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Deutsche Finance America Launches with Denver Headquarters

The U.S. Platform Plans to Focus on Direct Investments
August 7, 2018
Deutsche Finance Holding has selected former Amstar executive Jason Lucas to lead its new U.S. platform, Deutsche Finance America.

A division of Germany-based Deutsche Finance Holding has established a new U.S. platform, dedicated to direct investments across the country, that will be headquartered in Denver.

Deutsche Finance Group hired Denver native and longtime real estate executive Jason Lucas to lead the new platform, known as Deutsche Finance America.

The Denver office will initially have three to four employees who will work to fulfill an investment strategy that is more direct than the fund-to-fund investments for which Deutsche is known.

"We’re looking at value-add and opportunistic investments," Lucas told CoStar News. "We like the major metro markets and are looking at a few other deals in New York. We’d like some exposure on the West Coast, including San Francisco and Los Angeles."

Last week, Deutsche Finance America announced its first direct investment in the U.S. with the acquisition of more than 100,000 square feet of vacant office space in New York City’s Gucci Building at 685 Fifth Ave.

Deutsche purchased the asset in a joint venture with private equity firm BLG Capital, a subsidiary of Istanbul-based Bilgili Group, New York developer Michael Shvo and others. The buyers plan to redevelop the property, according to a release from Deutsche Tuesday.

More closings on direct investments are expected in 2018, Lucas said, with Deutsche planning to invest between $10 million and $150 million in equity per transaction. The company will look for investment opportunities across all property types.

The model in the U.S. is similar to the one Deutsche launched roughly two years ago in London called Deutsche Finance International with the goal of making direct investments, Lucas said.

European investors remain optimistic about the U.S., and in general German investors see the U.S. as a good place to diversify outside of their home market because of good fundamentals and liquidity, Lucas said.

"The U.S. has always been a very interesting investment market for us, and we think it will continue to offer attractive opportunities," said Dr. Sven Neubauer, chief information officer for Deutsche Finance Group, in a statement. "This new platform will provide our investors with direct real estate investments through a company under joint control."

Deutsche Finance Group was founded in 2005 and has about $1.7 billion in assets under management.

Lucas comes to Deutsche Finance America as a shareholder and partner after 11 years at Amstar, a Denver-based private equity firm.

Molly Armbrister, Denver Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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