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The boutique real-asset investment bank  with a focus on placing power

Coming from senior roles in fund management and research in banking cash-equity markets we founded Weisshorn Capital Partners to venture into alternative assets. The impetus to leave liquid markets and enter the wide array of alternatives was triggered by the more long-term nature and variety of alternative assets. As we will explain under “macro trends” we believe that parts of alternative assets will benefit from asset rotation out of large capital pools e.g. sovereign bonds.

Instead of trading short-term noise-trends we focus on long-term, stable, selfpropagating  tectonic tendencies and the investment opportunities that emerge on their back. We find that these trends are strongest if many forcefully synergistically interact and so become stable investment themes. This could be combinations of demographics (population growth, aging societies), resource scarcity, global warming, water shortage, soil erosion as elements of the natural realm combined with political and economic phenomena.

One illustrative example is farmland in stable political economies that should benefit from soil erosion, westernisation of food consumption in transitional countries, emerging middle classes, increased use of bio-diesel and the fact that these assets provide income above AAA sovereign bonds and inflation protection. Others that we currently look at are prime residential properties in Germany, renewable energy infrastructure in Germany and Scandinavia, long-lease commercial property in Scandinavian metropolitan areas and more.  All these assets have in common that they are cash-generative, provide inflation protection, liquid, located in politically stable countries, be the beneficiary of asset rotation, hence defensive and should gain in value even as the global economy weakens further.

We get involved at different stages of the investment life-cycle. Just as we may assist the development of a “waste to energy” technology VC we may ourselves identify assets. For example we have not only helped a client set-up a real-estate investment bank but helped develop their first project, a German micro-apartment/student accommodation fund. On the other hand, we have developed the concept for direct investments in Uruguayan farmland which we just start to place. In these cases we are involved from idea, inception, documentation, placing and asset management.

Similarly we assist in funding project developments in renewable infrastructure and of course, properties. However, we do not always get involved in the early stages of business. In many cases existing businesses, funds, or projects need funding of different sorts. This can be the forward placing of a property development, the identification of buyers of on-line renewable energy assets but, also as well the financial restructuring of a distressed business, project finance for expansion, straight equity, hybrid debt, the refinancing of senior or the rapid placement  of assets for a distressed seller.

In all of the above cases we are involved in the analytics of the risk and reward of the business/asset and given our past professional experience this is where we feel at home. That said, we are not shy to assume the role of a broker for super-prime property, biomass plants, secondary market fund stakes, (asset backed) non-performing loan from banks balance-sheets and other things that suit our investor’s commercial targets. In fact, we are currently quite active in placing German residential and commercial property as well as various kinds of renewable infrastructure assets, again, in Germany, Italy and Spain.

We are not the only ones operating in this business and in fact, compared to the large corporate finance outfits we are very small and that is what we want to be. Consequently we focus on investors in and owners of the assets we favour. In this realm we aim to partner with the actors on the asset and funding side in order to be “in the flow”. This allows us to provide relevant market insight regarding feasibility, pricing etc.

Additionally, of course we pride ourselves of analytical skills, macro-economic expertise, financial modelling and valuation acumen. However, we see there is a lot of capacity in the business to do just that. We will offer our clients these services as well but our real focus lies on execution. Our approach is not to maximise billable hours. Rather we focus on demonstrating that what we have advocated works: We focus on placing the instruments that we have structured. Our fees are largely success-based!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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