of business development at Grosvenor Fund Management, where he was responsible for coordinating global capital raising activities and new business initiatives. From 2003 to 2009, he was a director at Credit Suisse REPFG responsible for developing the European business and raising capital from European institutional investors for various private equity funds globally.

Lemer most recently was a director in charge of European capital raising and investor relations with GI Partners.  From 2005 to 2010, he was a director at Credit Suisse REPFG responsible for managing European fundraising assignments.

Hodes and Weill, along with Bill Thompson, co-founded REPFG in 2000 while part of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. From 2000 through February 2009, they had responsibility for the strategic oversight and management of REPFG, which raised more than $40 billion in capital on behalf of 67 private real estate funds over that time. In 2009, Hodes and Weill left Credit Suisse with five others to set up their own business. As part of their departure, they agreed to a two-year non-compete with regards to broad-based fundraising, a restriction that expired in July.