Hodes Weill & Associates, a New York-based real estate fundraising and investment advisory firm, is expanding its business offering to work on broader real assets strategies.
The firm, which launched in 2009, has noted in recent years an opportunity to service growing investor appetite for sectors outside of real estate that have similar cashflow and return characteristics, such as infrastructure and agriculture, according to Hodes Weill partner Susan Swanezy, who is overseeing the firm’s expansion effort. The new focus on real assets will work as distinct strategy that complements the firm’s existing services and, she told Infrastructure Investor.
“We found that many of the investors that we were calling on were focusing on both real estate and infrastructure or energy,” Swanezy explained. “As these sectors matured, we saw specialist teams spinning out of larger organisations to raise capital on their own. And we thought, ‘These are the types of opportunities we see in our real estate placement activity.'”
Hodes Weill has hired Mark Rudovic to lead as a principal the firm’s services expansion. Rudovic previously spent nearly seven years at the institutional advisory firm Albourne Partners. “I’m bringing a perspective that can help manage and underwrite strategies that sit at the intersection of real assets and real estate,” he told Infrastructure Investor.
He added that immediate market opportunities to provide real asset advisory services include strategies focused on digital infrastructure, water and sectors underpinning the global energy transition away from fossil fuels.
“One example is in renewables, where managers are taking on more development risk,” Rudovic explained. “Part of that strategy includes land procurement. So, there’s a real estate angle in several infrastructure and real assets verticals.”
The strategy expansion comes amid a Hodes Weill hiring spree, with the firm having made senior appointments in its US, London and Tokyo offices over the previous year. The new business focus also coincides with the beginning of a push by the Biden administration to enact landmark reform to invest trillions of dollars into rebuilding and constructing climate-friendly infrastructure in the US.
With a growing market opportunity taking centre stage, Swanzey said Hodes Weill plans to approach sectors that fall under the broader real assets umbrella with the same approach the firm first applied to real estate.
“We will try to deeply understand managers and their capabilities, the market landscape and other differentiators,” she said. “We’re essentially taking a page out of our real estate playbook and applying it to the real assets space.”