Global property investment firm Round Hill Capital has opened a new office in Dublin and said it has more than €1 billion of capital to deploy in the Republic.
In a statement on Wednesday, Round Hill said it had been evaluating the Irish property market “for several years” and would deploy its dedicated capital into the local build-to-rent and purpose-built student accommodation sectors.
The company has a successful track record of investing in and operating residential and student accommodation assets across Europe. It has acquired, built and managed more than 110,000 residential and student housing beds in recent years.
Round Hill operates about 65,000 accommodation beds in eight European states. Its approach incorporates multiple strategies, such as acquiring existing assets, developing new purpose-built assets, forward-purchasing assets and repositioning assets.
Round Hill is currently funding a pipeline of more than 7,000 student accommodation beds across the UK, Ireland and continental Europe.
The group said it is targeting 20,000 student beds in these markets by 2020. Round Hill currently has 333,875sq m of residential and commercial projects under construction across Europe.
The company has appointed John Vaudin as managing director of its Irish operation, which will be based at 12 Merrion Square in Dublin 2. Mr Vaudin will have responsibility for the group's investment, development and operational strategy.
“I’m excited about joining the Round Hill Capital team and helping to bring their extensive international experience to bear in the Irish student accommodation and residential sectors,” said Mr Vaudin.
“We have ambitious plans and over €1 billion of capital to deploy in Ireland and setting up a locally staffed office is a sign of our intention to invest for the long term.”
Mr Vaudin is a chartered surveyor with more than 25 years’ development and asset management experience in the UK and Ireland.
He joins Round Hill after more than 12 years with WK Nowlan Real Estate Advisors in Dublin, where he was a director and shareholder, responsible for investment, development and asset management advisory services.
He has previously worked for Thames Water Property, BAA Lynton and Pillar Property in the UK, and Treasury Holdings and Harcourt Developments in the Republic.
Round Hill Capital founder and chief executive Michael Bickford said the Irish market was struggling with supply and demand issues.
“Consistent with many European countries, the Irish student and residential housing markets suffer from structural supply/demand imbalances,” he said.
“Round Hill has a proven 15-year track record of investing into such markets, where we identify opportunities that will deliver sustainable housing, whilst creating long-term jobs.
“We look forward to building a substantial student and residential platform in Ireland in a responsible manner.
“I am delighted to welcome John to the Round Hill team. I am confident that his deep industry knowledge, expertise, networks and ability to deliver will prove invaluable as we continue to grow Round Hill’s business in Ireland and wider Europe.”