Virtus Real Estate Capital makes senior hire

The Austin-based private real estate firm has appointed a new director of capital development as it looks to launch a new real estate fund later in the year.  

Virtus Real Estate Capital, a real estate private equity firm based in Austin, Texas, has appointed Nick Worontzoff as its new director of capital development, as the firm looks to expand in the private real estate advisory and investment arenas.

Worontzoff comes with more than 25 years of financial services experience. Before joining Virtus Real Estate Capital, he was a minority owner and head of business development at Evermore Global Advisors, a mutual fund advisor, where he implemented the firm’s sales, marketing and investor relations strategy.

“A veteran targeting the advisory community, Nick’s leadership will prove pivotal as we increase our marketing to registered investment advisors and single and multifamily offices throughout 2015 and beyond,” said Terrell Gates, chief executive officer and founder, Virtus Real Estate Capital. “With Nick, we are tapping this critical segment of the market that historically has had limited access to quality institutional investment options, especially in the real estate space.”

Worontzoff said that, in his experience, with advisors and family offices, he has been amazed at the lack of institutional strategies available to meet their client needs.

“The best institutional portfolio managers continue to allocate a significant amount of their capital to quality private equity real estate funds. Virtus not only brings a similar institutional fund structure to the high net worth community, it provides a truly unique strategy within the marketplace,” he said. “It’s about time a firm identified this gap in the market and offered a strategy that possesses proper alignment of interests and current income, plus growth and low correlation to the broader market…”

On the fundraising side, the firm has announced plans of raising its seventh real estate fund later this year. To date, the firm has raised $257 million for the Virtus Real Estate Capital Fund, for which it originally set a $500 million target. The fund is invested in opportunistic and value-add strategies in the student housing, self-storage, medical offices and senior living sectors.

Since its launch in 2003, Virtus Real Estate Capital has acquired 170 commercial real estate properties valued at more than $2.5 billion through the US. It invests in niche real estate assets such as self-storage, student housing, medical office and senior living.