Goldstein heads Euro real estate push by Guggenheim

Guggenheim Partners plans to look at both debt and equity opportunistic investing in the UK and continental Europe after hiring Heron International’s former number two, Jonathan Goldstein.

US privately-held global financial services firm Guggenheim Partners has $190bn of mainly discretionary funds under management. Goldstein joined this month as inaugural head of real estate and direct investment for Europe.

The US firm signalled its intention to expand its real estate and infrastructure investing two years ago when it was in exclusive talks first to acquire Deutsche Bank’s whole asset management arm, then latterly just the division’s property investment arm, RREEF. The talks subsequently broke down.

Goldstein declined to say how much the firm might invest in European real estate. “I’m not going to put a figure on it,” he said, “but if the right situation comes around there is no problem putting the money out. It’s much more an issue of the right situations.

“If you’re a US fund manager and you decide to redeploy money into global real estate and infrastructure, assuming you target a 5% allocation, which would satisfy a lot of people, that would be $9.5bn.”

Goldstein had recruited former Heron colleague Arrif Ali before his arrival this month, plus banker John Cole, formerly at LBBW and Santander. He said: “We are looking at both debt and equity, in the UK, primarily in the south east, and in pockets of mainland Europe. “It’s early days and I’d be wrong to say where we hope to put money, but we plan to be active in the next six to 12 months.”

In terms of competing to lend, Goldstein said Guggenheim will consider development or other situations where it judges that “it is safe to go into specific aspects of the capital where not all the amounts are underwritten by income”.

He said they will also focus on big ticket sizes, “of £100m plus”. Goldstein will continue to be involved with Ronson Capital Partners, the investment vehicle headed by Heron’s founder, Gerald Ronson.

Veteran dealmaker makes real change

Guggenheim Partners’ global drive into real assets is headed by 72-year-old US dealmaker Henry Silverman, who joined the business in March 2012 from Apollo Global Investors.

Before joining Apollo in 2009, Silverman had built up Cendant Corporation between 1991 and 2006. He also had a brief stint at The Blackstone Group.

Silverman reports to Guggenheim’s president, Todd Boehly. One of his current US deals is the acquisition of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Hollywood’s Beverly Hills.