NEW YORK, July 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- AllianceBernstein L.P. (AllianceBernstein) announced today that it has successfully launched its first commercial real estate debt fund (the "Fund") as part of the firm's ongoing efforts to broaden its alternative investment offerings. The first-time Fund raised more than $700 million and will primarily focus on $15 to $75 million first mortgage loan investments secured by high-quality, transitional properties throughout the U.S. The Fund seeks to capture yield opportunities that have resulted from a liquidity gap as many traditional providers are unable to underwrite transitional credit. Its seasoned investment team will manage downside risk through a rigorous credit process focusing on fundamental real estate underwriting and control of servicing of its loan investments.
The Fund marks the next evolution for AllianceBernstein's Real Estate Group, which was formed in September 2009 to build out a leading private equity real estate investment platform leveraging the firm's infrastructure. Just over one year ago, the Group closed its first private equity real estate fund, which secured capital commitments of $680 million in the face of a challenging fundraising environment. Roger Cozzi, who joined AllianceBernstein this year, will lead the Fund and AllianceBernstein's newly formed Commercial Real Estate Debt Group.
"As we look to grow and diversify our client offerings, moving into commercial mortgage debt is the next logical step for us," said 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."
Cozzi has more than 20 years of experience in the transitional first mortgage and mezzanine loan market. Most recently, Cozzi was CEO of Gramercy Capital Corp. (NYSE: GKK), a NYSE listed public REIT. He previously held senior investment positions at iStar Financial, Starwood Capital Group and Goldman Sachs.
"We are pleased to have the right team in place and have closed this fund at what we see is a favorable time to invest in commercial mortgages," said Roger Cozzi, CIO of Commercial Real Estate Debt at AllianceBernstein. "By focusing on situations that require creative, relationship-oriented debt capital, we believe we can capitalize on this stage of the credit cycle and meet the needs of our clients looking for diversified sources of yield."
AllianceBernstein is a leading global investment management firm that offers high-quality research and diversified investment services to institutional investors, individuals and private clients in major world markets.
At March 31, 2013, AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. owned approximately 38.0% of the issued and outstanding AllianceBernstein Units and AXA, one of the largest global financial services organizations, owned an approximate 64.2% economic interest in AllianceBernstein.
Additional information about AllianceBernstein may be found on our website, www.alliancebernstein.com.
Cautions Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements provided by management in this release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The most significant of these factors include, but are not limited to, the following: the performance of financial markets, the investment performance of sponsored investment products and separately-managed accounts, general economic conditions, industry trends, future acquisitions, competitive conditions, and current and proposed government regulations, including changes in tax regulations and rates and the manner in which the earnings of publicly-traded partnerships are taxed. AllianceBernstein cautions readers to carefully consider such factors. Further, such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which such statements are made; AllianceBernstein undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements. For further information regarding these forward-looking statements and the factors that could cause actual results to differ, see "Risk Factors" and "Cautions Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" in AllianceBernstein's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012. Any or all of the forward-looking statements made in this release, Form 10-K, other documents AllianceBernstein files with or furnishes to the SEC, and any other public statements issued by AllianceBernstein, may turn out to be wrong. It is important to remember that other factors besides those listed in "Risk Factors" and "Cautions Regarding Forward-Looking Statements," and those listed below, could also adversely affect AllianceBernstein's financial condition, results of operations and business prospects.
SOURCE AllianceBernstein L.P.