Starwood Capital Group is a privately held global investment firm owned by its more than 60 partners. Founded in 1991 in the depth of the RTC real estate crisis, Starwood has completed over 490 transactions representing assets of $38 billion as of December 31, 2012. Our assets under management are $23 billion. In addition, we have helped to create four public companies which have gone on to acquire an additional $20 billion in assets. We have approximately 250 employees located across ten offices in five countries including our global headquarters in Greenwich, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Paris, Luxembourg and Sao Paulo.
Over the past 22 years, Starwood Capital has raised nearly $19 billion of equity and sponsored twelve co-mingled opportunistic funds including two dedicated debt funds, two dedicated hotel funds and several standalone and co-investment partnerships on behalf of the world’s leading institutional and high net worth investors. We have invested in almost every asset class – including multifamily, office, retail, hotel, industrial, residential and commercial land, senior housing, mixed-use and golf, and in all levels of the capital structure – including equity, preferred equity, mezzanine debt and senior debt, depending on the risk-reward profile.
While Starwood Capital’s roots are in the real estate markets, our investment discipline applies across all asset classes. In August 2009, we created Starwood Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE: STWD), a publicly traded real estate finance company that focuses on originating and investing in commercial mortgage loans and other commercial real estate-related debt investments. With an initial market capitalization of $950 million, STWD was, at the time of its IPO, the largest blind pool company ever created and traded on the NYSE. STWD has since had subsequent offerings on the NYSE raising an additional $3.2 billion of capital. STWD is externally managed by an entity that is 100% owned by Starwood Capital Group. Starwood Capital also sponsors Starwood Energy Group, a dedicated energy fund that invests in transmission, natural gas, wind and solar power generation facilities throughout North America. Starwood Real Estate Securities, a long/short hedge fund that invests in global public real estate securities, is an affiliate of Starwood Capital. Finally, Starwood Capital created and sponsors SH Group, a hotel management company which owns the environmentally-focused 1 Hotels & Resorts brand and holds the Baccarat hotel license, as well as other potential future hotel brands.
At Starwood we have consistently generated attractive risk-adjusted returns through several real estate cycles and we have demonstrated our investing discipline. When the markets became overheated in 2006-2008 and risk-reward moved largely out of balance as returns moved to back-loaded, residual-only investments, we significantly decreased our acquisition activity. Our philosophy has always been the same: treat investor capital as our own and invest in every transaction we source. We align our interests with those of our investors. We have never taken acquisition, transaction or financing fees, and we return investor capital before participating in the upside. We also perform nearly every major function of real estate in-house to enhance accountability for our results.