Renshaw Bay, the independent asset management firm established by former co-CEO of JP Morgan’s Investment Bank Bill Winters, has lost two senior members of its real estate finance team to competitor debt funds.
Lynn Gilbert, the head of whole loan origination for Renshaw Bay’s Real Estate Finance Fund, will be joining M&G Investments in October as head of origination, reporting into John Barakat, head of real estate finance.
In addition, Christian Janssen, Renshaw Bay’s head of underwriting, is set to join Henderson Global Investors (HGI), likely in November, to head up its senior and mezzanine fund platform.
Gilbert and Janssen left Renshaw Bay in early July and early August, respectively.
Janssen is to succeed John Feeney, who left in April for to take over from the departed Lynda Shillaw, as managing director and head of corporate real estate in Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
Gilbert and Janssen reunion at Renshaw Bay, the third time the pair have teamed up together after working at Morgan Stanley and then Barclays Capital prior and during the global financial crisis, only lasted 15 months, after joining from Mount Street Capital and Jefferies, respectively.
Jon Rickert, head of real estate finance at Renshaw Bay confirmed the departures of Gilbert and Janssen adding: “We are pleased by both the institutional support the fund has received and by the pace at which we are gathering other real estate lending mandates to increase our footprint in the real estate lending markets.”
Renshaw Bay has closed three deals over July and August, including a £12.3m mezzanine loan, priced at an IRR of around 11%-12%, secured by three student accommodation blocks in the North of England owned by Abanar LLP. Renshaw Bay arranged the wider £58.1m financing which included Deutsche Bank on the ticket.
Rickert added that Renshaw Bay has originated a pipeline of business since in early-July which amounts to £1.5bn, with several deals expected to close over the third and fourth quarters.
Under Rickert, Renshaw Bay’s real estate finance team, which has adopted a whole loan lending model, is comprised of Martin Farinola and Andrew Gordon, both of whom have around 20 years of experience in underwriting and originating real estate loans.
It is understood that prior to Gilbert and Janssen’s departures, Renshaw Bay had plans underway to recruit two mid to senior loan originators, which is expected to finalised in the next couple of months.
Gilbert’s move to M&G Investments
Gilbert, who is expected to start at M&G Investments in October, will work across the three distinct strategies, alongside Paul Dittmann, head of senior commercial mortgages, as well as the wider origination and execution team, including directors Jamil Farooqi and Peter Foldvari.
M&G is nearing a final close for its successor debt funds: a mezzanine and a stretched senior fund, which have raised more than £500m each, while M&G has also separately won capital for senior debt deployment in segregated accounts.
The senior tranche for M&G’s parent company insurance fund balance sheet and third party clients, seek LIBOR plus 200 to 300 basis points; a senior subordinated or “stretch senior” tranche for Fund III, seeking 7% to 10% IRR returns; and a mezzanine tranche for Fund II, targeting and IRR of 12% to 15%.
The State of New Jersey has invested £75m in the M&G Real Estate Debt Fund II (REDF II), the mezzanine fund, and £125m in M&G Real Estate Debt Fund III (REDF III), the stretched senior fund.
REDF II’s principal investment objective is to originate and to acquire a diversified portfolio of junior notes (B-notes), mezzanine debt, preferred equity, CMBS, and other real estate-related debt and debt-like instruments collateralized by commercial real estate-related assets throughout Western Europe, with primary focus on the United Kingdom and secondary focus on Germany.
REDF III intends to acquire, originate, hold, finance, and dispose of stretch senior tranche real estate debt capital to the United Kingdom and Western European commercial property market.
In a memorandum to The State Investment Council, Timothy Walsh, a director in The State of New Jersey, wrote that “the ability for M&G to provide the entire debt structure to a borrower, without any syndication risk of its own, is a tremendous competitive advantage”.
Christian Janssen’s move to TIAA Henderson Global Real Estate
Janssen, who will report into Mike Sales, chief investment officer, global property at HGI, will be head of real estate debt at the merged TIAA Henderson Global Real Estate, when the business merger is complete next March.
TIAA Henderson Global Real Estate will comprise Henderson’s European and Asia Pacific-based real estate businesses with the European real estate business of TIAA-CREF, the US multi-asset class asset manager.
In June, just one week before the TIAA Henderson Global Real Estate merger was announced, CoStar News reported that Catherine Webster had been hired by TIAA-CREF to spearhead its entry into UK and Northern European senior debt lending.
Webster will report into Janssen, who in turn is expected to be looking to recruit at least two additional team members, including one at director level.
Henderson has been marketing its Senior Secured Real Estate Debt Fund, the senior debt fund, and High Income Real Estate Debt Fund, the mezzanine fund, for the last 15 months, in a capital sales process which was slowed by the merger with TIAA-CREF.
CoStar News understands that TIAA-CREF is considering providing around $350m per annum in a segregated account to originate seven to 10-year senior loans, for as long as value is perceived to exist for the strategy.
In addition, TIAA-CREF is expected to seed the High Income Real Estate Debt Fund with around $50m of capital.
Henderson and M&G Investments declined to comment.