Wheelock Street Capital
a real estate
Wheelock Street Capital
a real estate
Wheelock Street Capital L.L.C. is a private real estate investment firm founded in 2008 by Merrick R. Kleeman and Jonathan H. Paul and headquartered in Greenwich, CT and Boston, MA. Wheelock focuses on real estate investments throughout North America and will invest in both public and private market opportunities and in all parts of the capital structure. The firm is a trustworthy source of capital for borrowers seeking to recapitalize overleveraged properties and portfolios. Our capital funding gives us the flexibility to pursue investment opportunities of all sizes, from single assets to corporate or portfolio investments of over $1 billion. Backed by established institutional capital, Wheelock has raised four funds to-date, the latest of which closed in April of 2014 with $625 million in capital commitments.
Alongside extensive capital markets and investment management expertise, Wheelock has developed deep internal operational and management capabilities in targeted asset classes to provide a competitive advantage in its chosen areas of focus. This vertical integration of investment and real estate skill sets provides Wheelock with the flexibility to work with or without local partners, to react quickly to changing fundamentals or investment opportunities and to maintain hands-on involvement at each stage of the investment process. Current focus areas or “Verticals” include Hospitality, Retail, and Residential Land & Homebuilding, although the firm looks opportunistically at all asset classes. Wheelock employs an experienced team of investment professionals with offices in Boston, New York, Greenwich, Tampa and the DC area.
Wheelock’s primary goal is the protection and growth of its limited partners’ capital. We seek to achieve this through a disciplined investment approach and thoughtful underwriting. We are a focused firm; our goal is to do fewer things, better. We won’t take on more than we can handle well, despite the promise of greater firm profitability. This allows us to give each investment the attention it requires and to remain accessible to our important relationships at every level of the organization. We invest in asset types and locations we understand through experience, and in situations where the firm’s expertise and relationships provide it a competitive advantage.
Wheelock seeks to align its interests with those of its investors and partners through careful structuring and the co-investment of meaningful amounts of employee capital. In the marketplace, Wheelock looks for likeminded partners who share our investment philosophy and our commitment to integrity. Once identified, we welcome repeat business with trusted partners and intermediaries.
Wheelock invests a significant amount of time and energy in the front end of every investment process. The goal is to significantly reduce the chances that unforeseen events arise during the formal due diligence process. We believe this makes Wheelock a better and more reliable buyer and partner.
Wheelock has recruited a strong team of investment professionals and created an organizational structure which encourages and rewards performance. The absence of rigid hierarchies and a collaborative approach to decision making promote internal debate, foster intellectual honesty and ensure the best ideas are identified, regardless of where they originate. A true partnership structure ties a significant share of compensation to the long term success of the firm and gives employees at all levels a vested interest in Wheelock’s performance.
Wheelock pursues a highly focused, fundamentally-driven investment strategy.
The firm believes that having in-house, specialized operating and management expertise is a critical element of its strategy. To this end, Wheelock has built proprietary operating platforms (“verticals”) in its chosen areas of focus. The verticals give Wheelock a competitive advantage in identifying value, driving operating performance and working seamlessly with local operating partners.
Current verticals include:
Hospitality – Overseen by Patrick Campbell, who previously ran Acquisitions and Asset Management for Highland Hospitality Corporation before it was sold for $2.0 billion in July of 2007 and had extensive hotel operating experience before that while at Crestline and Bristol Hotels and Resorts.
Residential Land and Homebuilding – Overseen by Dan Green, the former head of Land and Acquisitions for the eastern United States at KB Home, one of the country’s five largest homebuilders.
Retail – Overseen by Joyce Storm, a 29-year veteran in the retail space whose experience includes the acquisition, development, management, disposition, and leasing of regional/super regional malls, urban infill, single tenant, lifestyle properties, retailer’s portfolios and power centers. She was most recently a principal of Storm Partners LLC.
Other Asset Classes – Wheelock pursues opportunistic investments in other major real estate asset classes including office, multifamily (including student housing), and mixed-use.
While the firm will focus on its verticals, the team will continue to be opportunistic in other asset classes and may establish additional verticals as market conditions evolve. An example of this is the recent addition of our Retail vertical which was formed to capitalize on increasing opportunities in this asset class.
While Wheelock has no formulaic approach to investing, the firm seeks opportunities which exhibit characteristics common to successful real estate investments, including quality of micro location, barriers to new supply growth, high quality assets in strong markets and out of favor opportunities where the firm can build a reasoned, contrarian viewpoint. Wheelock uses a disciplined, research driven investment process to identify opportunities exhibiting these characteristics and is prepared to make concentrated investments in such situations. The firm begins with in-depth macroeconomics analysis to identify asset classes, geographies and parts of the capital structure that it believes will outperform in the current economic environment. Wheelock combines detailed fundamental real estate analysis with deep in-house operation and financial expertise to source and execute on the best opportunities within its areas of focus.
