AllianceBernstein closes first CRE debt fund

Roger Cozzi, who joined the asset manager earlier this year, will manage the $700m vehicle.  

Asset manager AllianceBernstein has concluded fundraising for its first commercial real estate debt fund with more than $700 million raised.

The fund will be used to make first mortgage loan investments in the $15 million to $75 million range, secured by high quality transitional properties in the US, the firm said in a statement.

AllianceBernstein’s real estate group, formed in 2009, closed its first real estate fund last year on $680 million.

Roger Cozzi, who joined the firm earlier this year, will manage the fund and also becomes chief investment officer of the newly-created AllianceBernstein commercial real estate debt group. He was formerly chief executive of Gramercy Capital Corporation, an NYSE-listed public real estate investment trust. Prior to that, he held senior positions at iStar Financial, Starwood Capital Group and Goldman Sachs.

“By focusing on situations that require creative, relationship-oriented debt capital, we believe we can capitalise on this stage of the credit cycle and meet the needs of our clients looking for diversified sources of yield,” Cozzi said in the statement.

“As we look to grow and diversify our client offerings, moving into commercial mortgage debt is the next logical step for us,” added Jay Nydick, co-CIO of the AllianceBernstein real estate group. “With the expertise Roger brings in transitional loan investments, together with our robust existing infrastructure in real estate and credit analysis, we think we can take advantage of unique opportunities in the commercial mortgage market that hopefully should provide clients with attractive risk-adjusted returns.”