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- June 2009: Vol. 21 No. 6

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The Next Wave: Restructuring Real Estate Funds and Fund Managers

by Ed Casal and Guy Cawthra

More than 900 real estate funds were formed globally during the six years leading up to 2008, raising more than $350 billion in aggregate investment commitments.

The real estate fund universe has developed to become substantial and complex. It includes global, regional, country, sector, equity, debt and even single-asset funds. Styles vary from the relatively low-risk core and core-plus funds to the higher-return-seeking value-added and opportunistic funds. Many fund managers are large and institutional, often owned by banks, insurance companies or asset management firms, while others are independent, focused boutiques. Some managers are “operators” providing all services in-house, including acquisitions and management, while others serve as “allocators,” partnering with local real estate operators to acquire assets in joint ventures. The real estate fund management industry is substantial and complex, and has grown to provide a full complement of

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