Opportunities Exist in Sub-Institutional Equity

NEWPORT BEACH, CA—As reported last weekLand Advisors Capital of California has rebranded itself as Landmark Capital Advisors and has hired David Kidder as managing director to lead its expansion into the commercial sector. We caught up with Kidder to discuss his goals in his new position, what’s behind the firm’s rebranding and what lies ahead for it in 2015. What are your goals in your new role at the firm?

Kidder: To build a best-in-class brand within the commercial sector. Adam Deermount and Steve Simshave done a good job of becoming a top firm in the residential homebuilder and land space, so replicating that success on the commercial side is one goal. A niche we plan to focus on heavily is placing equity requirements in the sub-institutional size range of $10-million-and-under. If a real estate sponsor needs $5 million or $6 million of equity, that’s a difficult raise, as it is well beneath the investment profile of most opportunity funds. We have had a great deal of success in that size range with family-office and private investors on the land and homebuilding side and we will look to translate that success to commercial clients as well.  There is a lot of opportunity to reach out to smaller, more obscure equity investors to invest in deals that are either too small for or overlooked by the institutional world. What is driving this rebranding and the expansion into the commercial market?

Kidder: The Land Advisors Capital of CA name was a little bit too narrow for the commercial space. It has great recognition in the land and homebuilder space, but it doesn’t define our capabilities to service residential developers and homebuilders as well as commercial operators and developers. How does your research, technology and residential cross-platform benefit this market and your clients?

Kidder: On the Land Advisors brokerage side, there are 50-plus brokers throughout the country. There is a tremendous amount of insight that can be gained from the deals they’re listing and selling, providing us with access to macro and micro trends in real time throughout different regions. There is an active push by the Principals at Land Advisors to convert this data into meaningful research that will benefit their clients and ours. In addition, many residential clients are involved in commercial properties and vice versa. In the past, we might not have been able to serve them with a full slate of real estate capital services. It’s an interesting fit: we’re seeing more activity come closer to the urban core, which presents a lot of opportunities for mixed-use properties with single-family, multifamily and retail components. Having expertise across all asset classes provides us with advantageous insight as to how to underwrite and value different asset classes and identify the best sources of capital. What are the firm’s plans for 2015?

Kidder: First, to enhance awareness amongst the different clients we work with: real estate sponsors, family-office investors, institutional investors and lenders, which will help to build the foundation for our platform going forward. With that, increasing the exposure of our capability to work across all asset classes and across the entire capital structure.

In addition, there is an opportunity for us to utilize technology from a platform standpoint.   For example, we believe the term crowdfunding is often grossly misused, but something we are evaluating is how we can more efficiently raise and service investment capital for our clients through the use of technology. Our industry is evolving, and with our equity background and research capabilities, we have a strong base by which to implement technology for the benefit of both our operator clients and our capital investors.

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