Belay Investment Group, along with its affiliate, AVP Advisors, LLC (AVP), is a real estate investment management firm that for more than 13 years has pursued value-added real estate strategies designed to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns to institutional investors.
Below is a Q&A with Barry Chase, a founding member and CEO of Belay, and Suzanne West, who recently transitioned to an external advisory role but who was also a founding member, along with Amy Ko and Eliza Bailey, to discuss how Belay’s mentoring program for emerging managers leads to exclusive access to differentiated deal flow while ensuring optimal execution of value-added strategies.
1. What makes Belay Investment Group unique?
Chase: Let me start by summarizing Belay’s value-added strategy, which is to invest in commercial real estate assets — equity or structured debt — in specific U.S. markets positioned to benefit from long-term economic and demographic trends driving tenant demand. We are generally targeting properties in the less competitive $10 million to $50 million range, across all major and select niche property sectors.
Belay currently invests exclusively on behalf of the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS), which shares the conviction that combining an experienced and fiduciary-minded investment firm, such as Belay, with local operating partners and sector specialists through properly structured partnerships, provides greater access to opportunities, improved risk management, and the potential to enhance investment returns through successful execution of business plans.
Drawing from our collective experiences as investors and fiduciaries, we source the most talented local operating partners and form strategic partnerships to gain access to differentiated and compelling deal flow.
What makes us unique is twofold:
1.) How we execute our strategy, deploying capital exclusively through nondiscretionary programmatic joint ventures (PJV) that provide for exclusive access to the deal flow, talent and resources of our partners, resulting in a well-capitalized, locally entrenched partnership able to identify opportunities and transact efficiently ahead of market forces, capitalizing on first mover advantages and providing an edge that is imperative in today’s highly competitive market.
2.) The highly collaborative nature of our relationships designed to support the growth and development of our partners as fiduciaries. We are more than a simple capital provider, as mentoring these firms through the adoption of institutional best practices in areas of corporate governance, accounting and reporting serves the dual purpose of strengthening Belay’s investment performance and providing the management teams with a path to growth and the establishment of direct relationships with institutional investors such as CalSTRS.
West: A key element…