Hybrid model continues to be a competitive advantage
Wheelock’s investment success is predicated on the firm’s ability to move across asset classes, and we will continue to build on this structure as the nature of market opportunities evolve and the Firm expands into different investment strategies. The Firm has organized itself to ensure both flexibility and efficiency in our investment process, which combines a hands-on, vertically-integrated approach of investing with the broad experience and structuring skills of our investment team. Over the last 13 years, we have made a series of adjustments to our investment strategy, all with safety and preservation of capital in mind. When established in 2008, our hospitality and residential verticals were the foundation of our Firm. As the environment changed, we were proactive in diversifying the portfolio and introducing new areas of in-house expertise, while continuing to invest only where we felt we had a competitive advantage.
The Firm has continued to seek alpha through focus, deeper investment knowledge and through our select internal platforms (or “verticals”) which are designed to provide the Funds with specialized asset experience and operating capabilities. Wheelock believes that this model provides a competitive advantage in sourcing opportunities, identifying value, and driving operating performance, while allowing the Firm to deploy capital in a targeted manner across our two distinct strategies, the Opportunistic/Value-Add Flagship Fund Series and Long Term Value Fund. Wheelock expects to continue to explore the development of new verticals to target asset classes or markets which we believe have a large and scalable opportunity set, a compelling thesis, and which offer the potential to realize a competitive advantage through vertical integration.
Wheelock’s verticals demonstrate the firm’s expertise in the below asset classes and are critical to driving high quality, off-market deal flow.
Wheelock’s hospitality vertical has been a cornerstone of Wheelock’s investment strategy since the Firm’s inception in 2008. The vertical is overseen by Patrick Campbell, who previously ran Acquisitions and Asset Management for Highland Hospitality Corporation and has extensive hotel operating experience from his time at Crestline and Bristol Hotels and Resorts. Wheelock’s success within this vertical includes the direct acquisition of 45 hotels (including two ground-up developments), the execution of over $250 million in renovations and repositionings across the portfolio, and 10+ years of experience in identifying inefficiencies and undervalued assets during each point of the cycle.
In 2016, Wheelock added retail veteran Claude Chandonnet to the investment team. Claude has been in the business of commercial real estate for nearly 26 years with experience in all aspects of retail, office and multi-family acquisitions, operations and development. Claude previously served as President and CEO of Marx Realty and Improvement Co, where he oversaw and successfully drove value across a diverse portfolio of 70 properties in 18 states. As the retail industry continues to evolve, we have leveraged Claude’s broad retail experience into other mixed-use assets, where an eye for design and strong skillset in lease negotiation have proven invaluable in executing our business plans. Wheelock’s organizational structure supports this flexibility to move between asset classes, allowing the team to closely navigate disruptions in the retail industry.
In 2016, Wheelock began pursuing a targeted investment approach in the industrial sector through an identified thesis and strategy in the Boston market, which capitalized on strong demand drivers, barriers to supply, and an apparent mis-pricing of Boston relative to other major metros. The firm formed an exclusive programmatic joint venture with a single operator and completed over 25 unique transactions within the venture. Wheelock has since leveraged that expertise to execute the strategy in other select markets where Wheelock had an edge through its pro-active regional and market coverage. Over the last five years, Wheelock has successfully sourced and deployed over $250 million of equity in the industrial asset class, 90%+ of which was identified and executed off-market. Wheelock has developed the internal expertise to source and execute on both a direct and joint venture basis. The team remains focused on continuing to identify high quality product in infill locations, with strong labor dynamics, solid roadway and transportation infrastructure, and in markets that have particularly high barriers to new supply.
Wheelock has a long track record across asset classes of selectively identifying opportunities to create value for our investors via deep investment knowledge, hands-on management and partnerships with best-in-class operators.