A disciplined approach to investing

Barry Sternlicht, Starwood Capital Group

Starwood Capital Group: Best Real Estate Manager (Fund Size >USD1bn) – Starwood Capital Group is a private investment firm with a primary focus on global real estate. Since its inception in 1991, Starwood Capital Group has raised over USD45 billion of equity capital and currently has in excess of USD60 billion of assets under management. Over the past 29 years, Starwood Capital has acquired more than USD100 billion of assets across every major real estate asset class. 

A hallmark of Starwood Capital is to invest opportunistically, moving between asset classes, geographies and positions in the capital stack as risk/return dynamics evolve. It prides itself as being a deep, hands-on investor. This disciplined approach has enabled it to deliver consistently strong, risk-adjusted returns. 

Starwood Capital is adept at navigating markets during periods of dislocation. The Firm was founded in the depths of the Savings and Loan crisis in 1991, buying non-performing loans from the Resolution Trust Corporation and the FDIC. In that regard, the current market volatility creates a unique dynamic that plays to Starwood’s strengths. Indeed, one of Starwood Capital’s principal advantages is the ability of its in-house acquisitions team to source off-market transactions by negotiating privately and directly with sellers. 

“We have already seen some very interesting distressed opportunities presented by recent market events,” comments Jennifer Barbetta, Chief Operating Officer at Starwood Capital. “We are in the fortunate position to source and execute on unique opportunities across both the public and private markets. Overall, we believe the current environment will provide exceptional, once in a cycle real estate investment opportunities.”

The fact that Starwood owns over 3,000 properties globally means that it has a significant real-time information advantage, which helps sharpen its investment decision-making process. In its pursuit of the most compelling opportunities globally, Starwood Capital has invested in more than 30 countries, ranging from the Americas to Europe to Asia. Over the last 29 years, Starwood Capital has acquired over 180,000 multi-family units, 88 million square feet of office space and 3,000 hotels globally and has built a world-class team of experts focused on acquisitions and asset management. 

One of Starwood’s core investment tenants is their commitment to environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) investing. Barbetta says the goal is to obtain Energy Star Certification for all US office buildings and to obtain LEED or BREEAM certifications for its European office refurbishments and redevelopments. As it relates to Starwood itself, they are also committed to becoming a fully carbon neutral firm. 

Another area of focus for the firm is in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Over the last 29 years, Barry Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO, has built a culture at Starwood that is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving diversity and inclusion and the firm has endeavoured over the past year to make it an even greater priority. 

“We pride ourselves on attracting the very best talent in the industry and we need a diverse set of skills and perspectives to continue to build on our past success. We are also strong believers that diverse perspectives drive innovation,” states Barbetta. “We want everyone at our firm to feel empowered to contribute by creating an environment that feels inclusive and motivating.” 


Barry Sternlicht
Chairman & CEO, Starwood Capital Group

Barry Sternlicht is Chairman & CEO of Starwood Capital Group, the private alternative investment firm he formed in 1991. Barry also serves as Chairman of Starwood Property Trust (NYSE: STWD), a leading diversified finance company, as well as Senior Advisor of Invitation Homes (NYSE: INVH), the largest publicly traded investor, owner and operator of single-family homes in the US Previously, Barry was Chairman and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, a company he founded in 1995. Barry holds a BA magna cum laude from Brown University and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.

Jennifer Barbetta
Senior Managing Director & COO

Jennifer Barbetta is a Senior Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer at Starwood Capital Group, where she is responsible for overseeing the firm’s day-to-day management and operations, operating companies and global offices. Previously, Jennifer was a Partner and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs where she spent more than 23 years in various roles within Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Jennifer earned a BS in Finance from Villanova University. She serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Villanova School of Business and the Emeritus Board of the Point Foundation.

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