Tristan to launch €500m debut fund

The London-based private equity real estate firm sets out a three-point plan for the business, which also includes launching a securities business, plus reveals fresh hires

Tristan Capital Partners, the London-based pan-European private equity real estate firm founded by Ric Lewis, is to launch its first fund early next year.

Lewis said Tristan planned to begin marketing a core and core-plus product, Curzon Capital Partners III, in the first quarter of 2011 targeting €500 million.

Speaking with PERE at the firm’s office in London, Lewis explained the strategy was to have three main businesses.

The first is a real estate fund management business that will seek to launch core, core-plus, value-added and opportunistic vehicles. The second will be a securities business, and the third will be a venture capital business for real estate investment firms.

Lewis said “the market was ready for a core, core-plus product” where the firm would provide “medium-intensity asset management initiatives”.

He added that an opportunistic fund would likely follow in the next 18 months to 2 years.

In addition to revealing plans for fresh funds, a securities and venture capital business, Lewis also said Tristan had made a number of new hires, some of which are from his former employer, AEW and Curzon Global Partners, the boutique fund manager he established before it became an affiliate of AEW Europe. 

Rui Tereso, head of portfolio and asset management, has joined Tristan having been co-head of funds portfolio management at AEW. He previously worked with Lewis at Curzon Global Partners to build up the core-plus and value added vehicles.  

Monica O’Neil, head of client services and marketing, has also joined from AEW Europe where she managing director, head of investor relations and previously held a similar position at Curzon.

Other hires included: Cameron Spry, head of investments, a former managing director at Fortress Investment Group; Simon Martin, head of research and strategy; Ben Newman, managing director, portfolio and asset management, formerly head of the Global Property Fund at UBS; Sameer Godbole, director in investments, formerly vice president at JPMorgan Real Estate; and Ian Laming, chief operating officer. Laming formerly worked as co-head of Morgan Stanley’s European equity and fixed income research.  

Lewis said: “We’re pleased that we have attracted some of the best people in the business and they’re all very familiar faces. Most of them worked alongside me when we built Curzon Global Partners. I am glad to be back in partnership with former teammates and some exceptional new ones. Our goal for Tristan is to match and exceed the investment and business performance of our prior partnership at Curzon.”

Of the securities business, Lewis said being in private real estate would help the firm to be an accomplished investor in shares of public companies, and vice-versa. “We want to bring that capability to our clients,” he explained.

Lewis said the venture capital component of its strategy was likely to be the smallest part of the business. It would see Tristan backing a small number of experienced professionals as they start their own businesses.

Massachusetts-born Lewis is the former chief investment officer of AEW Europe who separated out from AEW Europe towards the end of 2008 and established Tristan in 2009. Under the Tristan business, he continues to manage two AEW opportunity funds, European Property Investors and European Property Investors Special Opportunities (EPISO). AEW dropped the Curzon brand as part of a restructuring, but Lewis owns the rights to the Curzon name.