Kushner brothers’ Cadre plans to launch debt business

Startup wants to be "preeminent global marketplace for alternative investments”

Ryan Williams (Photo by Michael McWeeney)
Ryan Williams (Photo by Michael McWeeney)

UPDATED, March 9, 7:31 p.m.: Cadre, the real estate investment platform co-founded by Jared Kushner, is working on launching a real estate debt business.

The company could invest in its first loan as early as this year, according to CEO Ryan Williams.

Cadre runs what is basically an online real estate syndication platform: it buys equity stakes in commercial properties, keeps a small portion on its books and offers the rest in small slices to investors through its online platform.

“There’s a big opportunity to own the entire capital stack,” Williams said, explaining why the company plans to start investing in loans as well. The company could offer bridge and mezzanine loans, although no decision has been made. Williams said the firm plans to buy slices of existing loans and make them available to investors, as opposed to issuing its own loans.

The startup’s ultimate goal is to branch out beyond real estate into businesses such as private equity to become “preeminent global marketplace for alternative investments,” Williams said.

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Cadre was founded in 2014 by Blackstone Group and Goldman Sachs alum Ryan Williams and Joshua and Jared Kushner. In June 2017, the startup raised $65 million in venture funding from Andreessen Horowitz and others at a $800 million valuation. It previously landed a $250 million credit facility from George Soros’ Soros Fund Management.

In May, the Wall Street Journal reported that Jared Kushner omitted his stake in Cadre from federal disclosure forms when he joined the White House in January 2017 as a senior adviser to his father-in-law, President Trump.

Williams said Cadre has closed more than $1 billion in real estate acquisitions to date, investing several hundred million dollars of its users’ equity. The firm’s acquisitions include an Astoria apartment portfolio, which it bought with Kushner Companies for $32 million in 2013 and sold for $76 million last year, an office building in Greenwich, Connecticut, and properties in Houston.

In January, Goldman Sachs committed to invest $250 million from its wealth management clients in Cadre’s real estate deals.

Correction: the article has been updated to clarify that Cadre does not plan on issuing loans directly, but rather invest in loans issued by others.