Omni buys Brookland stake

The investment will help UK lender Omni Partners tap into Brookland Partner’s expertise in big ticket real estate transactions in Europe.

UK asset manager Omni Partners has acquired a stake in Brookland Partners, an independent real estate investment banking firm, which has advised on a number of high profile European CRE transactions in recent years, according to a statement on Tuesday.

The acquisition will enable Omni to utilise Brookland’s experience in working on bigger ticket real estate transactions in Europe, Omni founder and head of risk, Steve Clark told Private Debt Investor.

Omni’s first private debt fund, the Omni Secured Lending Fund I, specialises in short term senior secured real estate loans in the UK but the firm is keen to expand into longer term and broader lending, Clark explained.

The company plans to launch a second fund and is also seeing demand for bespoke managed accounts. It has recently negotiated a new bank facility of £100 million and hired John Jenkins, a former GE Capital CEO, to head up and build out its origination platform Capital Bridging Finance Limited (CBFL).

Clark commented in a statement: “Brookland Partners has established a fantastic reputation in real estate debt, possessing one of the most experienced and innovative teams in the business. Having gained traction with investors after launching the Omni Secured Lending Fund earlier this year, we are confident that the sector and private debt funds capitalising on opportunities within the space remain attractive to institutional investors. We are excited at the prospect of developing new products in conjunction with Brookland.”

Since its inception in 2009, Brookland has completed in excess of 30 transactions across Europe, representing debt of more than €25 billion and specialises in restructuring. It has provided advice on CRE debt to government agencies, global financial institutions, institutional investors, private equity firms and servicers.

Managing partner Nassar Hussain (pictured) has worked in real estate finance and structured finance for more than 20 years, having previously worked at Morgan Stanley and leading on the recent industry initiative CMBS 2.0. Brookland partner Gareck Wilson has over 10 years real estate experience working across the banking sector in the UK, Europe and Australia.

Hussain said: “The deal with Omni Partners is the next stage in Brookland’s natural evolution. Omni’s combination of specialist alternatives product experience and existing institutional infrastructure combined with their embodiment of entrepreneurialism and out of the box thinking made them the right fit for our business.”

Omni also manages the Omni Macro Master Fund I, which invests in several different asset classes, and the Omni Event Master Fund. The company has combined assets under management of more than $650 million and 44 employees globally as at 1 May 2014.