That the office real estate market is tight in New York is good news and bad news for REIT manager Cohen & Steers
. While low occupancy is good for real estate companies, it's bad for the company as it contemplates moving headquarters.
The firm will likely remain in the midtown area, as it's most convenient for its employees, said Marty Cohen
, co-chief executive officer of the firm.
Cohen & Steers are looking beyond just midtown for future growth, however. The firm has acquired a 50 percent interest in European real estate securities firm Houlihan Rovers
, a Brussels-based company managing $500 million in assets.
"Houlihan Rovers is the Cohen & Steers of Europe," said Cohen.
The reasoning behind the acquisition is to increase distribution of Cohen & Steers investment products, leverage Houlihan Rovers' European institutional relationships, and gain the insight of the firm's ten-plus years of investment expertise, said Cohen.
Cohen & Steers will continue to look for new opportunities to expand its business beyond REITs and utilities, said Cohen. In order to do that, the firm will look to mimic the strategy it used to enter the utilities business -- acquiring expertise.
The firm has been, and will continue to work "long term" on identifying and retaining the best teams working on broader, dividend-paying investment management and equity research.
Cohen & Steer's growth aspirations, however, stop there, concurred Cohen and Robert Steers
, co-chief executive officer of the company. "We're not going to be the fully diversified…check-every-box fund company…we don't think it works…not for us," said Steers.
Those looking for a growth or bond offering from Cohen & Steers can keep on holding their breath.
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