By Leah Etling
Last year, Chicago real estate executive Doug Kinney moved from the Carlyle Group to join the Bentall Kennedy team. Kinney brought global investing experience and a strong background in private fund and securities to his new role. He has been putting that knowledge to work as Bentall Kennedy seeks new opportunities worldwide.
“Attracting new investors is one of our top priorities. We’re targeting U.S. public funds and corporate plans, foundations and endowments, as well as non-U.S. investors–particularly those from Europe, Canada, Australia and China,” Kinney, executive vice president, Bentall Kennedy, said.
In an interview with CPE, Kinney shared additional insight about seeking new opportunities.
CPE: What excites you most about working at Bentall Kennedy?
Kinney: I joined Bentall Kennedy last May because of the tremendous growth opportunities for the firm, as well as the culture of collaboration and teamwork that I find professionally rewarding. I joined at an interesting time in the company’s history, not long after the acquisition by Sun Life. Having a large, powerful parent company with unwavering support for the growth of our business is enabling us to develop new products and enhance our global distribution.
CPE: What are the projects you’re tasked with moving forward?
Kinney: My top priorities are to achieve growth and diversify our products and our client base. Clearly, the priorities are related. Historically, we have enjoyed great success in the TAFT Hartley space. A substantial portion of our fund capital comes from that base, largely in our open-end U.S. core fund. Thanks to the success of this fund, we have a strong track record and a great opportunity to achieve growth by introducing our strategies to a broader group of investors, including public and corporate funds, insurance companies, foundations and endowments; and not just in the United States, but around the world. We also intend to diversify our offerings with new products designed specifically to appeal to new investors segments. Our new products will take advantage of our depth of expertise across our North America platform. We’ve got some very exciting things in the works.
CPE: What progress have you made so far?
Kinney: We have created solutions for the defined contribution market with similar investment strategies to those available in Bentall Kennedy’s U.S. core fund. We recognize that there are investors who want access to real estate markets but need daily valuation. Creating new opportunities for institutional investors is a priority for us.
CPE: Describe Bentall Kennedy’s U.S. core fund and its family of funds.
Kinney: Bentall Kennedy’s U.S. core fund is a core diversified open-end real estate fund that has been around since 1982. The fund focuses on stable income in a well-diversified portfolio with a conservative capital structure. Through this fund we acquire and develop high-end diversified properties in markets across the United States. We’ve been very successful in attracting a lot of the TAFT Hartley pension funds because of our responsible contractor policy, which is widely recognized as the most union-friendly policy in the industry.
Bentall Kennedy also has other platforms and strategies available to non-ERISA investors, including foundations, endowments and international investors.
CPE: What career experience do you think lends itself well to this position?
Kinney: I’ve been in the real estate business my entire career, both managing and investing in real estate. Working on the capital raising and investor relations side, it’s valuable to have hands-on experience in the underlying asset class to build your knowledge base and credibility. My diversified real estate background has served me well and prepared me to work closely with investors.
CPE: What standout accomplishments has your division achieved in 2016?
Kinney: In addition to the successful roll out of daily value solutions for the defined contribution market, we have grown our sales and marketing team, which will enable us to expand our client base even further. And despite a fully priced market, we achieved our fundraising goals last year. And we’re very excited to roll out new investment opportunities for institutional investors.
CPE: Where will you focus your efforts in the year ahead?
Kinney: My focus will be on achieving my priorities of growth and diversification. We’re highly focused on the development and introduction of new products specifically designed to appeal to a broader client base that we will reach by expanding our distribution channels, globally. I just returned from China and Australia, where we met with numerous investors with significant capital who are eager to invest in U.S. real estate. I’ll be concentrating on that international market, continuing to grow our team and create new products that appeal to this demand.