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Bain Capital Raises $1.5B For Its 1st Property Fund

Bain Capital, which has about $105B of assets under management but hasn’t previously been a major player in real estate, has raised $1.5B for its debut real estate fund. That amount is well past its target of $1B, indicating that investors are still eager to put capital into real estate.

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Boston-based Bain said the fund specializes in life sciences and labs, senior housing and self-storage. About $550M of the fund has already been invested, Bloomberg reports.

Harvard University’s $39B endowment is among the largest backers of the fund. Last year, Harvard Management Co.’s real estate team spun off to become part of Bain, giving it an expertise in real estate.

At that time, Bain agreed to manage $3.4B in Harvard endowment real estate assets, some of which it has sold since then. Last year, Blackstone Group acquired a portfolio of more than 100 warehouses from Harvard University's endowment for about $950M, many of them last-mile properties.

Another major investor in the new Bain fund is the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, which has committed $100M. Bain itself also contributed to the fund.

Investor appetite for real estate remains strong, with 36% of investors looking to increase their allocations to real estate over the longer term, according to Preqin. That compares with the 10% who say they want to decrease their real estate allocations.

The amount of capital raised by real estate funds closed in 2018 totaled $124B, which was lower than the record in 2017 ($132B), Preqin reports. Even so, 2018 marked the sixth consecutive year in which more than $100B was raised by real estate funds.