US alternatives firm Harrison Street enters Canadian market

The investment manager’s Canadian fund has completed its first closing

US alternatives firm Harrison Street enters Canadian market
Steve Randall

A well-established investment management firm exclusively focused on alternative real investments has entered the Canadian market.

Harrison Street, an international firm with US$36 billion in assets under management, will pursue investments in senior living, student housing, medical office, life sciences, storage, and digital assets throughout Canada.

The firm is headquartered in Chicago and has offices in London and Toronto and currently has around 195 employees managing real assets for its clients. It’s owned by its senior management team in partnership with global real estate firm Colliers International.

“For more than 15 years, Harrison Street has been a first mover in highly differentiated, demographic driven real estate, first in the United States and then Europe. Now, we are thrilled to bring our deep expertise and track record to the Canadian market,” enthused co-founder and CEO, Christopher Merrill.

The firm recently completed its first closing in Canada, with the Harrison Street Canada Alternative Real Estate Fund attracting capital commitments from investors including institutional investors and prominent family offices such as the Hennick Family.

Merrill says that demographics in Canada are like those in the United States but there is room for growth in the alternative real estate sector, with the expansion into Canada a “natural progression” for its platform.

Pipeline and partnership

Building its platform in Canada will be helped by its strategic alignment with Colliers and other relationships at a local and national level.

Jonathan Turnbull, managing director and head of Canadian transactions for Harrison Street, says that these partnerships are critical to the firm’s success in Canada.

“We have a robust and actionable pipeline of off-market opportunities with multiple partners across our sectors of focus and several investments, closing in the near term, are in partnership with operators who are new to the Harrison Street platform,” he said.