Harvard has sold half its real estate offering – exclusive

NorthStar Realty Finance was one of the buyers in transactions that totalled about $500m out of the $1bn offering.

Harvard Management Company (HMC) has sold only about half of the $1 billion real estate secondaries it put on the market earlier this year, according to two sources familiar with the transactions.

“They threw everything on the wall to see what would stick,” one source told Secondaries Investor. “They ended up selling only about $500 million.” Sellers in the secondaries market often test the market by putting a large portfolio up for sale. They typically end up selling only fund interests with the most attractive pricing.

Secondaries Investor reported at the beginning of March that Harvard Management Company had hired Cogent Partners, now called Greenhill Cogent, to sell $1 billion of real estate fund interests as it continues its push into direct real estate investing and wind down its legacy portfolio.

It’s unclear which fund stakes sold as part of the portfolio. Details on pricing for the transaction were not available either.

“It was really chunky and Harvard has sold [real estate fund interests] before, so it’s being picked over,” the other source said. That source also added that NorthStar Realty Finance was one of the buyers.

HMC, which manages Harvard University’s endowment and related financial assets, has a 12 percent allocation to real estate this year. Its portfolio of real estate funds is valued at about $2.6 billion, according to PEI data. The endowment fund had about $36.4 billion of assets under management as of September 2014.

A spokesman for Harvard as well as Greenhill Cogent declined to comment. NorthStar was not available to comment.