Shelter Rock taps industry veteran to lead Asian placement – Exclusive

The New York firm has formed a strategic alliance with Philip Levinson’s newly-minted Penmount Partners.

Shelter Rock Capital Advisors has tapped veteran capital raiser Philip Levinson to lead its placement efforts in Asia, continuing its expansion into the region’s burgeoning investor market.

The New York-based firm has formed a strategic alliance with Penmount Partners, a Singaporean boutique advisory launched by Levinson last year. Per the arrangement, Levinson will raise capital for Shelter Rock’s real estate clients throughout Asia – aside from Japan, which will be handled by a separate joint venture. In exchange, Penmount gains access to Shelter Rock’s dealflow in the US, Europe and Latin America.

Levinson has been active in Asia since 2005. During stints with LaSalle Investment Management, Blackstone and Park Hill Real Estate, he helped institutional investors in the region develop their first private real estate investment strategies. In recent years, he has done the same for high-net-worth individuals and family offices in Singapore and elsewhere. He said these individual investors are “becoming the new institutions.”

“There’s an enormous amount of wealth being created [in Asia] and a lot of that wealth is being created through real estate in home markets,” Levinson said. “The opportunity now exists to take some of that wealth and allocate it outside the home markets for diversification.”

Shelter Rock made its first push into Asia in fall 2017 through a joint venture with Matrix Japan, a Tokyo-based alternative investment advisory and placement firm. The JV currently has several deals under due diligence. Levinson said Asian investors are keen on acquiring stable, income-producing assets in the US and Europe as a hedge against their domestic holdings. Last year, $35 billion flowed from Asia into US and European real estate, according to JLL.

Penmount can still place Asian capital into Asian funds independently but all its fund mandates outside the region will be exclusive to Shelter Rock.

Walter Stackler, founder and managing partner of Shelter Rock, praised Levinson’s “thoughtful and creative approach” toward building and running real estate firms. Prior to starting Penmount, Levinson established Blackstone’s Australian operations and served as chief executive of Singapore-based REITs Cambridge Industrial Trust and Cromwell European REIT, the latter of which was a €1 billion pan-European vehicle that he took public in 2017.

Levinson said he was introduced to Stackler by a shared contact roughly a year-and-a-half ago. The fact that both have multiple decades of experience in the capital placement space and their diverse regional specialties made the alliance a natural fit, he added.

“It’s the coming together of people with gray hair,” Levinson said. “It’s picking the people with the experience of having lived and worked and managed funds in our respective regions and putting that together to the benefit of the client base.”