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June 24, 2024
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American South Fund Management Closes Latest Fund with $174 Mil in Equity Commitments


Emerging manager American South Fund Management (ASFM), a joint venture between SDS Capital Group and Vintage Realty, has closed on its American South Real Estate Fund II (“ASREF II”) with $174 mil in equity commitments, nearly three times the size of its debut impact fund ASREF I.

ASFM, through the ASREF I and II funds, provides preferred equity and equity financing for real estate sponsors with projects located in 10 Southern states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas). The ASREF I and II funds have, to date, collectively committed $106 mil to 22 projects, financing 5,147 housing units – 81% of them affordable to families at less than 80% of the area median income (AMI). ASFM is also an outlier in the real estate industry, as a majority woman-owned real estate fund manager.

While the investors in ASREF II are predominantly financial institutions, a $50 mil investment from funds managed by GCM Grosvenor represents the first public pension capital to be committed to ASFM’s funds.

Funds managed by emerging managers are by definition smaller, often less than $500 mil. This scale creates a challenge relative to securing capital from most public pension funds as the vast amount of capital they must deploy can require the size of individual pension fund investments to be substantially larger than what most emerging managers can absorb within a single fund.

GCM Grosvenor has been managing emerging manager capital in real estate since 2010, and currently manages more than $5 bil of real estate emerging manager programs. GCM invested in ASREF II from funds managed on behalf of five public pension plan investors.

“ASREF cannot grow if we are unable to secure public pension fund capital – it's that simple,” explains Deborah La Franchi, ASFM Managing Partner and Founder and CEO of SDS Capital Group. “ASREF could not tap into this capital without the GCM Grosvenor platform, which sub-allocates and bundles pension fund capital into amounts scaled for the smaller-sized funds of emerging managers such as ASFM.”

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