Alicia Glen is leveraging her experience as former deputy mayor of New York Metropolis and head of the City Funding Group at Goldman Sachs to construct MSquared into a big women-owned actual property improvement agency targeted on inexpensive housing. MSquared has raised over $200 million in three years—a feat few girls have achieved.
Reasonably priced housing is a girls’s problem. Girls face larger challenges than males to find inexpensive housing, which impacts their financial safety and well-being. The explanations embrace the gender pay hole, single parenthood, home violence, and homelessness. Offering girls with inexpensive housing makes them extra more likely to safe secure employment, enhance their total well being outcomes, and provides their kids a greater begin in life.
Glen’s give attention to bringing extra capital to construct mixed-income and mixed-use initiatives addresses the housing disaster and breaks boundaries for girls and minorities within the discipline.
Sexism Is Alive And Properly In Actual Property Growth
Girls characterize greater than 50% of the U.S. grownup inhabitants. But, in line with Knight Variety of Asset Managers Analysis sequence, they personal 2.8% of actual property funds and have 1.7% of belongings underneath administration. Companies owned by girls carry out equally in addition to these owned by males.
Whereas it’s heartening that Glen has surpassed $200 million AUM, males with equal expertise would have raised way more. “I understand how laborious it was for me to boost, however it might have taken my male counterpart two cellphone calls,” she stated. “Should you’re a younger girl who’s tremendous good, attempting to boost capital, and you do not have the sort of long-form resume I’ve, I am unable to even think about how laborious that’s.”
One in every of Glen’s targets is to encourage different girls and other people of colour to start out actual property funding funds. She’s not alone. Deborah Harmon and Penny Pritzker started blazing the path in 2009 after they cofounded Artemis Actual Property Companions and are additionally attempting to be function fashions, too.
Analysis in an adjoining sector—enterprise capital—reveals girls and POC face each challenges and alternatives. Restricted companions—institutional buyers investing in funds—more and more give attention to skilled fund managers. Most girls and POC are rising managers. They’re elevating their first three funds. But analysis finds that 72% of top-performing VC funds are rising managers, so girls and POC funds are a superb wager.
Girls characterize 37% of the industrial actual property workforce, in line with the 2020 CREW Community Benchmark Research: Gender and Variety in Industrial Actual Property. Systemic boundaries that ladies face embrace being paid and promoted much less. These gaps have a cumulative impression on their capacity to launch funds.
“It’s completely astonishing how underrepresented girls are [in real estate fund ownership],” stated Glen. “Girls do not management capital, they usually do not construct buildings [in cities].”
After being Deputy Mayor of NYC, Glen took a while off to find out what she would do subsequent.
Thriving Cities Rely On Affordability, Sustainability, And Variety
Glen grew up on the Higher West Aspect, the place there have been public housing initiatives, Mitchell-Lama cooperative housing for moderate- and middle-income households, and brownstones for upper-income households. Everybody went to the identical public faculties, had entry to Central and Riverside parks, and attended after-school actions at Goddard Riverside and Head Begin.
“I grew up in a neighborhood the place I wasn’t afraid of Black and Hispanic folks,” she stated. Black, Brown, and white youngsters went to high school collectively and performed collectively. “I lived on Central Park West, however my dad and mom had been public sector staff,” Glen stated.
Sturdy communities are a girls’s problem. The well-being of ladies and women closely is dependent upon their entry to secure, inexpensive, and built-in housing. Sadly, regardless of being the heads of 75% of households that obtain HUD—Division of Housing and City Growth—rental help, just one out of 4 eligible girls will get this assist. This disparity leaves thousands and thousands of ladies, particularly these from marginalized communities, struggling to safe primary shelter for themselves and their households. Making certain honest entry to inexpensive and accessible housing is essential in combating financial insecurity amongst girls.
“All people bitches and moans about how there are not any girls in the actual property enterprise,” stated Glen. So, she determined to place her cash the place her mouth was and launch an actual property improvement and funding platform targeted on mixed-income and mixed-use initiatives that promote affordability, sustainability, and variety.
“I’ve devoted my profession to creating cities higher locations to reside. I’ve developed an actual sense of what good cities appear like and what sort of improvement we have to proceed to make them develop and thrive in a manner that makes them numerous, enjoyable, fascinating, and affluent.”
Glen is decided to boost vital cash and accomplice with girls builders. To this point, MSquared has raised over $200 million. Buyers throughout three funds embrace Capricorn Funding Group’s Sustainable Buyers Fund, Citibank, Ford Basis, Goldman Sachs, the Skoll Basis, Trinity Church Wall Road, and Wells Fargo (WFC).
Like girls in search of enterprise capital, women-owned actual property funds lack entry to institutional buyers similar to pension funds, insurance coverage corporations, endowment funds, mutual funds, hedge funds, banks, household places of work, and sovereign wealth funds.
Nonetheless, not like enterprise capital, actual property is a extra capital-intensive enterprise. The house owners should put in two and a half % of the fund. “So you must additionally both have made some cash or be capable to persuade your family and friends to assist you,” stated Glen. “Girls haven’t got that sort of family and friends community.”
A key to Glen’s success is that she is relentless however has a humorousness. “You simply must maintain going,” stated Glen. “You even have to have the ability to have a humorousness, or else you’ll turn into indignant and discouraged.
How will you modify the sport for girls?