The founders’ experience in completing large transactions while at Starwood Capital, Rockpoint Group and Westbrook Partners provides Wheelock with the capability to executive on large portfolio deals or public company opportunities. The firm is comfortable and has experience dealing with both stable and distressed situations, will consider joint ventures with like-minded industry participants, can work with or without local partners and is flexible about participating through subordinate debt, preferred or common equity. The firm is also a trusted capital source for borrowers seeking to restucture overleveraged situations.
Wheelock has recruited a strong team of investment professionals.
Click a team member below to view bio:
Rick Kleeman is a founding partner of Wheelock Street Capital (“Wheelock”), a real estate private equity firm established in 2008 to pursue a value-oriented investment strategy. Since its founding, Wheelock has raised three funds of $100 million, $150 million and $525 million which have invested in over $1.4 billion of properties on behalf of a diverse group of institutional and high net worth investors. Wheelock’s investment portfolio includes a broad range of asset classes reflecting an opportunistic approach, with a concentration on hotels and residential land where the firm has developed specialized in-house platforms or “verticals”. Mr. Kleeman has over 22 years of real estate experience with all asset classes including office, hotel, retail, multi-family, residential land, resort residential and condominiums, as well as golf and other leisure assets.
Before founding Wheelock, Mr. Kleeman spent over 15 years at Starwood Capital Group (“Starwood”), where he was one of the early partners and served as Senior Managing Director and Head of Acquisitions. At Starwood, Mr. Kleeman was directly or indirectly involved in the majority of Starwood’s investments which comprised over 215 transactions within all major asset classes, across eight equity funds and totaling $6 billion in institutional capital commitments. Mr. Kleeman led the acquisition of Westin Hotels & Resorts, National and American Golf, and Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts in collaboration with Starwood Hotels, helped lead the acquisition of ITT Sheraton, and led the formation of Troon Golf and Starwood Land Ventures. Before joining Starwood, Mr. Kleeman worked at Coastal Management and Consultants, a real estate investment company and at Merrill Lynch in its Investment Banking Division.
Mr. Kleeman is a member of ULI, a Director of the Board of EverBank and Troon Golf, a member of the Board of Trustees of The Boys and Girls Harbor in New York City and The Waterside School in Stamford, CT, and a member of Dartmouth’s President’s Leadership Council. Mr. Kleeman received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar.
Jonathan H. Paul is a founding partner of Wheelock Street Capital, a real estate private equity firm established in 2008 to pursue a value-oriented investment strategy. Since its founding, Wheelock has raised three funds of $100 million, $150 million and $525 million which have invested in over $1.4 billion of properties on behalf of a diverse group of institutional and high net worth investors. Wheelock’s investment portfolio includes a broad range of asset classes reflecting an opportunistic approach, with a concentration on hotels and residential land where the firm has developed specialized in-house platforms or “verticals”. Mr. Paul has over 22 years of real estate experience with all asset classes including hotel, office, industrial, retail, multifamily, residential land and condominiums, as well as golf and other leisure assets.
Prior to co-founding Wheelock, Mr. Paul was a Managing Member of Rockpoint Group L.L.C. (“Rockpoint”), a company he co-founded in 2003, which manages over $5 billion in equity capital through five real estate opportunity funds. From 2004 to 2007 he had oversight responsibilities for Rockpoint’s investment activities in Europe, including the opening of new offices in London and Frankfurt. From 1994 to 2003, Mr. Paul was a Managing Member of Westbrook Partners, L.L.C. (“Westbrook”) where he played a critical role in the company’s formation, its fundraising efforts, and the investment of four funds with over $4 billion of equity capital. Prior to joining Westbrook, Mr. Paul spent six years at Morgan Stanley in the real estate and corporate finance areas, including three years with the original Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund (“MSREF”).
During his tenure at Westbrook and Rockpoint, those firms completed 265 transactions involving a total equity commitment of approximately $7 billion. Mr. Paul has been instrumental in several notable hospitality investments including the acquisition of Red Roof Inns while at MSREF, the acquisition of Allegro Resorts Corporation, the $1 billion take-private acquisition of Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. in 1999, and another $700 million in Sunstone follow-on investments prior to its IPO in 2004. At Westbrook, Mr. Paul played a key role in the acquisition of several large land development businesses including Mobil Land Development and American General Development. These acquisitions, combined with numerous follow-on investments, were combined to form Terrabrook, which at the time was the largest owner of master planned communities in the United States.
Mr. Paul is a former director of Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. Mr. Paul received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College.
Patrick Campbell joined Wheelock in 2009. He has primary responsibility for Wheelock’s hospitality investments. Mr. Campbell’s 29 years in hospitality include hotel acquisitions, development, asset management and extensive experience in hotel operations.
