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Threadmark opens US office for real assets mandates

Having built a track record in Europe and the Middle East, the London-based placement agent has opened a New York outpost to take on North America.

After being in operation for six years and raising $4 billion on behalf of its clients, Threadmark, a private fund placement agent headquartered in London, is aiming to expand its business into the North American market with the opening of a new office in New York, PERE sister publication has Infrastructure Investor reported.

“The North American investor base is the most sophisticated – bar none – in the alternative space and it’s huge compared to other markets,” Threadmark co-founder and partner Bruce Chapman said in a phone interview with Infrastructure Investor. “So it’s always been a market that we’ve seen as particularly attractive and one we’ve wanted to be active in for quite some time on a more consistent basis.”

Threadmark is now able to do so, Chapman said, having hired Andrew Harris as senior vice president and received the necessary regulatory approvals to operate as a broker-dealer in the US.

“Andrew spent all of his working career in New York,” he said. In hiring [him] and building out our US team, we’ve been very focused on hiring senior professionals who have deep local relationships rather than trying to parachute in Europeans who know fund placement very well but don’t necessarily know the [local] investor base very well.”

Harris brings more than 10 years of fundraising and investor relations experience to his new role, having previously worked for Forum Capital Partners and Broadgate Consultants in New York. In a separate interview with PERE, Chapman said that Harris had significant experience raising capital for both real estate and infrastructure funds.

Real estate and infrastructure are the two asset classes that Chapman and Anne Gales, Threadmark’s second co-founder and partner, focused on when establishing the firm in 2009. Over the past several years, however, the firm has expanded into the credit space and has been opportunistically active in private equity.

In fact, two of Threadmark’s three initial mandates in the US will be in real estate, said Chapman. One will be a US-based property fund manager, while the other will be a European manager, he said. “For both mandates, the scope of our role is the same, in that we have basically free rein in Europe and North America to raise capital,” said Chapman. “The expectation is that we will probably raise even amounts of capital in both offices.”

Although Harris currently is sole US employee at the moment, Chapman said Threadmark hopes to have a team of five to six people over the next 12 months.“We’re specifically looking people with deep real estate experience and expertise as we take them on.”

-With additional reporting by Evelyn Lee