Hodes Weill expands M&A advisory business – Exclusive

The firm aims to grow its strategic advisory business, including M&A advisory, to account for more than 40% of its total activity over the next three to four years.

Hodes Weill & Associates is formalizing and expanding its strategic advisory business by promoting Christopher Monsif, a principal at the firm, to lead the effort, PERE has learned.

The boutique global real estate advisory firm intends to diversify its business by putting a greater focus on its GP advisory services, which includes advisory for restructuring, recapitalization and M&A, according to founder and co-managing partner David Hodes. He expects advisory, which currently accounts for approximately 25 percent of the firm’s business, to grow its share to more than 40 percent over the next three to four years. After 10 years since it was established, the firm has the resources to start looking at advisory as a more differentiated part of the business, he explained. “We want [clients] to think about us as more than just a group that can help them do the next fund or figure out how to recap a portfolio.”

Monsif, who joined Hodes Weill in 2016 and has worked across all the business lines, will now spend the bulk of his time building the strategic advisory business as part of his promotion, according to Hodes. His new responsibilities will include executing transactions and sourcing clients. There will also be an effort to educate companies in the private real estate market on the firm’s strategic M&A advisory services through a calling program and highlighting the firm’s track record, Hodes said.

As a policy, Hodes Weill’s employees work across platforms instead of getting assigned to a single business line. As a result, the Advisory Services vertical, led by Monsif, will share employees with other divisions­­­ – namely Private Placements and Principal Investments. As the overall business expands, Hodes says he expects the firm to increase headcount but does not have any specific targets at the moment. The firm currently has 35 team members.

Through its Private Placements platform, Hodes Weill has raised approximately $13 billion on behalf of clients for funds, separate accounts and joint ventures. The firm also makes minority investments in various asset managers through affiliate Tunbridge Investment Partners, which falls under the Principal Investment division.

To date, the firm has completed eight sell-side M&A transactions on behalf of its clients. In September 2018, Hodes Weill acted as a global financial advisor for the London-based Standard Chartered Bank’s sale of its Asian Principal Finance Real Estate business to asset management firm Actis. When the European private real estate firm Tristan Capital Partners sold a 40 percent stake in its business to US insurer New York Life in February 2018, Hodes Weill acted as a sell-side advisor for Tristan.

Hodes Weill initially became involved in the deal in 2015 when it was looking to replace minority shareholder Gothear Group, a German insurer, Tristan’s founder Ric Lewis told PERE previously. In June 2015, Hodes Weill also represented real estate investment and services firm Bentall Kennedy when the Canadian financial services giant Sun Life Financial acquired it in a $560 million transaction.