Schroders recently announced its intention to acquire a 50.1% ownership stake in commercial real estate lending specialists RF Eclipse Limited – a leading alternative lender to small and medium sized enterprises in the real estate market. The business specialises in investment, development and construction financing across residential, commercial, retail and industrial properties.
RF Eclipse was established in 1999 and operates as an integrated platform with capabilities across loan origination, loan management and funds management. It is currently wholly owned by the RF Group, the family office of Andrew Roberts, former majority shareholder of Multiplex Property Group. Under this agreement, the RF Group will retain 49.9% ownership and both Schroders and RF Group will have equal board representation and control.
Following completion of the transaction, RF Eclipse will be renamed ‘Schroder RF’ recognising the complementary capabilities that both parent organisations bring to clients through the joint venture.
Schroder RF will provide Australian investors, including private wealth and family office clients, with broader access to private real estate debt markets.
Chris Durack, Co-CEO for Schroders Asia Pacific, commented:
“The opportunity to combine Schroders’ institutional strength in asset management with the deep real estate pedigree and strong knowledge of the family office market demonstrated by RF Group is incredibly powerful.
“The joint venture will enable us to offer new debt solutions to a wider client set, with Schroder RF playing an important role in accelerating Schroders’ private assets strategy in Australia. Its standalone structure facilitates a specialised focus in real estate, allowing the Schroders team to remain focused on managing and growing our existing business.
“Partnering with Schroders represents an opportunity for the RF Group to access global scale and resources as well as deep local investment expertise.”
RF Eclipse currently manages approximately $300 million in assets including assets for the Schroder Real Estate Debt Fund for which it has run an investment mandate since November 2019.
Andrew Roberts, Principal, RF Capital Management, commented:
“Schroder RF represents a key strategic opportunity for our group. With mutually complementary strengths and a clear and aligned strategy, there is a strong foundation for success and growth.”
The transaction is expected to complete around 30 June 2021.
Schroders private assets business offers a diversified range of investment strategies, including private equity, credit, real estate, infrastructure, insurance-linked securities and impact investing. Across private assets and alternatives, Schroders has £46.1 billion in assets under management.