• Wed. Feb 8th, 2023

That nondescript building on the side of the highway is the newest gold mine Wall Street is trying to tap

ByINVESTOR

Oct 20, 2022

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Hiya! Dan DeFrancesco checking in from NYC. The weekend is almost here, so cheers to that. 

Lots to discuss today, including hedge funds’ embrace of the suburbs, PE firms and lawyers teaming up, and why one of the world’s best soccer players is starting a side hustle as a VC. 

But first, inside the latest Wall Street investment trend that’s offering double-digit returns. 

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1. Meet Wall Street’s newest gold mine. 

A riddle:

I take up lots of space, but don’t let my size fool you. I often go unnoticed, even though all of you use me. I am a home for many things, but usually not for long. My owners do not seem to mind because my returns are strong.

What am I?

If you answered “warehouse,” congrats! You solved my convoluted riddle and also identified one of the hottest investments going on Wall Street. 

Yes, you read that right. Warehouses — those big, ugly buildings that you pass on your way to work or when you drop your kids off at school — are quickly becoming a favorite of real-estate investment trusts (REITs) and institutional investors. 

And who could blame them? The first quarter of 2022 saw total returns for the US industrial sector of 52.8% (!!!) year over year, according to the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries. 

One familiar name has been keen to get in on the warehouse gold rush. Blackstone is no stranger to the real-estate game, so it should come as no surprise the PE giant has been aggressive in the space. Blackstone owns 480 million square feet of warehouse space in the US.

Other firms are catching on, with private-equity firm KKR and insurer Prudential getting in on the fun.

So why should you care about Wall Street’s sudden interest in warehouses?

Well, to be blunt, this is all your fault. 

You — yes, you — are the reason investors are snapping up all these warehouses. That overnight-shipping option you love when online shopping doesn’t just magically happen. It requires a lot more warehouses in strategic locations to ensure you get what you want as fast as possible. 

So the next time you pick next-day shipping for that pack of deodorant, just remember you’re lining Blackstone’s pockets.

To read more about Wall Street’s appetite for warehouses, check out the full story here.

And if I’ve peaked your interest in why these massive storage facilities are the hottest thing going, read our newest newsroom project, ‘Warehouse Nation.’

In other news:

2. Don’t want to come to the office? We’ll bring the office to you! That’s the strategy at $14 billion hedge fund Schonfeld Strategic Advisors, which just opened an office in Summit, New Jersey in an effort to give employees a place to collaborate in-person that doesn’t require them to commute a long distance. 

3. In the latest edition of ‘What could possibly go wrong?’ PE firms have started buying up stakes in law firms. A change of policy in Arizona in 2021 is allowing non-lawyers to co-own law firms, making for some strange bedfellows.

4. Speaking of getting people back in the office, Goldman Sachs’ CEO David Solomon said roughly 65% of the bank’s workforce is back in the office five days a week. It just goes to show that with enough veiled threats encouragement, you too can get your employees back in your office! 

5. John Mack would like to apologize… to absolutely nobody. The former CEO of Morgan Stanley has a new memoir in which he concludes his life was pretty sweet. Check out this review of the book from Bloomberg. 

6. Some companies are trying to stick departing employees with a bill for how much it cost to train them. “Training repayment agreement provisions” apply to roughly 10% of US workers, according to one study, and can cost employees thousands of dollars on their way out.

7. Mamma mia! A judge ruled that pasta brand Barilla can face legal action for fashioning itself as “Italy’s No. 1 brand of pasta” despite not actually being made in Italy. No word yet on what this means for Chef Boyardee.

8. Lionel Messi would like to invest in your startup. The soccer legend is spinning up an investment vehicle based in San Francisco that will focus on sports, media, and tech companies, Bloomberg reports.

9. You might want to get those random people off your Netflix account. The company announced it plans to start charging an “extra member” feature in 2023. 

10. We’ve got actual snakes on planes, people. A snake was found on a plane that landed at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday. I’ll give you one guess on which state the plane was coming from, but I think you already know the answer. 

Keep updated with the latest business news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief. Listen here.

Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) and Lisa Ryan (tweet @lisarya) in New York.

Correction:We cited a figure from an Insider story that misstated the amount of warehouse space that Blackstone owns in the US. It is 480 million square feet, not 370 million.

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