Cogent sees more activity in real estate

The advisory firm will also be able to take advantage of Greenhill’s primary real estate capital raising business going forward.

Cogent is seeing healthy real estate activity in the secondaries market, which is likely to increase as the integration of the company within Greenhill continues.

“We absolutely are seeing meaningful activity in real estate private equity transactions on a secondary basis,” Scott Bok, chief executive of Greenhill, said during a second-quarter earnings call on Thursday.

Bok said an increase in interest in liquidity in real estate private equity was one reason for the rise in activity. He also expects Cogent will only become busier in real estate secondaries transactions as it starts taking advantage of synergies with Greenhill’s existing businesses.

“We really do think we have the top primary real estate capital raising business,” Bok said. “If they’re not number one, they are number two. So I think to marry that with the top secondary fund across private equity alternative assets, it’s a great thing.”

Bok also noted that in the secondaries business, real estate was almost non-existent just a few years ago but it has really started to develop, with more liquidity and more activity in real estate private equity funds.

The acquisition of Cogent by Greenhill was announced earlier this year and closed on 1 April. Although Greenhill did not break down revenue and profit for Cogent for the quarter, and will not in the future, the firm said the Cogent team is continuing its market leading share of activity in the secondaries market both in terms of volume and number of deals.