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Ebay family office joins property club

By Attracta Mooney

The family office of eBay co-founder Jeff Skoll is to invest €25 million in equity in a recently launched property club.

At a press conference on 28 March, Stephen George, co-founder and chief investment officer of Capricorn Investment Group, said the firm has decided to join the Family Office Real Estate Partnership in a bid to “get back to basics”.

Investing in property should be relatively straightforward, said George. But there is “all this structure around what should be a simple asset”, meaning transparency can be a problem, he added.

Launched earlier this month, Fore is a co-investing platform, allowing families to club together to purchase predominantly commercial property.

“The model gives us the ability to go into the market and secure opportunities while at the same time providing club members with a degree of control over what we are doing,” said Basil Demeroutis, managing partner of Fore.

He added it will cost less than half that charged by traditional funds, while increasing transparency and offering easy access to income generated from the properties.

“You want to be as close to the asset as possible – you want the income,” said George.

At the conference, Fore said it will focus on properties in London and Germany in particular, looking for “B buildings in an A location” – well located but under-managed buildings priced between around €10 million and €20 million.

“Our model was designed by the families themselves, and is an extension of their own direct real estate activities. In the end, we are a club of like-minded investors that share the same values, and we have similar views in terms of what represents long-term value,” said Demeroutis.