Prior to joining Wheelock, Mr. Campbell served as Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer and Head of Asset Management of Highland Hospitality Corporation, a publicly-traded real estate investment trust. Mr. Campbell acquired a total of 30 assets for Highland, placing approximately $1.4 billion in capital. Additionally, Mr. Campbell supervised Highland’s asset management team and directed the firm’s repositioning and redevelopment program. Mr. Campbell helped execute the sale of Highland to JER Partners for $2.0 billion in July of 2007.
Prior to Highland, Mr. Campbell spent three years at Crestline Hotels & Resorts, an independent hotel management company, where he served as Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and was responsible for developing the company’s portfolio of managed hotels through asset acquisitions, new hotel development and acquisition of management contracts. Before joining Crestline in 2000, Mr. Campbell held the position of Vice President—Acquisitions and Development with Bristol Hotels & Resorts. During his 16 year tenure with Bristol, the company grew from 36 hotels to over 120 hotels. Mr. Campbell held various other positions with Bristol, including Vice President—Revenue Management and Vice President—Operations, along with various other operations, sales and marketing roles.
Mr. Campbell received his B.S. with Distinction, from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.
Dan Green joined Wheelock in 2008. Based out of Wheelock’s Tampa Bay Area office, Mr. Green is responsible for Wheelock’s residential land and homebuilding investments. Mr. Green has 29 years of experience with land acquisitions, financing, entitlement, development, and sales across the United States.
Prior to joining Wheelock, Mr. Green spent five years with KB Home, one of the nation’s largest homebuilding companies, most recently as the Regional Vice President of Land Acquisition. In that role he oversaw land operations for the eastern United States. Mr. Green joined KB Home in 2003 as Senior Vice President of Land for the Orlando Division, where he was responsible for land acquisition, planning and development, and government affairs.
Before KB Home, Mr. Green spent 18 years in management roles with Richland Properties, an entrepreneurial real estate investment firm with over $1 billion dollars in assets. Richland develops master planned communities in Florida, Texas and California and was active in purchasing distressed real estate from the RTC. During his tenure at Richland, Mr. Green held positions ranging from Controller to COO. He was responsible for acquisitions, financing, repositioning and selling land assets for mixed use, commercial, and residential end uses. He also assisted in the formation and operation of Richland’s broadcast tower business, in conjunction with the 1996 FCC ruling to transition from analog to digital television. Previously, Mr. Green served as an Accounting Manager for Eckerd Drug Company. He began his career in auditing with Ernst & Young.
Mr. Green holds a B.A. from Cedarville University and an M.B.A from Syracuse University. Mr. Green is a Certified Public Accountant.
Jeffrey Laliberte joined Wheelock in 2009. He is responsible for helping to oversee acquisitions across all asset classes from underwriting through execution. Mr. Laliberte has over 10 years of direct real estate experience, including both complex, corporate acquisitions and asset-level investments. In addition, Mr. Laliberte has extensive experience in capital structure executions in the real estate debt markets.
Prior to joining Wheelock, Mr. Laliberte spent almost six years at Starwood, most recently as a Vice President in the Acquisitions group in Greenwich, CT. While at Starwood, Mr. Laliberte was very active in the firm’s hospitality area, including the $600 million acquisition of seven Westin branded hotels in the US and Canada and the $1.3 billion acquisition of Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts in partnership with Lehman Brothers and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. In August 2006, Mr. Laliberte led the $80 million acquisition of the Houston Hyatt, including the negotiation of a new management agreement with Hyatt Hotels that included a significant amount of key money. In addition, Mr. Laliberte contributed to the underwriting and execution of the $195 million acquisition of a 1,500 unit apartment complex in Alexandra, VA and the $21 million acquisition of a 160,000 sf office building in Tysons Corner, VA. Most recently, Mr. Laliberte led the acquisition of two B-notes totaling $120 million of principal balance secured by two premier, Class A office buildings in the Austin, TX CBD.
Prior to Starwood, Mr. Laliberte worked for a year at Wells Fargo in the Real Estate Group while completing his undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania. At Wells Fargo, Mr. Laliberte was focused on debt origination in the residential and retail sectors.
Mr. Laliberte received a B.S. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Joyce Storm joined Wheelock Street Capital in 2013 as a principal. She has primary responsibility for Wheelock’s Retail investment vertical. Ms. Storm’s 29 years in retail include the acquisition, development, management, disposition, and leasing of regional/super regional malls, urban infill, single tenant, lifestyle properties, retailer’s portfolios and power centers. Developments overseen by Ms. Storm in the aggregate total over 35 million square feet.
