Scott Marinchek, the founder of Mariner Financial Third Age
Retirement Living, aims to secure a business partner to distribute a range of funds
targeting the retirement living and aged care sectors in the first quarter of
2009.

Marinchek, who acquired the intellectual property of Third Age from
Mariner as that cash-strapped business continues its orderly winddown, is
assessing the specific risk exposures that investors in the retirement sector
want access to. The funds would probably access exposures to the properties and
infrastructure upon which retirement living facilities stand, in addition to the
healthcare and recreation businesses and services being run on the premises.

“Some
investors are comfortable with exposure to business operations; some are comfortable
with exposure to direct property. Some aren’t, but like the retirement theme,” Marinchek
said. “We ultimately want to provide opportunities to invest in assets – like property,
and in the operations of businesses and care services – that appreciate with
the costs of retiring and act as a hedge against these costs.” Marinchek joined
Mariner in 2007 and became an executive partner in the Third Age business,
which was still developing funds when he left.

He said the new business partner
“would probably be an existing institutional funds manager with exposure to infrastructure
and one that has the internal systems required” to operate the retirement
sector funds. An incubator of alternatives managers had already showed interest
in distributing the products, but did not hold the long-term focus required to
support investments such as aged care infrastructure, Marinchek said. “Their
platform was more focused on short-term investment horizons, like hedge funds,
and those that include an exit, like private equity funds.

” If a new company
was founded to distribute and administer the funds, it would most likely be
launched with the backing of a venture capital investor. Marinchek predicted
the entry of new investors into the retirement sector, as some large operators
succumb to market volatility, would change the business models of retirement and
aged care accommodation and services. The acquisition of Babcock & Brown
Communities by Lend Lease and the inclusion of aged care facilities in the AMP
Capital Investors infrastructure fund were examples of new players moving into
the sector.

 

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