Last month, a new real estate fund shot into the top echelon of the largest closed-end property vehicles of all time.
Brookfield Asset Management held a final close on its latest global opportunistic real estate fund, Brookfield Strategic Real Estate Partners (BSREP) II. With a total equity haul of $9 billion, the fund exceeded its target by $2 billion and is more than double the size of its predecessor, BSREP I, which closed on $4.4 billion in 2013. BSREP II also now ranks as the fourth-largest real estate fund ever raised, according to PERE Research & Analytics.
The size of BSREP II drew the same incredulous reactions as Blackstone’s record-breaking $15.8 billion BREP VIII last year. One consultant found the raise shocking when PERE spoke with him at the Global Investor Forum in Los Angeles last month. “Really?” he asked.
Aside from very similar-looking acronyms, the BSREP II equity haul also had echoes of BREP VIII in other ways, as it signified once again the concentration of the sector’s biggest money in the hands of a few chosen firms. “Consolidation definitely continues in the space,” commented one smaller real estate manager. “I don’t necessarily think it’s a negative, and I don’t think investors necessarily get hurt. But it’s very hard to be nimble if you have so much money.” However, while many big firms seem to have an easier time fundraising in part because of their size, Brookfield’s fundraising success had a lot of merit to it, the manager said: “The brainpower there is larger than at some institutions.”