Private equity real estate investment manager Meyer Bergman has rebranded to MARK, and is to expand its multi-platform strategy by targeting new alternative real estate opportunities following the success of its urban logistics platform Crossbay.
The new brand identity is intended to capture the firm’s enhanced focus on opportunities presented by the mega-trends of urbanisation and technological change.
MARK currently manages €7.2bn in gross assets, including €4.3bn in residential and €1.0bn in offices, having acquired its last pure-play retail asset in 2014.
MARK will be further growing its exposure to residential with new country-specific platforms, as well as expanding into new sectors such as life sciences and digital real estate.
The residential platforms build on the success of Crossbay, Europe’s first last-mile logistics platform focused on single-tenant distribution centres near gateway cities. Crossbay, which was launched in May this year, is targeting up to €2bn in total value and has attracted significant interest from major investors.
In addition to Crossbay, MARK has a proven track record in creating institutional-grade investment and operating platforms, including:
VIA Outlets, a platform focused on premium fashion outlets, which was later acquired by APG delivering €1.6bn in asset value
Meyer Homes, a €600m GDV residential development platform focused on sites primarily in Greater London Promenaden, an asset management platform managing an €850m portfolio of prime properties in central Oslo, including the historic Steen og Strøm department store
The new country-level residential platforms will run in parallel with MARK’s traditional urban value-add strategy of repositioning and repurposing existing buildings in core European cities. MARK sees Covid-19 creating a need for more urban conversion projects, with the pandemic accelerating pre-existing structural changes impacting the retail, hospitality, logistics and office sectors.
MARK also sees Covid-19 strengthening the appeal of emerging asset classes such as life sciences and digital real estate, and is actively exploring opportunities in both sectors.
To support its planned growth and expansion, MARK has made a number of senior hires this year. This includes Josip Kardun, previously CEO of Blackstone’s pan-European asset management platform Multi, as chief investment officer, as well as a new managing director for the UK and Ireland, Lily Lin. Lin was UK managing director at China Vanke, one of China’s largest residential developers and an investment partner behind Meyer Homes.
Marcus Meijer, CEO of MARK, commented: “Our old branding and identity did not reflect the evolution the business has made in becoming a multi-platform investment manager with an increasingly diversified portfolio spanning multiple asset classes.
“As MARK, we will be looking to grow our exposure to European residential real estate through new country-specific platforms. Residential has proven its resilience during this pandemic and is a sector we have an established track record in through our Meyer Homes platform as well as individual investments.
“We see this specialised platform approach as being the future of institutional investment into real estate, with investors wanting a clear and focused narrative around the opportunities that have been created by structural shifts in the way we live, work and shop.
“We are also seeing growing investor interest in labs and data centres, and life sciences and digital real estate are two sectors we are targeting for future expansion, as well as logistics more broadly given the success of Crossbay.”
Matthew Ammirati, chief marketing officer at MARK, added: “The new brand reflects our desire to leave a positive mark on the cities we are active in, whether that is through breathing new life into under-utilised buildings or investing into the infrastructure that makes them tick, such as last-mile logistics facilities.
“Real estate as an industry lags behind others in understanding the power and value of clear and strong branding, and this will be a major consideration for MARK as we move forward with our new platforms that will sit alongside our traditional urban value-add strategy.”