Since Virtus Real Estate Capital was established in 2003, the firm has launched 35 investment funds and partnerships that have invested in 145 commercial properties with a combined acquisition value of more than two billion dollars. Virtus has established a strong track record in making real estate investments that are well positioned for success in all phases of the real estate cycle.
Virtus employs an income plus growth strategy within all of its funds. This generally means acquiring properties with consistent income in place, enhancing that income through the Virtus Value-Add model and exiting at the most opportune time.
Virtus Real Estate Capital focuses on investment opportunities whose success does not require a particular economic environment nor does it depend on a rising real estate market. Instead, Virtus seeks to capitalize on opportunities arising out of increasing demand that can be sustained even in the face of a recession or a decline in general real estate values. This is achieved by concentrating on property types whose demand is driven by one of four major demographic trends.
Operating partners must be high quality niche-focused organizations with significant experience in acquiring and operating the targeted real estate property types.
One essential criteria for all Virtus
investments is to work closely with
operating partners who will execute the
day-to-day strategies designed to maximize
the value of the targeted property.
The relationship can take the form of a
joint-venture or a third-party management contract. Virtus operating partners must
meet our criteria with respect to:
Experience and Track Record
Systems and Operating Efficiency
Terrell F. Gates III, Founder and CEO of Virtus Real Estate, is ultimately responsible for all strategic decisions. Mr. Gates is a third generation commercial real estate investor and operator who began his career in the student housing industry in 1992. Since then, Mr. Gates has held numerous principal level positions in real estate, law and finance. Prior to founding Virtus, Mr. Gates was Director of the GGS Private Banking group at Merrill Lynch. Since establishing Virtus in 2003, Mr. Gates has been responsible for the sourcing, underwriting and oversight of Virtus’ real estate investment funds and partnerships. After completing his undergraduate work in economics and Spanish from the University of Texas, Mr. Gates earned a law degree from Southern Methodist University Law School and is a licensed attorney.
Robert Schweizer, Chief Investment Officer, is responsible for leading the Virtus property teams in acquisition and asset management in overseeing operating partners and property level operations to assure Fund objectives are met. Prior to joining Virtus, Mr. Schweizer served as Chief Executive Officer of MPC Properties, a joint venture between Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and MPC Holdings, which became one of the largest real estate development companies in Southeastern Europe. From 1999 to 2010 Mr. Schweizer worked at Merrill Lynch, where he became Director of the Global Principal Investments Group in London, England in 2002 and was head of all Merrill Lynch real estate investments in Central Europe, Spain and Scandinavia. Mr. Schweizer began his finance career as an analyst at JP Morgan Chase Securities and then CIBC World Markets. He received his B.A. in finance from Boston College.
Will Strong, Chief Financial Officer, is responsible for oversight of the Virtus accounting and finance team, debt sourcing and institutional investor relations. Mr. Strong began his career in 1992 at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York as an equity securities analyst in the asset management division. After continuing his career at Security Capital Group Incorporated, a global strategic real estate group with $5.1 billion deployed in 16 portfolio investments, he transitioned to Forum Partners Investment Management LLC, a global real estate equity fund sponsor. At Forum, Mr. Strong was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer where he and the management team grew the eight member team to over 50 members worldwide. Forum had $2 billion in assets under management invested in real estate companies throughout Europe and Asia. Mr. Strong received both his B.A. and his M.B.A. in finance from Columbia University.
John Sweeny,Jr., Acquisitions Director – Healthcare, is responsible for the firm’s Healthcare investing efforts, including Senior Living, Medical Office, and other ancillary healthcare service properties. He is focused on strategy, sourcing operating partners and investments opportunities, and overseeing all aspects of execution. Prior to joining Virtus, Mr. Sweeny spent seven years at Arcapita, an international private equity firm focused on originating, structuring, executing and managing institutional U.S. real estate investments, including 74 senior living assets. Prior to Arcapita, Mr. Sweeny worked in the real estate investment banking group at Wachovia Securities in New York and in their corporate and investment banking group in Charlotte. Throughout his career, Mr. Sweeny has advised, structured or arranged financing on over $8.5 billion worth of real estate transactions. Mr. Sweeny holds a B.S. in Political Science from the College of Charleston and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina (at Chapel Hill) Kenan-Flagler Business School. He is a member of the Executive Board of American Seniors Housing Association. John is also a former member of the Board of Directors of Senior Citizens Services of Atlanta, also known as Meals on Wheels Atlanta.
Nick Worontzoff has more than 25 years of financial service experience. He was most recently the head of business development and a minority owner at Evermore Global Advisors, an asset management firm providing investment advisory services for mutual funds and institutional accounts in separate Global and European strategies. In this role he was tasked with developing and implementing a sales, marketing and investor relations strategy for what was a start-up mutual fund company. He was a critical part of the team that raised over $400 million in assets during his tenure. Prior to Evermore Nick was the director of sales at Clearbrook Financial, a leading provider of fee-based managed account services to the institutional investment community. His responsibilities included managing the sales and marketing efforts of a full-service broker/dealer and investment advisor providing front, middle, and back-office services, product distribution and wealth management services to fee-based advisors, family offices, trust companies, institutional consultants and banks. From 1995 to 2007, Mr. Worontzoff served in a number sales and senior sales positions at Fidelity Investments, directing sales and marketing for Fidelity’s Registered Investment Advisor Group in the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast region.
Kevin White, Acquisitions Director – Alternative Multifamily, is responsible for the firm’s multifamily investing efforts including student housing and workforce housing. He is responsible for developing investment strategy, sourcing joint venture partners and investment opportunities, and overseeing all aspects of underwriting, due diligence, investment structuring, closing and disposition. Since joining Virtus in 2011, Kevin has acquired more than $860 million of projects. He holds a B.B.A. in Finance from the Ohio State University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining Virtus, Kevin was the Director of Acquisitions for a privately held real estate investment company. He was responsible for leading an acquisitions team that successfully closed $150 million of commercial real estate in 2 years. He has experience with numerous property types in sourcing, underwriting, due diligence, lender management, closing process, asset management and dispositions. Kevin is the President and one of the founding members of Club Blue of the Austin Area, which is a non-profit that supports the Boys and Girls Club of the Austin Area.
Bernard “Bernie” Wasserman is responsible for west coast and offshore capital development. Bernie has over 25 years of experience in financial services. Prior to joining Virtus in 2015, Bernie led product development and marketing efforts to promote complex investment products and strategies at: Citigroup Global Markets Inc. (Director – Investment Product Origination); HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. (SVP – Structured Fund Products); Lehman Brothers Inc. (VP- Structured Credit Trading), and; BNP Capital Markets (VP – Latin American Investment Banking). Bernie holds a Bachelor of Science from New York University in International Marketing and Finance.