Townsend Group co-founder passes away

Kevin Lynch had focused on new product development at the Cleveland, Ohio-based real assets advisory firm.

Kevin Lynch, co-founder of The Townsend Group, died at his home in Naples, Florida over the weekend, the firm said Tuesday.

Lynch founded the Cleveland, Ohio-based real assets advisory firm in 1983 with Terry Ahern. At Townsend, he was responsible for new product development, particularly as it related to the formation of new strategic relationships.

“Kevin's energy and optimism were infectious, and his passing is a true loss to all fortunate enough to have had him in their lives,” the statement said. “Kevin Lynch was a ubiquitous industry figure during his career.”

Prior to forming Townsend, Lynch worked in structuring private placement real estate transactions for New York-based investment firm Stonehenge Capital.

“Kevin leaves us a persevering legacy of camaraderie and teamwork endemic to our culture,” Tuesday’s statement said. “Townsend has been privileged to develop a deeply devoted team over the years, and though we will all miss Kevin, he leaves our clients, our partners, and our firm in a position of strength and endless resolve.”

Townsend is currently led by 19 partners across four global offices in Cleveland, San Francisco, London and Hong Kong. The firm’s clients have assets exceeding $179 billion, according to the statement.

In August 2011, the co-founders sold a 70 percent stake in their business to Aligned Asset Managers, a portfolio company of private equity firm GTCR, PERE previously reported. At the time, Lynch told PERE the capital infusion would allow the firm to continue to grow and retain its top senior talent.

Then, in October 2015, NorthStar Asset Management bought that stake from GTCR and an additional 15 percent interest from Townsend. Townsend’s management team retained the remaining 15 percent stake.

In between the sale of its stakes, Townsend expanded into investment management. In January 2014, the firm closed on its first opportunistic fund, raising $357.5 million from over 50 institutional investors for the Townsend Real Estate Alpha Fund, according to a statement at the time. The firm then raised $496 million for the second vehicle, which closed March 1. In a statement at the time, Townsend said it would launch the third vehicle in 2016. The firm registered Townsend Real Estate Alpha Fund III in January, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.