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Opportunistic Success Means a Disciplined Approach

A disciplined and flexible approach to opportunistic real estate investing, and a team with decades of experience in pursuing this strategy, have yielded Westport Capital Partners and its affiliates a portfolio of approximately $2 billion in assets under management.

It’s a background that provides Howard Fife with a solid foundation for talking about opportunistic plays. As moderator of a panel discussion on the subject at Connect National Investment & Finance, he’ll be doing just that. The conference is scheduled for Oct. 18 at Baruch College in Manhattan.

“We really care about overall basis and what the risk-adjusted return profile is,” the Westport Capital principal told Connect Media. That fundamental approach applies to each of the four pillars of Westport’s investment platform: opportunistic & distressed, core-plus, platform/portfolio and tactical investment in securities.

Fife cited Westport’s investments in the cold-storage business as an example of the company’s success with its platform/portfolio strategy. It has become one of the world’s leading players in the $233-billion global frozen food market, thanks in part to a team of leading customer management professionals and in part to its financing resources.

The Westport platform investment operating company currently operates seven cold-storage facilities, and is evaluating approximately $1.1 billion in new projects. All are designed to serve the needs of industry-leading frozen food producers with an ever-increasing requirement for high quality, automated, reliable and economical storage/handling solutions.

Westport’s core-plus strategy puts greater emphasis on current income than on capital appreciation, and focuses mainly on secondary markets, i.e. smaller cities and assets that often require less repositioning. Fife cited Denver, Portland, Salt Lake, Charleston and suburban Boston as examples of markets that are “still experiencing significant growth and are seeing less international capital.”

With the more attractive pricing of assets in these markets can come higher cap rates, Fife acknowledged. “But with higher cap rates comes higher income,” he said.


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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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