Värde to open New York, Tokyo and Sydney offices

The US credit firm is expanding its Asian footprint on the heels of its acquisition of GE Capital’s Australian consumer finance unit. The firm also announced senior management changes.

Värde Partners is expanding its presence in the US and Asia with new offices in New York, Tokyo and Sydney as it continues to build its global investment platform across asset classes and structures.

The Minneapolis-based alternative credit firm already has an office in Singapore, while its other outposts are mainly in Europe. The new Sydney outpost comes after the closing of Värde’s planned purchase of a portion of GE Capital’s Australia and New Zealand business. The portfolio represents an ending net investment (ENI) value of $4.3 billion and was split between Värde, KKR and Deutsche Bank.

The Sydney office will support the firm’s investments in that region, including Latitude Financial, as the former GE portfolio is now called, said a Värde spokeswoman.  

The Tokyo office supports Värde’s Japanese real estate investments, while the New York office will support a number of current personnel as business needs arise. Staffing at all three offices will be a combination of new hires and internal transfers. 

Meanwhile, Marcia Page, a co-founder who serves as co-chief executive and co-chief investment officer, is to become chairman as of January 1. George Hicks will remain sole chief executive and chief investment officer, while Bradley Bauer will continue as president.

Page will have oversight of the firm, retain her membership on the investment committee and be involved in strategic initiatives. She will also dedicate time to the advancement of women across the investment industry.

“As a co-founder of Värde Partners, Marcia is a pioneer in the alternative investment management industry and an inspiration to women who work in – or are looking to enter – our field. We are all delighted she remains executive chair as we look towards a third decade of seeking investment opportunities and performance for our investors,” Hicks said.

Värde’s recent expansion efforts have included the acquisition of a majority stake in Trimont Real Estate Advisors in September. At the time, Värde said it would combine Atlanta-based Trimont with First City Financial Corporation, a Dallas-based commercial financing company that certain Värde funds bought in 2013.

The firm also closed its first real estate credit fund at $500 million in July. The Värde Scratch and Dent Fund invests in secondary market portfolios, targeting performing and sub-performing loans in the US with principal unpaid balances below $50 million.  

Värde also closed its Värde Fund XI on $2 billion last year. The global vehicle targets US and European distressed and alternative credit opportunities.

Founded in 1993, Värde Partners has about $10 billion under management. The firm employs a credit-oriented, value-based approach to investing across an array of geographies, segments and asset types, including real estate, corporate credit, residential mortgages, specialty finance, transportation and infrastructure.