Since its creation in 2014, Brazilian-born firm, Leste Group, has been consolidating its presence in the alternative asset market, with offices in Miami, London, Sao Paulo and soon New York.
In an interview with Funds Society, Stephan de Sabrit, the firm’s managing partner and co-founder, shared that something that makes them special is their revolutionary partnership model, whereby Leste, as a holding company, partners with world-class investment managers, which are completely dedicated to their line of business.
Leste supports them with compliance issues, and all they need to launch their business, “leaving the front office to the partners, while Leste takes care of everything that goes on behind the scenes,” says Sabrit, adding: “We bring capital and structure, but we also support them as investors and participate in their investment committees.”
An example of this is its partnership with Cassio Calil, through which they recently launched a new mobility strategy that will invest in solutions related to mobile device financing, subscriptions and early updates.
Its clients are mainly UHNWI in Latin America, but they also offer solutions to US residents. “In the case of Brazilians, with rates of 14.5% it was difficult to imagine them taking risk in alternatives, but when rates dropped to 2% there was a change in mentality… [clients] began to look at alternatives and they also realized that they invest abroad,” recalls the manager.
The firm offers investors a wide range of strategies in real estate, credit, risk, liquid markets and other alternative asset classes. Regarding the situation generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the manager mentions that “not everything is always rosy”, and that the parts related to hotels of both his real estate portfolio in the US and the one in Brazil were affected, but that “little by little they are recovering, and fortunately, we with the partners in this business we were able to cope”. For de Sabrit, being very transparent and explaining the situation to clients allowed them to maintain trust.
His team, which is close to 100 people, coming from different cultures and geographies, seeks to connect and leverage their local knowledge of the markets in which they invest “so that nothing is lost in translation.” Another advantage that he highlights is the ability of his team to originate operations and business, “which allows us to be one step ahead.”
The manager hopes to open an office in New York in the short term, which will be driven by a Venture Debt strategy in the US that has already had its first closure. By 2022 they are preparing a Permanent Capital Strategy for Real Estate in the United States, which will be available to the firm’s foreign investors, “allowing them to take advantage of the largest real estate market in the world, with professional management, and without sacrificing liquidity,” he mentions.
“We have significant ambitions and we want to grow three to four times to reach 8 billion in AUM in 2025,” Sabrit concludes.