"The definition of a great investor is someone who starts by understanding the downside. You must make the judgment in advance as to how much downside risk you are willing to take. I knew that I could always survive the good days, but the critical element is to be able to survive when the market isn’t doing well or the investment isn’t performing. I always focus on how much exposure I am taking."

Sam Zell, Equity Group Investments

"Investment success doesn’t come from buying good things, but rather from buying things well. It has been demonstrated time and time again that no asset is so good that it can’t become a bad investment if bought at too high a price. And there are few assets so bad that they can’t be a good investment if bought cheap enough. No asset class or investment has the birthright of a high return. Its only attractive if its priced right."

Howard Marks, Oaktree Capital

"Successful investors tend to be unemotional, allowing the greed and fears of others to play into their hands. By having the confidence in their own analysis and judgment, they respond to market forces not with blind emotion but with calculated reason."

Seth Klarman, Baupost

"We believe firmly that if we avoid the losers, the winners will take care of themselves. We go for batting average, not home runs. We know others will get the headlines for their big victories and spectacular seasons. But we expect to be around at the finish because of consistent good performance that produces satisfied clients."

Howard Marks, Oaktree Capital

"The focus of most investors differs from that of value investors. Most investors are primarily oriented toward return, how much they can make, and pay little attention to risk, how much they can lose."

Seth Klarman, Baupost

"Consider the investors who are recognized for doing a great job, people such as Warren Buffet, Peter Lynch, Bill Miller and Julian Robertson. Their records are remarkable because of their decades of consistency and absence of disasters, not just their high returns. Each may have a bad year or two, but in general they dealt as well with risk as with return."

Howard Marks, Oaktree Capital

"Once you adopt a value-investment strategy, any other investment behavior starts to seem like gambling."

Seth Klarman, Baupost

About the Firm

West End is a privately held real estate investment firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. The firm was founded in 2013 by managing partners Jimmy Barter and Jeff Wainwright. Our primary focus is delivering superior risk-adjusted returns for our investors by applying a long-term, value-oriented approach to real estate investing. Since inception, West End has acquired over $300 million of real estate, including over 3,000 apartment units and nearly 1 million square feet of commercial space.

Investment Philosophy

Preservation of Capital

Our primary goal of maintaining and growing our investors’ long-term wealth necessitates a supreme focus on capital preservation. Using a baseball analogy, we would much rather consistently “hit doubles,” allowing the positive returns to compound over time, than to “swing for the fences” by attempting to generate outsized returns through risky investments that are more susceptible to losses. In doing so, we aim to participate in the upside when things go well, but more importantly, we aim to successfully weather any downturns as the real estate and capital market cycles naturally ebb and flow. Further, we utilize modest leverage and are intently focused on structuring all transactions with ample downside protection.

A “Value Investing” Mindset

We are firm believers in a value-oriented approach to investing, as conceived by Benjamin Graham and later popularized by notable investors such as Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway), Howard Marks (Oaktree), and Seth Klarman (Baupost). As such, we prefer to generate returns by buying below replacement cost, collecting stable recurring cash flow, and directly adding value at the property level. We are highly selective with our investments, enabling us to generate opportunistic returns through an attractive basis, streamlined operational expenses, and strategic renovations. These variables are all largely within our control, as opposed to market forecasts which are impossible to consistently predict.   

Independent Thinking

We are wary of “group think” and prefer to make investments in areas that are out-of-favor, with less competition, and that offer better pricing. Though changes in cycles and investor preferences are impossible to predict, this approach oftentimes results in a more favorable cost basis, with greater upside potential, and added downside protection. Our expertise across several different product types and geographic regions allows us to take advantage of current market conditions, which are continually shifting and presenting new opportunities.

Honesty, Integrity, Transparency

Above all else, we strive to build and maintain good working relationships with our investors, lenders, and third-party partners. These invaluable long-term, mutually beneficial relationships are built upon three intangible qualities: honesty, integrity, and transparency. These three qualities serve as the foundation upon which our firm operates. 

Investment Criteria

Product Type

Product Type

West End opportunistically targets a variety of product types, with a current primary focus on older vintage, heavy value-add multifamily communities.

Product Type

Geography

Primarily secondary and tertiary markets throughout the eastern United States, to avoid institutional competition and take advantage of better pricing.

Product Type

Income Profile

Our target properties typically generate stable, in-place cash flow, offer opportunities to directly add value at the property level, and possess additional long-term upside potential.

Product Type

Marketing Process

We specifically target off-market assets or those that exhibit characteristics making them undesirable for institutional competition. 

Product Type

Investment Size

Typical purchase price ranges from $10 million to $50 million.

Product Type

Target Returns

Opportunistic return expectations, buffered by conservative leverage and attractive in-place cash flow to mitigate risk.

Management Team

West End Capital Group is led by managing partners Jimmy Barter and Jeff Wainwright, who founded the company together in 2013. Prior to founding West End, the partners worked together on the acquisition team at Starwood Capital Group, one of the largest real estate private equity firms in the world. Over the course of their careers, Jeff and Jimmy have acquired over 20,000 apartment units and approximately 5.0 million square feet of commercial property, representing over $2.6 billion in transaction volume and approximately $1.0 billion in equity invested. At West End, both Jeff and Jimmy are responsible for all aspects of the business including fundraising, deal sourcing, executing transactions, asset management, and disposition.

James F. Barter, Jr.

Jimmy is a co-founder and Managing Partner of West End Capital Group, involved in all aspects of company leadership including deal sourcing, capitalization, asset management, and other strategic initiatives. Previously, Jimmy was a member of the Starwood Capital Group acquisitions team and also spent several years at Holliday Fenoglio Fowler on the transactional side of the industry. Jimmy received his B.S. in Finance and Marketing from UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce and his MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. Jimmy was also a member of the NCAA National Champion Men’s Lacrosse Team at UVA.

Jeff S. Wainwright

Jeff is a co-founder and Managing Partner of West End Capital Group, involved in all aspects of company leadership including deal sourcing, capitalization, asset management, and other strategic initiatives. Previously, Jeff was a Vice President and partner with Starwood Capital Group’s acquisitions team. Prior to Starwood, Jeff worked with Gladstone Capital in its private equity and mezzanine debt group, and began his career as an investment banking analyst in Wells Fargo’s leveraged finance group. Jeff earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and a B.S. in Finance from Virginia Tech.

Contact

For more information, please contact West End Capital Group at the following:

2200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Fourth Floor East,
Washington, DC 20037
202-507-5680

© 2020 West End Capital Group. All Rights Reserved.