Julia Butler

Julia Butler

Managing Director at KKR

Julia Butler
By November 8, 2021 9:00 AM

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known in March 2020 that you know now?

I wish I had known the market rebound would be as strong as it was so I could have invested more aggressively in my personal account! But, seriously, we were fortunately well-positioned prior to the pandemic with less than 4 percent in hospitality and only two retail loans, one of which was a portfolio of triple-net-leased grocery stores that performed so well in the pandemic it paid off early. That portfolio composition enabled us to focus on offense, which prepared us for a landmark year in 2021.

Pick your poison (and tell us why you’d drink it): retail or hospitality?

Hospitality. While not historically a large part of our portfolio, the return of travel and reimagining of the business plans for some great properties has the potential to create some interesting opportunities in the hospitality lending space. Plus, I’ve always loved the asset class.

What’s the greatest weapon in your bidding arsenal?

Our incredible platform. We can invest in scale across the capital stack with creativity and a smart humble team that’s service-oriented.

New York CIty: “I want to be a part of it”?

Never bet against New York. It’s a helluva town!

What’s your favorite secondary market and why?

This isn’t original but Austin. There are so many reasons why — demographics, diversity of jobs, politics, cost of living, culture and city planning. Before you know it, it will no longer be secondary.

Are you adding life sciences deals to your loan portfolio? Why or why not?  

Yes. We’re focused on the best-located, purpose-built assets being developed by top sponsors.

Is SFR here to stay as a CRE asset class? Why or why not?

Yes. The supply-demand dynamic is very attractive in certain places and it’s becoming easier to manage with better technology and design.

How prominent do you envision C-PACE financing becoming? Is it here to stay?

C-PACE could become huge in certain markets for qualifying projects. As pricing comes down and it becomes more accepted by senior lenders, C-PACE could replace ground leases, mezzanine and preferred equity given its long-term, pre-payable nature and off-balance sheet treatment. It’s also an effective form of financing for achieving [environmental, social and governance] goals.

Lightning Round 

Stabilized or transitional assets? 

Love ‘em both.

First work trip post-COVID? 

As soon as my daughters ended school last May, I was in Atlanta, L.A., Texas, Chicago and Boston all in the matter of a few weeks. I was so happy to be traveling again.

“Ted Lasso” or “The Morning Show”?  

“Ted Lasso.” It’s like hot chocolate on a cold, rainy day.

Peloton bike or outdoor cycling? 

Outdoor cycling. Outdoor anything, actually.

Last book you read?  

I’m not quite done but “The Code Breaker” by Walter Isaacson is fantastic.

Who would play you in the biopic of your life?

Emily Blunt (of course).

“If I hadn’t pursued a lending career I’d be …” 

Creating a cool new company that also helps underprivileged children.

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