AEW Capital Management is a massive global investment manager with more than $100 billion in assets under management as of 2021 across its various investment strategies, according to its website. These strategies include debt origination in major markets in the U.S. Europe and East Asia.
Founded in 1981, AEW began managing investments via core and value-add separate accounts, and it has slowly expanded its operations over the years while expanding its footprint to London, Sydney, Singapore, Japan and beyond.
The firm deploys core, core-plus and value-add and opportunistic strategies, as well as a multi-layered real estate securities strategy, across the globe. It also originates debt across the capital stack, from whole loans and mezzanine debt to preferred equity, on stabilized and transitional assets in major U.S. markets; it also dabbles in senior debt originations opportunities in Europe.
AEW began to really establish itself in the 1990s, when it broke into managing investments in U.S. publicly-traded real estate investment trusts (1995) and in senior housing (1997). The firm broke into Europe in the late ‘90s, opening an office in Paris in 1996 and setting up a London outpost just a few years later. Together with that expansion, it also launched a fund targeting Class A logistics parks across the continent.
It continued to grow in the mid-2000s as it began to deploy portfolio management teams across the globe in 2005 to manage investment in REITs outside of the U.S. It moved into the Asia Pacific region in 2006, when it opened an office in Singapore and then four years later set up shop in Hong Kong. It then launched its senior debt origination platform in Europe in 2012.
In the last few years of the last decade, AEW established local operations in Sydney, Madrid and Tokyo.