Private equity fund manager StepStone has moved into the real estate sector by bringing in the management team of Clairvue Capital Partners.

The team at Clairvue, which specialises in real estate fund ‘secondaries’ and ‘recapitalisations’ and is led by former Liquid Realty CIO Jeff Giller, will enable the establishment of StepStone Real Estate.

StepStone Real Estate will continue Clairvue’s strategy of investing in real estate secondaries – the trading of interests in existing real estate funds on the secondary market. The company also undertakes recapitalisations of funds where further capital is injected rather than buying out existing investors.

The move highlights the growth in real estate secondaries which have yet to reach the size and liquidity of the traditional private equity fund secondary market.

StepStone Real Estate will join a handful of companies that specialises in real estate secondaries, such as Liquid Realty and Landmark Partners. A number of companies, including Partners Group, Morgan Stanley AIP and Aberdeen Asset Management, are also pursuing specific real estate secondaries strategies.

Monte Brem, CEO of StepStone, said: “Real estate has continued to evolve as an asset class, similar to what we have experienced in private equity, resulting in institutional investors demanding increasingly sophisticated service offerings.”

Brem said the transfer of the Clairvue team would provide immediate presence in the real estate market.

Clairvue founders Giller, Brendan MacDonald and Josh Cleveland (also formerly with Liquid Realty) have been named Partners of StepStone. Giller has been appointed head of Stepstone Real Estate.

Dev Subhash, who formerly held senior positions at Cohen & Steers and Citi Real Estate Partners, also joined StepStone Real Estate as a partner and will lead the manager research and fund investment activities for the group.

Other members of the Clairvue team joining include principal John Waters and vice president Rachael Brittingham.

StepStone Real Estate will operate globally with professionals initially located in the US and Europe. It has plans to add professionals in Asia within the next 12 months.