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More than six years ago, Liquid Realty Partners CEO Scott Landress founded the firm to provide a platform on which private real estate, partnerships and trusts could be traded on a secondary basis, providing another route for investors to take profits on portfolio positions. This is still very much a niche category; at the same time though, thanks to evangelizing on the part of senior management and the growing volumes in general that have been absorbed in the markets, the company has acquired more than $1 billion in private equity interests since its launch in 2002. In September, it committed $23.4 million to a prominent global real estate private equity fund manager by making stapled commitments to a co-investment vehicle and a new fund offering. That same month it also made a $7.8 million commitment to a newly-organized $350 million US real estate equity and debt fund – a primary commitment, which the firm said it also does occasionally. Landress talks to GlobeSt.com about the company’s plans and the coming year.

GlobeSt.com: How has the credit crunch affected the secondary markets?

Landress: The crunch has created dislocation generally in the markets, and that is causing investors to actively review private equity commitments to their real estate portfolios.

GlobeSt.com: How is that translating into activity in the secondary market? Are we seeing more sellers looking to unload assets to make a quick buck, or more buyers seeking out bargain-priced assets?

Landress: What we are seeing are investors taking a more active approach to managing their real estate portfolios.

GlobeSt.com: Does that mean more trades?

Landress: It means more possible trades.

GlobeSt.com: Are you seeing more demand for these types of assets since the credit markets stopped lending?

Landress: No, demand for these assets have been pretty steady.

GlobeSt.com: What about your own investment activities? What are you looking to acquire?

Landress: We are continuing to acquire limited partnership interests on a secondary basis. We are most interested in acquiring diversified portfolios of good quality funds and interests in the $50-million-and-up range.

GlobeSt.com: For the market in general, how do you see events playing out this year?

Landress: I can’t tell what is going to happen, it is hard to know when things will straighten out this year. It’s a dicey market right now, and one still in flux. Investors are constantly changing their attitudes about investments.

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