Nori Gerardo Lietz is someone you should be nice to—at least if you're an opportunity fund manager.
As one of the most respected pension fund consultants in the world, Gerardo Lietz wields enormous influence over where institutional investors place their real estate capital. A positive endorsement can open the coffers of some of the largest pension funds in the US, including CalSTRS, CalPERS and the Oregon Public Employees' Retirement Fund. A negative recommendation can make the fundraising trail a lonely place.
Gerardo Lietz, who co-founded Pension Consulting Alliance in 1988, may be the reigning kingmaker of the private equity real estate industry, but she is also one of its most outspoken critics. With her distinct combative style, she has become a lightning rod for controversy, lambasting everything from the industry's lack of transparency to its fee structure to the relatively poor performance of opportunity funds in the 1990s. At an industry conference last year, she presented PCA data showing that median net IRRs for funds raised between 1996 and 1999 were as low as 8 percent.
“These returns are simply pathetic considering the risks undertaken,” Gerardo Lietz said at the time.
The silence that greeted her words suggested that Gerardo Lietz doesn't make a lot of friends in the GP community. But given her influence, perhaps GPs should try and make friends with her.