Belay Investment Group (“Belay”) announced today that they have received an additional capital allocation of $350 million from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (“CalSTRS”). The allocation comes as a follow-on to the $250 million Belay Venture III commitment and brings the overall capital commitment to $900 million of equity. The increased allocation will help position the firm in both the expansion of existing operator partner relationships, as well as in the initiation of new partnerships.
The increased allocation further supports the momentum generated through Belay’s recent investment activity, having deployed 80% of their initial allocation to date. The Belay team made investments through six operating partner relationships in 2021, including two reinvestments with an existing Fund II operator, and the remainder through newly-formed joint ventures. Belay made its first foray into the debt market funding short term bridge, new construction, and construction completion loans through an investment in a boutique multifamily lender. Additionally, Belay continued building upon its long-held commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in commercial real estate with 58% of its Venture III allocation thus far deployed to MWBE (minority/women-owned business enterprises) operating partners.
“CalSTRS has worked very closely with Belay in implementing many facets of our Real Estate program’s investment objectives, and the relationship has served as a great example of CalSTRS’ Collaborative Model at work,” said Mike DiRe, Director of Real Estate at CalSTRS. “This new allocation represents CalSTRS’ continued confidence in Belay, which also has been demonstrated by the recent expansion of our relationship to include select advisory work on special projects in addition to Belay’s traditional investment management role.”
“2021 was a breakthrough year in our relationship with CalSTRS,” said Barry Chase, Belay’s Managing Principal. “In addition to significantly increasing our investment capital, we began providing wide ranging advisory services, which has allowed Belay to function as an outsourced resource to CalSTRS. We are proud to have earned the trust of CalSTRS and we are excited to have the opportunity to work more closely with members of their team.” “Additionally, our expanded relationship with CalSTRS enables us flexibility and access, both cornerstones of Belay’s emerging-manager-focused directive with CalSTRS,” said Eliza Bailey, Belay’s Managing Principal. “In today’s highly competitive environment, having the flexibility to invest in various product types, and up-and-down the capital stack, has enabled us to be more nimble investors, meeting the market as it continues to evolve.”
With this next allocation, Belay will maintain its focus on a broad range of strategies, markets, and property types through both equity and debt commitments with emerging managers in various stages of their development predominantly through Belay’s established programmatic joint venture structures.