Move from Europe to US - help/advice needed

peregb's picture
Rank: Chimp | 6

Hi all,

Am looking to make a move to the US to satisfy my urge to work abroad and clear out of the UK before Brexit and Labour (you know they're getting in at the next election) kill the country for a few years. Aiming for NY as have the most interest in living there.

What I'm looking for is some suggestions and advice in terms of firms I should be speaking to/looking at; I'll set out my ambitions below and would appreciate anyone telling me I'm wasting my time and need to refocus to a US role while based in NY or whether I have some options.

Essentially I have been working in the European PERE market for c.10yrs, straight out of university and across roles that cover acquisitions, AM, and fund management. Currently working for a very lean team (think 5 investment pros) running a fund of c.EUR 3bn (GAV) invested through standard operating partner/platform structures in mainstream asset classes (although I have dabbled in distressed debt & corporates). Given the size of the team I'm involved in all aspects (fund raise, fund management/modelling/reporting/AM/acquisitions) despite technically being an acquisitions principal for the fund (having started as an associate).

Despite by extra responsibilities, my focus for the last few years has been acquisitions (both here and my previous firm) and I've spent the last 6yrs or so building up my experience and network. In that time I've closed approx EUR 1bn of transactions through 5 or 6 deals, personally leading 2 (DD, JV negotiations, financing, seller negotiations) and been the AM/PM for c.EUR 500m at any given time. I've also built up a substantial network across Europe and UK which generates good deal flow.

What I'm starting to see is that in Europe there is little clear cyclical value left anywhere (except maybe a little late cycle in Spain) - although others may disagree - and this is making my acquisition work difficult as my firm is quite constrained in it's ability to move quickly and to do much beyond a traditional JV (we are the PERE team of a fairly large core focused asset manager so there are some mindset and investor restrictions that keep us quite vanilla) so I am having to pass up a lot of very interesting deals that, in my view, play to markets where the fundamentals are good and investor competition is low, but because of structures or time horizons that don't fit our fund we can't do them. Instead we are going to end up holding our noses and buying more straightforward assets at inflated prices as we compete with every other value add/opp fund out there.

Which leads me to the point of my essay: are there hedge funds/family offices/unconstrained REPE funds running out of NY but looking at RE deals in Europe that I could look to move to. I'm getting tired of the constraints placed on our fund both technically and through the IC's mindset and am looking for somewhere that will be more entrepreneurial and willing to take on the deals I am seeing. The difficult bit is that I'd like to be based in NY but take advantage of my European experience and deal flow and have no idea if such a place exists as concerned most would have just opened a European office. Obviously willing to travel from NY extensively

Welcome any thoughts or additional questions.


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Jan 4, 2019