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LONDON-Strategic Real Estate Advisors has been appointed by a European family trust to manage a portfolio of 22 commercial properties throughout the Southern portion of the US. The holdings total more than 3.1 million sf and are spread across six states.

The portfolio involves more than 192 tenancies with occupiers including AIG, DHL and the US government. All are on full-service leases. Currently 100,000 sf is under new lease negotiations and another 30% of the leases expire within three years. “The emphasis will be on a very active management approach,” says Jeremy Gates, managing director of StratReal. “This will ensure that full-service leases are managed from a cost and control perspective, and that new leasing activity and renewals are strictly budgeted and monitored to tight timescales and targets. The intensive level of service is essential to extract value from the real estate assets and maximize the future investment gains.”

StratReal specializes in asset management on behalf of private clients in particular family trusts. The approach is largely conservative with the aim to hold assets over a long period of time and diversify by asset class and country–all to minimize risk. The company, say its principals, is seeking to apply a private-banking approach–including wealth preservation and management–to real estate.

Pierre Rolin, founder of the London-based firm, says there is a big market particularly among families and wealthy individuals in Europe looking to invest in property. “French, Spanish and Irish families and individuals will be among the three biggest buyers of American real estate, along with the Japanese, in five to 10 years time. They are looking to the US because the value of the euro means there is a 25% discount against the US dollar. In the US, they can get a cash-on-cash leverage return of between 7% and 9% while in England, Spain and France they’re looking at a 5% to 6% return on cash from core property.”

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