New Beginning secures over €200m for new housing fund

Irish Times, April 8th 2021.

Debt advisory group partners with investment firm RoundShield Partners again

Investment firm RoundShield Partners has received commitments of more than €200 million in a first close of a new Irish residential real estate fund with debt advisory group New Beginning.

The fund is to invest in purpose-built and energy-efficient properties, RoundShield said.

New Beginning, which is led by barrister and debt adviser Ross Maguire, first partnered with RoundShield for the Irish Social Housing Fund in 2018, with the latter initially promising up to €50 million for properties that are let to local authorities under 25-year leases.

Mr Maguire confirmed it was partnering again with RoundShield on the new fund.


“We will be supporting development across the country with an emphasis on providing homes for the social and affordable rental sector. The affordable rental sector is a hugely important part of the market and we will work with approved housing bodies to provide high-quality housing to meet this need,” he said.

The Irish Social Housing Fund, which has set a target of delivering 1,500 properties for social housing, last year secured €30 million in funding from AIB via a refinancing to help it acquire about 100 homes locally.

Roundshield manages approximately $2.8 billion (€2.3 billion) of capital on behalf of investors overall.

Partner Gareth Fowler said it plans to invest the fund over the next five years in residential projects “across the major Irish cities”.

“RoundShield has deep experience on the ground in Ireland with strong relationships, particularly in residential real estate,” he said.

“We are excited that our first private equity fund is focused on a market we feel very established in,” Mr Fowler added.

New Beginning fund sells 55 social homes for over €22m

Irish Independent, February 18th 2021.

The homes are let to Dublin’s local authorities on 25-year leases.

he Irish Social Housing Fund (ISHF) and New Beginning have sold 55 social housing homes in Dublin for just over €20m to UK-based Principal Real Estate.

The homes are let to Dublin’s local authorities on 25-year leases.

As of last year, the IHSF, which was founded by debt-advisory firm New Beginning, has invested more than €100m in equity to buy 400 houses and apartments that it works with local authorities to refurbish. The homes are then offered at discounted rents for social housing.

ISHF was founded in conjunction with investment firm Roundshield.

New Beginning’s chief executive and co-founder is barrister Ross Maguire. He established the venture in 2010 to assist people with distressed mortgages.

Principal Real Estate Europe is part of Principal Financial Group’s dedicated property business, Principal Real Estate Investors, which manages or sub-advises more than $85bn in property assets around the world.

Giles Smith, the head of fund management at Principal Real Estate, said that there was already an acute requirement for social housing in Ireland, which has been intensified during the pandemic.

“This transaction is among the first of our institutional acquisitions in the Irish social housing sector, simultaneously meeting investor demand for long-term CPI-linked income of investment-grade credit quality while also supporting the Irish government’s policy aim of drastically increasing social housing provision where it is most needed,” he said.

Last year, ISHF refinanced its portfolio to secure an additional €30m in financing from AIB to buy about 100 homes.

New Beginning also planned the launch of a second fund that will be used to help developers deliver additional homes.
Those units will be bought by the fund and then leased for social housing.

Last year, AIB launched a €300m social housing fund to bankroll the construction of 2,000 homes across the country.

The new fund is expected to be fully allocated over two years.

The development funding can be provided at higher gearing levels than for private schemes, based on purchase contracts from local authorities and approved housing bodies.

AIB chief executive Colin Hunt said the bank had allocated all its initial €100m social housing fund. He said that the bank had already allocated more than €500m to help deliver social housing properties.

Irish Social Housing Fund secures €30m from AIB to buy 100 homes

Irish Times, September 21st 2020.

A fund dedicated to the provision of social housing has refinanced its portfolio with AIB to secure funding of €30 million that will help it acquire about 100 homes.

The Irish Social Housing Fund (ISHF), established in 2018 by debt advisory group New Beginning and investment firm RoundShield, completed the financing to allow it to deploy the funding on social housing developments across the Republic. ISHF noted the deal was done with a “pillar bank” which The Irish Times understands to be AIB.

To date, the ISHF has invested more than €100 million in equity to purchase 400 homes and apartments, working with local authorities to redevelop and refurbish properties to high standards, while providing those properties at discounted rents on a long-term basis for social housing. The fund has set a target of delivering 1,500 properties for social housing over the coming three years.

New Beginning chief executive – and barrister – Ross Maguire told The Irish Times that the fund would refinance for another €30 million “in a few months time”.

“Once the portfolio is stabilised, it could be suitable for pension funds to invest in,” he noted.

The fund comprises properties that are leased to local authorities on a 25-year term, making them an attractive proposition for investors seeking a stable return.

Second fund
Meanwhile, the company has launched a second fund that it expects will be bigger than the first one. It will invest in new builds and provide financing to developers and landowners to help them produce residential properties that will be bought by the fund and leased for the purpose of social housing. The fund will invest in developments all over the country.

“Long-term leasing is a key part of the State’s response to the acute need for social housing,” Mr Maguire said.

“There are real benefits to long-term leasing, not least the fast delivery of permanent homes at discounted rent. In addition, many of the homes we provide are properties that were previously out of use and required substantial investment.

“Through ISHF’s investment in redeveloping housing, the State has already been able to provide homes to hundreds of families on social housing waiting lists. As ISHF ramps up this strategy and accelerates its expansion into new-build social housing development, many more homes will be provided in the coming years.”

New Beginning was founded in 2010 and has expanded to include in its work a range of commercial funding products. Mr Maguire described the venture as one with a “commercial head and a social heart”.

“There’s a lot of properties out there that are very unloved and we have the financial capability to turn those around,” he said.

RoundShield Partners has raised more than €1.4 billion for a variety of investment platforms, but its focus is European asset-backed “special opportunities”. It was established in 2013 by three former executives from capital market company ESO Capital.

New Beginnings secures €50m in funding for social housing

Irish Times, February 7th 2019.

Debt advisory firm agrees deal with property investment house RoundShield Partners

RoundShield Partners, a €1 billion property investment house, has signed a €50 million social housing deal with debt advisory firm New Beginnings.

Under the terms of the deal, which are revealed in a letter seen by The Irish Times, the Irish firm will purchase, refurbish and manage residential properties for RoundShield, which has “agreed to provide up to €50 million in financing for residential acquisition”.

The properties purchased by RoundShield will be let to local authorities for use as social housing under leases of 25 years.

New Beginnings is led by barrister and debt advisor Ross Maguire.

It is understood that the first commitment of funds could be just the beginning for the RoundShield project in Ireland, with one source saying that there were “substantially” more resources potentially available for the project.

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