Starwood launches infrastructure finance group

A newly formed subsidiary of international real estate investment firm Starwood Capital Group is targeting investment opportunities in public real estate infrastructure bonds.

Greenwich, Connecticut-based Starwood Capital Group has tapped former Bank of America executives to invest in public real estate infrastructure bonds.

Ramiro Albarran and Bob Burch are joining the firm’s new subsidiary, Starwood Infrastructure Finance, as managing principals tasked with finding and managing investments.

The firm said it will partner with developers and underwriters in the US seeking capital in “increasingly turbulent real estate and credit markets.” A spokesperson for Starwood did not immediately return calls for comment.

Starwood Infrastructure Finance will “fill a valuable need” in the current market by providing long-term capital to projects across the US offering “attractive risk-adjusted returns,” Karl Frey, Starwood managing director, said in a statement.

The division will take a “disciplined approach” in underwriting these bonds, or “non-recourse real estate development loans.”

Starwood Infrastructure Finance will focus initially on buying performing debt on ongoing projects with “great long-term potential” but which are in need of new capital partners, Albarran said.

Prior to his new post, Albarran was national head of investment banking for public finance at Bank of America. He also was a member of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, a US organization which oversees municipal securities dealers.

Burch was previously a managing director at Bank of America and national manager for real estate securities within public finance, which was responsible for structuring all real estate infrastructure bonds underwritten by the bank.