Following their recently established strategic partnership and formation of a European direct real estate investment joint-venture, La Française and Forum Partners today announce their acquisition of Cushman & Wakefield Investors (CWI), the investment management business of Cushman & Wakefield (C&W). This acquisition, subject to regulatory approval, will be jointly owned by La Française and Forum, 66.6% and 33.3% respectively, and will operate under the brand La Française Forum Real Estate Partners (“LFF Real Estate Partners”).
CWI executives David Rendall (CEO) and Jens Göttler (Managing Director), together with their current team, will continue to manage the business and investments. All existing service arrangements between Cushman & Wakefield and CWI will be transferred to LFF Real Estate Partners.
CWI provides a complete investment management service in both direct and indirect commercial property investments for a wide range of international clients across the UK, continental Europe and in Korea. CWI is a recognized specialist in core and core plus real estate investment strategies throughout Europe, most notably the French, German, UK and Swedish markets. Building on over 30 years of investment management experience, CWI has over $1.2 billion of assets under management from separate accounts and the PURetail Fund, in a joint-venture with Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP). PURetail is a closed-ended pan-European (France, Germany and Sweden) real estate fund focused on urban retail assets. Existing local teams will remain in place and will continue to operate out of Paris, London and Frankfurt.
Just four months ago, La Française and Forum Partners announced their partnership and aspiration to become a leading European real estate investment manager and advisor. The acquisition of CWI enables La Française and Forum Partners to provide a variety of solutions for investors seeking European core real estate exposure.
Patrick Rivière, Managing Director of La Française, commented: “When screening partners, we are extremely sensitive to their corporate culture. La Française is what it is today because employees and directors have a vested interest in customer satisfaction, which in the end determines our success. That same dedication to service and quality emanated from CWI and its people. It was a natural fit. As a real estate investment manager focused predominantly on France, we now possess a demonstrated and recognized pan European direct real estate expertise. Investors, retail and institutional, will henceforth have access to an enriched investment offer covering real estate assets in the three primary European markets: France, Germany and the UK.”
Russell Platt, CEO of Forum Partners, commented: "We are thrilled to welcome David Rendall, Jens Göttler and their team as senior management of our new direct real estate venture with La Française. Their impeccable credentials, market knowledge and pan-European resources will bring immediate benefits to both firms and accelerate the development of our collaborative efforts."
Commenting on the sale of CWI, Carlo Sant’Albano, CEO Cushman & Wakefield, EMEA said: “At Cushman & Wakefield we remain focused on executing our plan which is critical to growing our business and for delivering high quality, value-added services to our clients. With a number of high priority strategic growth initiatives underway at present it is not the right time to invest substantially in building out the CWI platform. In the best interests of the existing CWI client base, we are pleased to have reached an agreement to sell the business to LFF Real Estate Partners which is looking to increase its European exposure and can provide CWI’s clients with access to a larger investment management entity and importantly, continuity of service.”
As a result of this acquisition, La Française and Forum Partners can now offer a complete range of bespoke pan-European real estate investment solutions (direct real estate, listed and unlisted real estate investment funds, private and public equity and debt) to retail and institutional investors worldwide. The new combined platform will have total assets under management amounting to close to $20 billion, of which $14 billion are direct core European real estate investments.
Source: Forum Partners