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
Sarasota, Florida-based residential real estate investment firm Starwood Land Ventures has hired former Lennar Corporation executive Cory Boydston as senior vice president. Boydston will be based in the firm's Atlanta office and will be responsible for all finance functions, also leading the firm's efforts to source investment opportunities. Boydston will structure strategic ventures with lenders, builders and developers across the country and be a member of Starwood Land's investment committee. Boydston has previously held senior positions with large US homebuilders, Lennar Corporation and Beazer Homes. Starwood Land Ventures is an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group.
GE Real Estate goes green
GE Real Estate, the real estate arm of General Electric, has appointed Stuart Brodsky as its North America sustainability leader. Brodsky was previously the national commercial property manager for the US government-backed Energy Star program that aims to improve energy consumption in businesses, homes and products. The hire follows GE Real Estate's announcement last year that it would “green” its real estate investment business in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative, part of former US President Bill Clinton's foundation.
Lionstone hires new principal
The Lionstone Group, a real estate investment firm based in Houston, Texas, has hired Jim Hime as a principal and investment director for its US land acquisition strategy. Hime was formerly with Hines where he helped raise several funds. Prior to this, he worked as a partner with Baker Botts law firm. Lionstone, formed in 2001, targets investments in the US land market, including large infill land tracts with issues that have prevented other potential buyers from purchasing them. The firm was founded by partners Tom Bacon, Dan Dubrowski and Glenn Lowenstein.
Margolis to lead Dividend RE FoF
Real estate investment firm Dividend Capital Group has launched a new private equity fund of funds focused on global real estate value-add and opportunity funds – to be headed by Howard Margolis. The new fund, Dividend Capital Global Real Estate Fund of Funds, will comprise a portfolio of ten to 15 private equity real estate funds, diversified by geography, sector, investment strategy, investment manager, fund type and investment structure. Prior to joining Dividend, Margolis was senior vice president of investments with the Singapore sovereign wealth investor Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), where he was responsible for more than $3 billion of equity investments in and commitments to private equity real estate funds and joint ventures.