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Sales of Illiquid Alternatives Break Records in 2021

Alternative Investment fundraising hit a record $86.1 billion in 2021, more than three times the 2020 total of $27.3 billion, according to Robert A. Stanger and Co.

Illiquid alternative investment fundraising hit a record $86.1 billion in 2021, more than three times the 2020 total of $27.3 billion, according to Robert A. Stanger and Co.

Blackstone raised more than $39 billion in the alternative investment space in 2021. Its non-traded real estate investment trust, Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, raised $24.93 billion, while its perpetual-life business development company, Blackstone Private Credit Fund, topped $14 billion in sales.

“As Blackstone continued to smash all records, fundraising for all alternatives covered by Stanger surpassed even our most recent projection by more than $10 billion,” said Kevin Gannon, chairman of Stanger.

Stanger’s survey of top sponsors tracks fundraising of all alternative investments offered via the retail pipeline, including non-traded REITs, non-traded BDCs, interval funds, the non-traded preferred stock of traded REITs, Delaware statutory trusts, opportunity zone funds, and other private placement offerings.

The top alternative investment sponsors for 2021 identified by Stanger are Blackstone Group ($39.17 billion), Starwood Capital ($6.31 billion), Cliffwater LLC ($4.34 billion), Ares Management ($2.39 billion), Blue Owl Capital ($2.25 billion), Bluerock Capital ($2.05 billion), Griffin Capital ($1.76 billion), Inland Real Estate ($1.46 billion), Barings LLC ($1.18 billion), FS Investments ($1.04 billion), CION Investments ($1.04 billion) and Cantor Fitzgerald ($1.03 billion).

Non-traded REITs are the largest component (42 percent) of the alternative investment market with $36.5 billion raised in 2021.

“Non-traded REIT fundraising continually surpassed our ever-higher projections throughout 2021,” added Gannon. “In our view, this record-breaking influx of capital into non-traded REITs is heavily influenced by the strong total returns posted by NAV REITs during the past year, with the top ten ranging from 13.8 percent to 30.2 percent.”

Blackstone led 2021 non-traded REIT fundraising with $24.93 billion, followed by Starwood Capital with $6.31 billion, and Ares Management with $1.60 billion.

Other top fundraisers were FS Investments ($818 million), Nuveen ($742 million), Hines Interest ($570 million), LaSalle Investment Management ($545), and KKR ($505 million).

Randy Sweetman, Stanger’s executive managing director, said that “the pace of capital formation in the non-traded REIT market continues to attract new entrants to the space.”

In the non-traded perpetual-life BDC space, Blackstone raised $14.18 billion in 2021, followed by Blue Owl Capital ($1.64 billion). Apollo Debt Solutions BDC, which recently broke escrow at $657 million, is expected to factor into the January 2022 sales mix.

Non-traded perpetual-life BDCs in the registration pipeline include funds from Bain Capital, Oaktree, HPS Investment Partners, and a second fund from Blue Owl focused on the technology sector.

Robert A. Stanger & Co., Inc., founded in 1978, is an investment banking firm specializing in providing investment banking, financial advisory, fairness opinion and asset and securities valuation services to partnerships, real estate investment trusts and real estate advisory and management companies in support of strategic planning and execution, capital formation and financings, mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations, and consolidations.

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