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WASHINGTON, DC-UK-based Rockspring Property Investment Managers has tapped a new sales manager for its Washington, DC office in order to raise new equity from US and Canadian investors. Before taking this position, Rob Kohn was marketing director for Commonwealth Realty Advisors in Chicago. Prior to that, he was an analyst with JP Morgan’s Investment Banking team in Singapore.

A pan-European property investment manager, Rockspring has some $6.7 billion in capital invested throughout 14 European countries. The company is better known as the Prudential-owned PRICOA, which was purchased by its employees in 2004 and then christened Rockspring.

The company has had a US presence for some 20 years, Kathryn Dixon, the firm’s London-based director of marketing sales and client services, tells GlobeSt.com.

Ramping up funding efforts from the DC office is part of its overall push to tap US interest in international markets, she says. Kohn will be raising equity for the firm’s fourth close-ended, trans-European fund over the next 12 month, “in the region of $250 million,” she says. Additionally, the firm has several other open-ended funds for which it is always raising capital. She expects about 75% of another $250 million in equity raising activities to emanate from North America. Investments in trans-European IV will focus on Central and Eastern Europe countries that have recently joined the European Union, Dixon says.

She describes the firm’s overall investment style as core plus value added management focusing on all real estate asset classes except hotel and residential. “We specialize in finding properties that are smaller and require more active management.” This sweet spot is one reason why the firm keeps its funds at relatively low levels. “A $1-billion fund by necessity would mean we would have to buy bigger projects and that would require a different investment style.”

At the moment Rockspring is running about six funds with net level returns in the range of 13% to 15%, Dixon says. “Some are higher–for instance we have a small retail fund that is netting 30%.” They are not an opportunity fund though, “We consider ourselves low risk. We get our returns through active management and precise stock selection.”

Rockspring represents several clients including the Rockspring Hanover Property Unit Trust, the PanEuropean Property Limited Partnership, TransEuropean III, the Industrial Trust, Retail Plus and single client mandates.

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