Most recently, Ms. Storm served as principal of Storm Partners LLC, New York. Besides developing for its own account, Storm Partners served as Retail Acquisition and Development Advisor to opportunity funds, private equity funds, retailers, financial institutions, and developers lacking retail expertise. Ms. Storm lead the disposition of the 440 store Woolworth Chain. She also consolidated United Artists, Edwards and Regal Cinemas into a single entity for the Anschutz Corporation.
Prior to Storm Partners, Ms. Storm served as Executive Vice President of Sony Retail Entertainment and Lowe’s Cineplex Entertainment. Ms. Storm was responsible for strategic partnership formation, site selection, development and construction for the 1100 screen circuit and Sony’s retail concepts.
Earlier she was President of the Kaplan Group, Newton, Massachusetts. At the Kaplan Group, Ms. Storm was responsible for leasing the 23 million SF New England Development Shopping Center Portfolio; consisting of 20 super regional malls which were subsequently sold to Simon Property Group.
Early in her career, Ms. Storm spent 14 years in acquisitions, development, leasing, marketing and management at the Taubman Company, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She completed initial development and leasing for trophy malls such as Beverly Center, Cherry Creek Mall and Fair Oaks Mall.
Ms. Storm is a regular lecturer at the Zell Lurie Real Estate Center at Wharton Business School, the Fisher Center for Real Estate at Hass Business School, and Stanford Business School.
Ayesha Menon joined Wheelock in 2008. Ms. Menon focuses on acquisitions and the firm’s residential land investments.
Prior to joining Wheelock, Ms. Menon was an Associate at New Mountain Capital, a private equity firm based in Manhattan, where she worked on private and public investments across many industries. Before that, Ms. Menon was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs in their real estate advisory group where she worked on buy-side and sell-side advisory assignments, and financing transactions totaling over $8 billion in volume.
Ms. Menon received a B.S.E. from Princeton University, where she graduated Cum Laude and an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
James Eberhart joined Wheelock in 2008. At Wheelock, Mr. Eberhart is an acquisitions generalist with a recent focus on hospitality and multifamily investments, including student housing. Prior to joining Wheelock, Mr. Eberhardt was an analyst in the Real Estate Investment Banking Group at Deutsche Bank AG. At Deutsche Bank, Mr. Eberhart focused primarily on the gaming and lodging industries.
Mr. Eberhart received a B.A. from Dartmouth College, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Tim Hodes joined Wheelock Street Capital in 2008. Mr. Hodes is an acquisitions generalist with a recent focus on hospitality. Prior to joining Wheelock, Mr. Hodes was an analyst in the Real Estate Investment Banking Group at Deutsche Bank AG. At Deutsche Bank, Mr. Hodes focused primarily on the real estate and gaming industries.
Mr. Hodes received a B.B.A. from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, where he graduated with High Distinction.
Lawrence Settanni joined Wheelock Street Capital in 2009. Mr. Settanni is Wheelock’s Chief Financial Officer. His primary responsibilities include financial management, reporting, financings, operations, and investor relations. Mr. Settanni has over 11 years of real estate industry experience in financial reporting, risk management, and capital markets.
Prior to joining Wheelock Street Capital, Mr. Settanni spent over three years with Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners. During his tenure at Lehman Brothers, Mr. Settanni focused on global financial and risk management where he assisted in arranging and managing over $1 billion in subscription facilities, arranged and managed all foreign currency and interest rate derivatives, assisted in the asset valuation process, and managed fund level liquidity. Before joining Lehman Brothers, Mr. Settanni worked as an auditor in the real estate group of PricewaterhouseCoopers where he focused on private equity real estate funds.
Mr. Settanni received a B.S. from Villanova University and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Al Hatfield joined Wheelock in 2011 and is responsible for asset management of Wheelock’s hospitality investments. Mr. Hatfield has 27 years of hospitality experience including hotel operations, sales and marketing, development, asset management, and advisory services.
Prior to joining Wheelock, Mr. Hatfield served as Vice President Asset Management for New York based Arcturus Group. Mr. Hatfield provided asset management and advisory services for 13 assets for owners and lenders with a combined value of over $600 million.
Prior to Arcturus, Mr. Hatfield was the Senior Vice President of Operations of Prism Hotels & Resorts, an independent hotel management company. Before joining Prism, Mr. Hatfield held the position of Vice President of Operations for CSM Lodging, based in Minneapolis. Mr. Hatfield spent 16 years in various operational positions at Bristol Hotels & Resorts as the company grew from to over 120 hotels. Roles included developing the infrastructure for field operations and sales/marketing, with posts in Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco and San Diego. Additionally, during his tenure with Bristol, he oversaw the repositioning of several high profile assets with significant renovation projects.
Mr. Hatfield received a B.S. from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.
Evelyn Nicola joined Wheelock in 2011 in the Finance area. Prior to joining Wheelock, she was as an auditor in the real estate group of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Ms. Nicola received a B.S.B.A. from Boston University and is a Certified Public Accountant.
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