Some LPs prefer to sit back and let private equity real estate fund managers invest their money without much oversight. Others take a more hands-on role. And a select few, like JP Morgan's Joanne Douvas, redefine what it means to be a limited partner.
Douvas, who joined the investment bank in 1999, has full discretion over the real estate investment strategy of the firm's pension system, which gives her management of a portfolio with a net asset value of $1.5 billion. But while other LPs manage more dollars, few have the far-reaching influence of Douvas, who sits on the advisory boards of nearly three dozen private equity real estate funds. One of the most vocal critics of the compensation structure of private equity real estate vehicles, Douvas has also penned some of the industry's leading scholarship on reining in opportunity fund fees.
“Nobody has done more to align the interests of real estate GPs and LPs,” says one industry participant. “Her writings, lectures and investment policies have laid the foundation for modern expectations regarding fund management, reporting and performance criteria. With commitments to real estate funds tripling in the past five years, Joanne's influence on LP commitment volume and confidence, which clearly go together, cannot be overstated.”