Kudu Invests in Real Estate Fund Manager

NEW YORK (August 16, 2018) Savanna, a New York City-based, vertically integrated real estate investment manager, owner/operator and developer, announced today that it has sold a passive, minority equity stake to TK Partners, a consortium of institutional investors led by Tunbridge Investment Partners. Tunbridge, an affiliate of real estate advisory firm Hodes Weill & Associates, focuses on making strategic, minority equity investments in real estate fund managers. TK Partners is capitalized, in part, with an investment from Kudu Investment Management, a firm that specializes in providing permanent capital solutions to leading investment managers.

Founded in 1992, Savanna has more than 30 experienced professionals, and since its inception, has invested over $4 billion across a series of investment vehicles including its flagship value-add private equity funds. Specializing in the New York City market, Savanna is an institutional fund manager with more than 80 distinct investors from around the world, including public and private pension funds, insurance companies, sovereigns, high net worth family offices, foundations, and wealth management companies.

Proceeds from the TK Partners investment were utilized to further strengthen the platform, funding working capital and various platform, investment, staffing, and growth initiatives.

Chris Schlank, Founder and Managing Partner of Savanna, said “This permanent capital investment is a significant milestone for Savanna and demonstrates the franchise value that the firm has established over its 26 years in business. This capital will enable us to continue to invest in our platform and people, and most importantly, to invest more in our existing and future investment vehicles, alongside our institutional partners.”

Nick Bienstock, Co-Managing Partner of Savanna, added, “While there will be no changes to Savanna’s strategy, investment processes or day-to-day operations, and Savanna will continue to be overseen by its founders and principals, we expect that we will be able to leverage the industry expertise and relationships of our new partners. The investor group, including Tunbridge, understands our business and is a highly strategic partner for Savanna.”

Doug Weill, Managing Partner of Hodes Weill & Associates, said, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to invest with Savanna. We have known the founders and principals of Savanna for over 20 years and have great respect for the business they have built. Their investment capabilities and track record are ‘best-in-class’ and will continue to position the firm as a partner of choice for institutions seeking access to property investments in New York City.”

David Hodes, Managing Partner of Hodes Weill & Associates, added, “Importantly, this transaction advances Tunbridge’s investment strategy and demonstrates the value that our growth capital and advisory capabilities afford real estate fund managers. We are actively evaluating additional opportunities to grow the Tunbridge platform and believe that our investment thesis is particularly compelling as global institutional investors continue to increase their allocations to real estate.”

Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP served as legal counsel to Savanna. Skadden LLP served as legal counsel to Tunbridge and TK Partners.

About Savanna:

Savanna, formed in 1992, is a vertically-integrated real estate investment manager based in New York City and focused on strategic property investments throughout the City’s five boroughs. The firm, led by Managing Partners Christopher Schlank and Nicholas Bienstock, pursues real estate equity and debt asset investments, including ground-up development and major repositioning projects. Savanna’s funds target value add/opportunistic returns by adding value through asset management and/or property development, redevelopment, and repositioning, deploying a team of more than 30 experienced investment, asset management, construction, and leasing professionals. Savanna also selectively invests in real estate debt instruments that have the potential to generate equity-like returns, including preferred equity instruments, high yield bridge and mezzanine loans, and B-notes. Savanna is a Registered Investment Advisor. For more information, please visit www.savannafund.com.

About Tunbridge Investment Partners:

TK Partners was formed by Tunbridge Investment Partners to invest in the acquisition of a minority equity interest in Savanna. Tunbridge, an affiliate of advisory firm Hodes Weill & Associates, LP, is an investment platform that is focused on acquiring minority equity interests in leading real estate fund managers. Investors in TK Partners include Kudu Investment Management, LLC, a capital provider to asset management and wealth management firms. Kudu’s partners include White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. For more information, please contact info@tunbridgepartners.com or visit www.tunbridgepartners.com. Information on Kudu can be found at www.kuduinvestment.com.


Media Contacts:

Hodes Weill & Associates

Jason Chudoba & Megan Kivlehan

Jason.Chudoba@icrinc.com | 646-277-1249

Megan.Kivlenhan@icrinc.com | 646-677-1807

Kudu Closes $250 Million Investment

NEW YORK – Kudu Investment Management, LLC (“Kudu”), a leading capital provider to asset management and wealth management firms, announced today that it has closed a $250 million investment from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”), the global alternative investment management firm, and from White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE: WTM) (“White Mountains”), the Bermuda-domiciled financial services holding company.

Based in New York City, Kudu specializes in providing capital solutions to asset managers and registered investment advisors, including generational ownership transfers, management buyouts, acquisition and growth finance, as well as liquidity for legacy partners. Kudu was launched in 2015 by Rob Jakacki, former Chief Investment Officer of Asset Management Finance and a pioneer in making minority investments in this sector, and Charlie Ruffel, former Chief Executive Officer of Asset International.

“Our partnership with Oaktree and White Mountains enables Kudu to pursue additional opportunities to invest in boutique firms in both traditional and alternative classes. We identify firms with focused capabilities and demonstrated value-added for their clients, where we can apply the flexible capital solutions and management alignment strategy that are the hallmark of our firm,” said Rob Jakacki, CEO of Kudu.

“Boutique asset managers are poised to benefit from many of the recent shifts in the asset management industry, including a move towards principal-owned firms that offer a sustainable value proposition,” said Charlie Ruffel, Managing Partner of Kudu. “Our opportunity is to partner with the best of those boutiques and allow them to accelerate their growth.”

Brian Laibow, Managing Director at Oaktree, said, “We’re looking forward to partnering with Kudu as they enter into their new era of growth.  We appreciate and support Kudu’s vision of investing in mid-size asset managers through minority investment constructs that allow firms to retain the independence and control that served as the foundation for their past successes, while benefiting from the new capital and expertise that Kudu brings.”

Manning Rountree, Chief Executive Officer of White Mountains, added, “We are delighted to back Rob, Charlie and the Kudu team, whose experience and capabilities are first rate, and to invest alongside Oaktree. We look forward to a fruitful partnership.”

About Oaktree

Oaktree is a leader among global investment managers specializing in alternative investments, with $100 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2017. The firm emphasizes an opportunistic, value-oriented and risk-controlled approach to investments in distressed debt, corporate debt (including high yield debt and senior loans), control investing, convertible securities, real estate and listed equities. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the firm has over 900 employees and offices in 18 cities worldwide. For additional information, please visit Oaktree’s website at http://www.oaktreecapital.com/.

About White Mountains

White Mountains is a Bermuda-domiciled financial services holding company traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Bermuda Stock Exchange under the symbol WTM. Additional financial information and other items of interest are available at the Company’s web site located at www.whitemountains.com.