The Three Types of Commercial Real Estate Funds

When a sponsor is raising a private real estate fund, there are three types of funds that can be raised:

  • Closed-End Fund
  • Open-End Fund
  • Evergreen Fund

 

1. Closed-End Fund

The closed-end fund structure is the most common type of fund. In this structure, the sponsor will raise equity, typically for a fixed period of time or to a set amount. Once the capital is raised, no new equity is able to come into the Fund.

A closed-end fund has a set term on the life of the fund. With real estate, it is typical to be around 10 years but can vary greatly depending on the sponsor and investment thesis.

Additionally, with a closed-end fund, once the portfolio of assets is acquired, it is set. As assets are sold, the proceeds are not reinvested. Most funds will distribute the proceeds at the time of sale, but others may hold all or some of the proceeds back until the completion of the fund.

The benefits of the closed-end fund structure are a set timeline for the Fund and a fixed portfolio. While a closed-end fund is illiquid, like most private real estate offerings, it provides the closest synonym to a single asset offering, but with the diversity of a Fund, in that the returns for the Fund are reliant on the set portfolio of assets, once the fund is fully invested. Those returns are based on the full Net Asset Value of the assets within the Fund.

 

2. Open-End Fund

An open-end fund varies from a Closed-End Fund in that it has no limit on capital raised or set life of the fund. Capital can be raised and repaid throughout the fund, allowing investors liquidity without the need to liquidate the underlying real estate.

The open-end fund structure allows for investors who are seeking more liquidity. However, trade-offs can often exist, such as lower overall returns for investors, due to capital coming in and out of the Fund without an actual sale of assets.

The open-end fund, like a closed-end fund, will still distribute capital to the investors upon disposition of assets.

The largest benefit of an open-end fund is the liquidity it provides the investors. However, because liquidity within the Fund is not directly correlated to asset sales, there is a reliance on valuations not driven by the free market.

 

3. Evergreen Fund

An evergreen fund is very similar to an open-end fund. The primary difference with an evergreen fund is that the evergreen fund can reinvest capital available through the sale of assets into new assets.

The evergreen fund has the benefit of letting capital recycle within the fund upon the sale of assets. The downside to this is that the sponsor may choose to pursue assets that do not align with the investor’s personal thesis. There is the ability to pull out investments, like with the open-end funds, but the liquidation value may be below net asset value.

 

About the author:
Evan is the Investor Relations Manager for Ashcroft Capital.  As such, he spends his days working with investors to better understand their investment goals and background.  With over 13 years in real estate, he has seen all sides of real estate from acquisitions, to capital raising on the equity and debt side, to operations, and actively invests himself.  Please feel free to connect with Evan here.

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.

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Joe Fairless