Silverpeak, Savills launch asset management JV

Savills Liberty Street Asset Management will manage third-party debt and equity investments across North America.

Silverpeak Real Estate Partners, the firm spun out from Lehman Brothers Real Estate Private Equity, has teamed up with the US arm of property services firm Savills to launch a third-party asset management business targeting North America debt and equity deals.

The firm, Savills Liberty Street Asset Management, is eyeing the assets of foreign and US banks, fund advisors, sovereign wealth funds and high-net-worth and institutional investors, the firms said in a joint statement. Silverpeak will take the lead in managing the assets, while Savills US’ president and chief executive officer John Lyons said the JV would provide its clients with the capability of “building value through the full investment life cycle”.

Arthur Milston, managing director of Savills US, said in an interview the firm first looked at the idea of creating a dedicated asset management arm in the US about a year ago, and launched formal discussions with Silverpeak four months ago. As increasing numbers of organisations looked to outsource their asset management functions, Milston said Savills and Silverpeak would look to take over those functions. Savills Liberty Street has no mandates to date, but Silverpeak is expected to conduct day-to-day asset management from its Altanta offices.

Silverpeak was founded by the former senior management of Lehman Brothers Real Estate, including co-heads Brett Bossung and Mark Newman together with chief financial officer Rodolpho Amboss, asset management head Kevin Dinnie and Lehman’s former head of real estate Mark Walsh, to manage the bankrupt bank’s three opportunistic funds, which raised more than $7.2 billion in equity. However, as the funds' near the end of their life and assets are liquidated, the firm's management fee stream will also decline.

In November, Bossung and Newman told PERE that, in the wake of Lehman’s bankruptcy filing, Silverpeak’s task was to “focus on the assets, which we had been doing the entire time, and really prove to investors that the choice they made about us managing their existing investments was the proper one”.

Now, it seems Silverpeak has begun looking to the future. Bossung added at the time: “Ultimately, as we told our investors, we are going to grow the business again, but we still have circa $18 billion of real estate to manage.”