Multi-manager merger

The Madison Harbor and Morley Fund Management merger brings two big names in private equity real estate under one umbrella.

The integration of New York-based Madison Harbor Capital and the real estate multi-manager team of London-based Morley Fund Management represents an effort by the two firms to create “a totally unified on-the-ground global platform.”

The move, formally announced in April 2008, has been in the works for several months. “We've been seriously trying to pull this together with Aviva/Morley for the last four months or so,” Ed Casal, Madison Harbor chief executive officer told PERE. The two firms initially discussed working together late last year, with New York-based Madison Harbor doing advisory work in the US for London-based Morley Fund Management, the fund management subsidiary of Aviva Capital Management.

Over time, however, both sides decided it made more sense to have a “more complete integration,” said Casal, who described the merger as a “natural fit” for the two firms. Although the integration is significant, it will be business as usual for the US fund of funds manager. “Importantly, it's really not much of a cultural shift,” said Casal, “we're going to be investing alongside extremely capable teams based in London and Singapore, and leveraging the entire 17-person team's expertise in the US, European and Asian markets.” The Madison Harbor team, which has been together since December 2003, will remain at its New York office.

In total, the integrated real estate multi-manager group will have an investment staff of 17, located in New York, London and Singapore, managing more than $5 billion (€3.2 billion) in capital. Morley has more than $300 billion under management, with $60 billion in real estate alone.

Morley director of property strategy and indirect investment, Nick Mansley, will serve as the group's chief executive officer, while Casal will serve as chief investment officer. The senior investment team also includes former Madison Harbor managing director Russ Bates in New York; Ian Gleeson head of international multi-manager property services for Morley in London; and Ian Hally, head of Asia strategy and indirect property investment for Morley in Singapore.

The merger represents a pioneering effort toward a truly integrated global platform in the real estate multi-manager space, according to Casal. “I don't think that anybody has really got a totally unified on-the-ground global platform in the multi-manager space yet and we want to stay in the lead on that front.”

Starwood affiliate hires VP
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GE Real Estate goes green
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Lionstone hires new principal
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