Chris Lacey sets up ‘bespoke’ resi capital markets business

Author: Helen Crane

Former CBRE executive director says the firm will advise on everything from market intelligence to funding

CBRE’s former executive director of residential and head of capital markets Chris Lacey has launched his own advisory firm dedicated to residential capital markets.

Lacey worked at CBRE for more than 30 years and established a reputation for brokering high-profile deals in the private rental sector as it evolved into a mainstream asset class.

He left the firm in October 2016 and this week launched Lacey Capital Partners, which will advise investors and developers in the build-to-rent, private rental and residential sectors.

Rather than focusing solely on deals, Lacey said the firm would act as a “trusted partner” and provide strategic advice on the whole process from market intelligence to funding
and building an operational brand.

“There isn’t an existing bespoke residential capital market business or team in the market,” Lacey said. “I want to create a boutique, high-end, personalised advisory firm.

“It’s all about partnership and strategic alliance. Rather than an agency, which is focused on brokering sites and opportunities, we will be part of the inner sanctum and operate on a confidential, trusted basis.”

The firm will be based in offices at 81 Wimpole Street, and up to four members of staff are set to join Lacey in the coming months. It has also launched its new website.

Clients are yet to be announced but are thought to include some of the biggest names in the sector. Lacey set up CBRE’s residential capital markets team in the early 2000s. He worked with Moda Living and Apache Capital Partners to set up their regional build-to-rent platform, which now has a total GDV across all projects of £1.4bn, and established a residential investment platform for Delancey and major Dutch fund APG as part of the regeneration of Elephant & Castle.

In addition, he helped Swedish housing company Akelius enter the UK market as the first institutional investor into the PRS. Lacey said that the market had now matured sufficiently and that the conditions were right for his business to flourish. “This market works well for us. There is more equal competition between housebuilders and the PRS, rents and renting are demonstrably sustainable through good and bad markets and there are clearly more renters in the market today,” he said.

I have always been convinced that the PRS will become the biggest property sector: to meit’s a no-brainer.

Credit: Property Week – 27/04/2017

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