The interval fund market continues to expand: Newly Registered Funds Fund Name Registration Date Strategy Angel Oak Strategic Credit Fund 9/15/2017 Credit VII Peaks Co-Optivist Income Fund 9/15/2017 Credit Orinda Preferred Yield Plus Fund 8/18/2017 Credit Three interval funds filed initial registration statements with the SEC in 2017Q3, compared to 4 funds in 2016Q3. Year […]
Three funds in the process of converting to interval fund provide examples of three different fund conversion archetypes. Griffin Capital is using its recently launched interval fund to acquire its BDC. VII Peaks is directly converting its BDC to a new interval fund. Pathway Energy Infrastructure Management is converting an unlisted closed end fund.
Griffin Capital: Merger Transaction
Griffin Capital is using another interval fund that it Sponsors to acquire its BDC. Factright covered this transaction in detail:
Once this transaction is complete, the investors in the BDC will hold Class F Shares in the Griffin Institutional Access Credit Fund, an interval fund. Investment in an interval fund is subject to structural differences as compared to a BDC. Additionally, while both funds have similar investment objectives, Griffin Credit has a broad credit focused investment mandate, of which the BDC’s lower middle market directly originated loans are just one sleeve.
Shareholders in Griffin’s BDC approved this transaction earlier this month.
VII Peaks: BDC to Interval Fund Conversion
Shareholders in VII Peaks Co-Optivist Income BDC II voted to approve conversion of the BDC to an interval fund on December 28, 2016.
Real estate interval funds are an important option for investors looking for a liquidity compromise between publicly listed REITs and private funds. David Blatt of Capstack Partners wrote recently about the use of interval funds as a way of providing more investors access to direct real estate investing:
Recently, investment management firms have begun to take advantage of the interval fund to access retail capital for real estate investments. The attractive features of the interval fund that are more conducive to individual investors are the low required investment minimums, and the transparency afforded by SEC reporting requirements. But that’s not all. Real estate focused interval funds also offer exposure to a wide range of investments including listed, non-listed, public and nonpublic investments. Altogether, these features create a means by which retail investors and their financial advisors can access higher quality/higher return alternative investments in real estate.
When one considers the pace of evolution in the real estate investment industry, one can correlate the recent acceleration of new and repurposed investment vehicles to growing interest in the asset class – REITs gained popularity in 1990s, CMBS over the 2000s, private equity funds in the last decade, and more recently, growing retail investor interest in real estate that led to the interval fund. This evolution is a reminder that while real estate is generally a high priced, slow moving, fixed asset, the groups investing in real estate remain creative and resilient in the ways they structure the investments to access its rewards, while mitigating its risks. It makes for exciting times ahead for the space.
Institutional Real Estate
According to to Interval Fund Tracker’s data, 11 active interval funds with a combined total of $4.8 billion in assets focus on real estate. The three largest funds account for about 84% of the AUM in real estate interval funds, including Griffin Institutional Access Real Estate Fund, Versus Capital Multi-Manager Real Estate Income Fund, and BlueRock Total Income (Plus) RE Fund. Also note, that many diversified interval funds such as the Multi Strategy Growth and Income Fund and the Wildermuth Endowment Strategy Fund, focus on real estate as part of a broader asset allocation strategy.
The latest issue of Private Debt Investor includes an excellent article on interval funds in the broader context of credit products for investors. The article cites data from Interval Fund Tracker, and includes interviews with several interval fund managers. It notes that interval funds are able to provide enhanced yield while providing quarterly liquidity. Additionally, the article discusses the role of credit interval funds in asset allocation.
According to Brook Taube at Medley Management(manager of Sierra Total Return Fund):
Access to private credit can help satisfy investors’ demand for yield. The fact that the [interval] fund offers liquidity on a quarterly basis makes it an attractive structure for retail investors.
According to Michael Reisner, co-chairman and co-chief executive at CION(manager of the Cion Ares Diversified Credit Fund):
If you look at BDCs as sector-specific products – eg, US mid-market – credit interval funds like ours are more diversified and a core holding, and should be the next evolution in credit products.
According to Marc Yaklofsky, senior vice-president and spokesman at FS Investments(manager of the FS Total Return Fund):
The Versus Capital’s new real assets interval fund was declared effective by the SEC on August 17, 2017. Versus Capital Real Assets Fund, LLC is seeking to raise $450 million in a continuous offering. Minimum initial investment is $10 million(RIAs can aggregate accounts to get to the minimum). The fund will have one share class. and the management fee will be 1.50% of net assets.
Versus Capital is familiar with the interval fund space. It also manages Versus Capital Multi-Manager Real Estate Income Fund LLC, an investment company with $1.7 billion in assets. See Active Interval Funds for more information on this fund.