Manager interest in launching qualified opportunity zone funds is sky high, but most are still waiting to hear more regulatory clarity from the IRS.
Thus far, most of the managers that have launched OZ funds are relatively small private wealth management firms and family offices oriented toward wealthy individual investors, according to P&I. Of course, there have been some exceptions, perhaps most notably SkyBridge Capital’s $3 billion fundraise for the SkyBridge-EJF Opportunity Zone REIT.
“This is an interesting new pocket of opportunity for money managers to attract taxable wealth management investors, but so far, there’s been more smoke than fire,” said Tyler Cloherty, senior manager at consulting firm Casey Quirk, a practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP, New York.
“We’re seeing interest among large managers but it’s still too early for many to invest,” Mr. Cloherty said, noting that money management firms are busy determining whether investment in disadvantaged communities is a “small, niche opportunity or if it can be scaled up for bigger funds.”
At least early on, OZ funds can expect broad capital bases coming from individual investors through the RIA channel.
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The theme of “democratizing the opportunity zones” through broad-based investment from individual investors “plays well with the (registered investment adviser) distribution channel,” said Brett S. Messing, SkyBridge’s president.
About half of SkyBridge’s $9.4 billion of assets under management is from retail distribution platforms, Mr. Messing said, adding that the firm has seen tremendous interest in the new fund.
Continue reading: Money managers eager to make leap to opportunity zone investing