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Hodes Weill pushes ahead with new European expansion

The global real estate and real assets advisory firm is opening an office in Amsterdam as a direct response to increased market demand and Brexit.

Hodes Weill & Associates, the global real estate and real assets advisory firm headquartered in New York, is looking to bolster its European operations.

The firm opened an office in Amsterdam last week, PERE has learned. It is the first time the firm has had a European presence outside of London. Matt Hershey, global head of distribution and partner at Hodes Weill, will relocate to Amsterdam from the office he opened four years ago in Denver with the aim of being closer to clients in the region. Hershey will continue in his current role in the new location, alongside building out the firm’s European operations.

“In the same way that Hodes Weill opened Denver four years ago to be closer to western North America and that investment and management community, this office will expand our reach both globally and locally,” Hershey told PERE.

Matt Hershey is relocating from Denver, becoming the first Hodes Weill partner to sit in Europe since 2019.

Hodes Weill has also hired Barbara Maltha as a principal to join Hershey in the new Amsterdam office. Maltha comes from CBRE Capital Advisors where she was responsible for capital raising, fund structuring and advisory assignments. Maltha will report to Hershey and work alongside two other principals in Hodes Weill’s EMEA team, Jonathan Read and Rima Batal, who will both remain in the firm’s London office.

The firm has reshuffled its European operations a number of times since it opened its London office in January 2012. The office began with the firm hiring Dominic Field from Grosvenor to run the office. Eric Lemer, a former GI Partners director, joined at the same time to focus on capital raising in the region. Matilde Attolico was hired a few weeks later from Mercury Capital Advisors to cover investors in the Middle East, UK and Scandinavia. In 2014, after Field left, Hodes Weill hired Zeynep Fetvaci from Peakside Capital to cover institutional investors in Europe. Attolico and Fetvaci both departed in 2017 to join JLL’s fund advisory business.

Former CBRE Global Investors chief investment officer Will Rowson joined as a partner in 2015, overseeing the EMEA business out of London. Read was hired in 2017 as the firm rebuilt in the region following Attolico’s and Fetvaci’s departures, while Batal came aboard in 2020. Hershey’s move to a European location will be the first time a partner has sat in Europe since Rowson left at the end of 2019.

Barbara Maltha becomes the firm’s first hire for its new Amsterdam office, leading capital raising in the EMEA region.

Brexit is part of the reason the firm decided to expand beyond its current UK presence. Operating an office in the European Union provides regulatory compliance post-Brexit, Hershey said. However, there is still complexity due to each European country handling their own securities laws and taxes, Hershey added, another reason being on the ground helps.

For Hodes Weill, honing its understanding of the region is increasingly important as more capital is deployed in Europe. The firm said over half of the capital it helped raise last year was cross-border, with around 20 percent from EMEA. Since 2020, Hodes Weill has raised more than $1 billion of capital from institutions based in the region.

CBRE’s 2021 global capital flows report for the second half of 2021, released this month, showed a total of $40.7 billion flowing into the region. That represented a 41 percent year-on-year increase but a 4 percent decrease from the previous five-year H2 average, the report said. The US and Singapore, the two most active countries deploying capital in Europe, increased the amount of capital committed in H2 2021 versus the five-year average by 25 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

“It makes a lot of sense to expand even more in Europe and connect European investors better to US- and Asia-focused products, but also find the right European products that could resonate with the US,” Maltha said.

In terms of European investors, Maltha said that the Netherlands was a key growth area for the firm, hence choosing Amsterdam as the location for the new office. Hodes Weill also plans to increase its exposure to UK clients, particularly in the wake of local government pension schemes pooling assets, she added. The scale of the newfound pension pools creates a sophistication, allowing those investors to invest across borders more comfortably.

Timeline of Hodes Weill’s European business

January 2012 Hodes Weill opens its London offices, hiring Dominic Field to run it and Eric Lemer to lead capital raising. Matilde Attolico was hired a few weeks later.

April 2012 Matt Hershey joins as a principal in Hodes Weill’s fundraising business.

July 2014 Field leaves the firm.

September 2014 Zeynep Fetvaci joins the London office to cover institutional investors.

December 2014 Lemer leaves the firm.

March 2015 Will Rowson joins the firm as a partner, heads the London office.

June 2017 Jonathan Read joins the firm as a principal to cover UK and European institutions.

July 2017 Both Attolico and Fetvaci leave the firm for JLL.

December 2019  Rowson leaves the firm.

June 2020 Rima Batal joins the firm as a principal to cover institutions in the Middle East and Southern Europe.

January 2021 Hershey is promoted to partner and global head of distribution.

April 2022 Hodes Weill opens Amsterdam office. Hershey relocates from Denver to oversee the office. The firm also hires Barbara Maltha as principal to sit in the new office.