Former HSBC alternatives team launches boutique with Swiss firm

The former HSBC alternative investments team has launched a new boutique with Swiss-based investment firm Woodman Group.

Launched as an independent real estate investment management company Blue Noble LLP, has been formed by four members of the former HSBC Alternative Investments team. The partnership with Switzerland’s Woodman Group will see a commitment of an initial $550m of real estate assets and new capital to the project.

This comprises two European mixed-use portfolios incorporating office, residential and retail assets valued at $450m, as well as a capital commitment of $100m.

London base

Based in London, Blue Noble said in a statement that it plans to acquire and manage physical property investments on behalf of high net worth individuals, family offices and institutional investors. It will target real estate assets from across the risk spectrum, initially focusing on familiar European markets.

Blue Noble’s team build on a collective 60 years’ real estate investment experience and what it calls “the foundation created over the last 10 years working within one of the largest global banks”.

The four former members of HSBC Alternative Investments Limited (HAIL) team are; comprising Paul Forshaw (former global head of real estate at HAIL), Toby Evans, Harry Heathcoat Amory and Will Michell.  During their tenure at HSBC, they were responsible for, and transacted, in excess of $5bn of real estate investments across the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States.

Core business focus

Paul Forshaw, managing partner of Blue Noble, said that banks have, over recent years, “increasingly returned their focus to core business areas including lending and asset custody rather than direct investment”, giving the new proposition a ready-made marketplace.

“By combining Woodman’s solid financial and operational footing with our independent client-centric approach, nimble capital and established network, Blue Noble is well placed to unite potential investment outperformance with strong fiduciary responsibility,” he said.

Daniel Aaxman, founder and CEO of Woodman Group, said: “As an investment management group, we have always had a vision of offering clients access to a first-class real estate investment solution. With the expertise of the Blue Noble team, we are well placed to realise this vision”.

Gary Robinson
Head of Video and Ezines at Open Door Media Publishing. Deputy Editor, International Investment. An experienced journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as a fully qualified IFA, Gary works across both International Investment and InvestmentEurope titles. Previous video production credits include projects on BBC, C4 and SKY.

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