Meet the biggest fundraisers in US commercial real estate debt

Real Estate Capital USA presents the 2023 edition of its Debt Fund 40 ranking.

Welcome to the second edition of Real Estate Capital USA’s ranking of the leading commercial real estate private credit managers active in the US.

The Real Estate Capital USA Debt Fund 40, compiled by PEI Group’s in-house research and analytics team, ranks managers by the level of capital raised from external investors in the preceding five years with the express purpose of providing credit to US property owners. The 40 largest firms raised $164.8 billion for the five years ending in 2022 – an uptick from the $132.1 billion raised for the five years ending in 2021.

The ranking complements similar research from our affiliate titles PERE and Real Estate Capital Europe, which respectively look at the 50 largest global managers and the 30 largest European firms. While this year’s ranking comprises 40 managers, we expect this to grow as more capital is allocated into commercial real estate debt strategies. Because this is just our second year of a US-specific ranking, comparison with previous iterations is limited. Our best points of comparison continue to be from PERE and Real Estate Capital Europe.

PERE’s RED 50, which ranks the 50 largest global debt managers, saw managers featured in the survey secure an aggregate of $267 billion over the past five years for credit strategies, a 19 percent increase from 2022.

The consensus in the US debt markets is that debt strategies are gaining traction with investors for a variety of reasons, including strong risk-adjusted returns, yields that are higher than similar government and corporate bonds, and the ability to be at a more protected place in the capital stack.

This interest is expected to grow as the market continues to reset after the covid-19 pandemic, with private credit expected to fill some of the void left by recent consolidation in the US banking sector and offer ways to fill the financing gap as a mezzanine debt or preferred equity investor.

Read on to find out which firms bolstered their financial firepower over the past year – and get an idea of what will come next.