Big fish, little fish: The biggest firms get bigger, and consolidation is the way of the industry, or is it?
Are the tectonic plates shifting under the real estate landscape? The explosive growth of “super-size” investment managers in recent years has been dramatic. According to research conducted by Institutional Real Estate, Inc. and Property Funds Research, in 2013 the 10 largest managers controlled 34 percent of the total AUM of the top 100 firms, while the top 20 had more under management than the next 100 firms combined. In 2014, the data was similar: the 10 largest firms controlled about one-third of the invested capital. Thanks to successful fundraising, aggressive M&A activities and healthy capital appreciation, the major players have grown ever larger, and smaller managers seem to be overshadowed.
The rising dominance of a few mega-firms raises questions about the effects of consolidation on the broader market, from both the managers’ and the investors’ perspectives. When industry giants with huge pools of capital to deploy are positioned to capture some of the