Opalesque Industry Update – Key Family Partners, the Multi-Family Office based in Geneva, has appointed
Eric Sarasin and Fabian Godbersen as external members of its Alternative Investment Committee. The
strengthening of the Committee comes at a time when niche real estate strategies appear particularly
Eric Sarasin is the previous Deputy CEO of Bank Sarasin and an active investor in Private Equity and Venture
Capital, with over 25 years of experience in these asset classes. He also sits on the Board of the Swiss Ventures
Group, a privately financed group that has become one of Switzerland’s most active early-stage investors, and
of Tiger 21 Zurich, an exclusive network of successful entrepreneurs, CEOs and investors with 700 members
Fabian Godbersen has over 18 years of experience in real estate Private Equity and M&A advisory. Founder of
Bergson Real Estate Capital, he previously worked at Morgan Stanley in Frankfurt as Vice-president, and at the
Blackstone Group, as Managing Director and Head of Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Marc Phillipe Davies, Managing Partner, said: “We are honoured to have such distinguished experts in the field
of Private Equity and real estate join our Alternative Investment Committee. Their experience and in-depth
knowledge of these demanding asset classes will be invaluable as we continue our real estate investment strategy,
which has proven particularly successful this year.”
Significant activity in real estate and direct investments
Since its inception 3 years ago, Key Family Partners has invested in over 20 real estate deals, such as residential,
office logistics and student housing. During the same period, Key Family Partners has participated in 41 Venture
Capital and Private Equity deals across 12 countries. Commitments in Venture Capital included companies
spanning FinTech, PropTech, AgriTech and MedTech. Examples include a start-up bank in Norway, an
alternative meat technology company based in Israel and a global property tech firm from Greece.
A bright future for real estate through niche strategies
Despite the bleak current macro-economic conditions, the outlook appears bright in 2023 for real estate
secondaries, equity and mezzanine, as banks start to decrease their Loan-to-Value thresholds as interest rates
start to bite. Nimble real estate investors, in a market where liquidity is tightening, could benefit from this
tremendous opportunity, with expected target returns of 15% IRR, similar to what their real estate investments
delivered in 2022.
Marc-Phillipe Davies explained: “We invest on a deal-by-deal basis, meaning we are never overexposed to an
individual sponsor, location or sector. We believe smaller is better in this sub-industry so we provide financing to
smaller developers or projects often ill-served by traditional lenders. Our team of highly experienced advisors can
carry out initial due diligence and credit analysis swiftly and then have indicative terms out to sponsors quicker
than many of their peers.”
Due diligence and agility are key
As in all alternative asset classes, thorough due diligence is essential to success, and involves obtaining full
asset and liability statements showing a sponsor’s net worth in real terms. Thanks to its experience, ability to
agree terms and turn deals around quickly, developers tend to prefer to work with Key Family Partners.
Investors thus benefit from far higher IRRs in an asset class that traditionally delivers much lower returns.
David Buzzard, KFP’s real estate advisor, added: “We check full credit history and speak with previous lenders
about the sponsors’ performance and lending history. A final level of security is ensuring they have full reliance
on legal report on titles, valuation reports and project monitoring surveyors reports. When lending, we also take
charges over assets and personal guarantees from the borrowers, ensuring both extra layer of protection and
aligning interests between the borrower and KFPs investors.”