Rockpoint’s German principal forms new firm

Michael Gerlich has formed a German investment and asset management firm called Fiduciary Capital in conjunction with the closing of Rockpoint’s Frankfurt office.

Rockpoint Group’s German managing director and principal has left the Boston-based real estate investment management firm to form his own firm focusing on real estate investments in Germany.

Michael Gerlich formed Fiduciary Capital, a German investment and asset management firm, in conjunction with the closing of Rockpoint’s office in Frankfurt. At press time, neither Gerlich nor Rockpoint had disclosed whether Gerlich’s departure led to the closing of the Frankfurt office or if the closing of the office led to his departure.

According to a statement by the new Munich-based firm, Fiduciary Capital's core principle is to act as a true fiduciary, a steward of third-party capital. “Our goal is to create tailored repositioning concepts for problematic assets and then speedily execute these concepts,” Gerlich said. “Our focus will be on assets with chronic vacancies and/ or refurbishment needs.”

Fiduciary Capital plans to focus on new acquisitions in the commercial real estate space in Germany on behalf of institutional and private equity capital partners. In addition, the firm will focus on “assets that offer the potential to achieve attractive returns, primarily through hard work at the property level,” and that possess “low to moderate downside risk,” Gerlich said. He added that the firm “will continue to stay away from transactions with a potentially binary business plan.”

According to Rockpoint, in conjunction with Gerlich leaving the firm, it will be closing its Frankfurt office at the end of this month and consolidating its international activities in the firm's London office. Gerlich will continue to provide services to Rockpoint, thereby providing for a smooth transition of asset management responsibilities for existing Rockpoint assets in Germany. 

Since late 2005, Gerlich has been a managing director and principal at Rockpoint Group, where he built and led its German business and managed and acquired office assets with a total value of approximately $1.5 billion in Munich, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg. Prior to Rockpoint, he spent 10 years as the managing director of the German real estate arms of General Electric Capital Corporation and Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, where he also founded and managed one of the first Shariah-compliant funds in Europe. 

All told, Gerlich has acquired and managed assets totalling more than $2.5 billion across all sectors throughout his career. Most recently, he acquired a 600,000-square-foot office complex located on Dusseldorf's ‘Königsallee’, one of Germany's most expensive high streets, for Rockpoint for an undisclosed amount in an off-market, directly sourced and negotiated transaction.