In April 2020, commerce all but halted and financial institutions everywhere pressed the pause button, waiting out the unknowns of the COVID-19 pandemic. But where the behemoths saw fear, Ryan Urech saw opportunity. Having built a 19-property portfolio of 1.5 million square feet with a gross value of over $300 million as a senior VP regional executive with Wells Fargo, “stagnation” was an unacceptable strategy. Ryan left his C-suite role that marked a successful two decade-long career in investment banking and direct real estate investment and founded Rycore Capital LP in Houston, Texas, in partnership with three family offices. The firm provides wealth services, investment solutions, and real estate transaction expertise, with its two subsidiaries: Rycore Commercial, a real estate brokerage company, and Rycore Capital Advisors, an SEC-registered investment advisor representative. Free from the bureaucratic stranglehold, Ryan and his small, nimble team immediately scooped up grossly underpriced properties with significant discounts to appraised value before the sun set over Texas.
Less than 36 months since the firm’s founding, Rycore’s gross AUM swelled to $260 million, with over 1.45 million square feet, across a portfolio of office, industrial, healthcare and retail assets in Texas and the Sunbelt. Among their portfolio of gems is the glistening six-story Broadfield property at Park Ten Centre. Only 60% occupied when Rycore acquired it during the shutdown, Ryan did what others thought impossible—leasing an entire floor and increasing occupancy by 20%, bringing investors healthy returns while the rest of the industry sat idly by. With Ryan’s reputation as a savvy investment banker who completed $22 billion in capital raising over his career, today, Rycore has already partnered with institutional capital, registered investment advisors, and high-net-worth investors.
Indeed, Ryan is no typical banking and real estate investment expert—and Rycore is no typical “startup.” Their immediate success is as rare as their business model designed with strategies not offered by traditional firms. From core-plus and value-add investment opportunities to their unique commercial real estate direct investment advisory services, Rycore counts among its clients Bank of America Private Bank, Wells Fargo Private Bank, Juncture Wealth Strategies and other independent RIAs, as well as professional athletes. And they’re just getting started. We sat down with Ryan to learn more about how Rycore is breaking the mold of a sloth-like industry with a combination of ingenuity, fearlessness, and a lightning-fast “strike team” with the aim to bring the greatest ROI to their investors.
Let’s start at the beginning, Ryan. What compelled you to start the company?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial fire in my belly, and while I was very successful at Wells Fargo, I wanted to do things differently from a larger bank and have the flexibility to act on big investment opportunities fast. Banks get bogged down in committees and long approval processes, often losing some of the best opportunities with a short window to buy. Here, I’m the decision maker. When we find a property, we move within 24 hours to get it done. We represent so much capital from third parties and take their trust very seriously, so we outperform and protect their money, and with interest rates at historic lows, speed can make all the difference in terms of ROI.
How does your background in investment banking benefit your clients?
I began my career as an investment banker with Banc of America Securities, and I worked on 150 transactions, from M&A to commercial mortgage-backed securities. When I switched to private equity real estate, this foundation allowed me to be able to raise money, present opportunities to investors, and gave me an in-depth understanding of corporate finance. We take a deep dive into the financials of both the property and the tenants, whereas most real estate investment folks don’t—or can’t. This allows us to bring higher ROI to our clients.
Your firm specializes in core-plus and value-add investment opportunities for investors. Can you share some details about how this works?
Simply put, we sponsor value-add income-producing property investments and asset management to wholly owned client assets. We focus on current income and future growth appreciation through active asset management, with an aim to get investors 7% to 10% annually and double their investment within five years. We find good assets that have value today, and we increase their value through updates, renovations, leasing, etc. A lot of our properties are in partnership with investors, and we have skin in the game, investing side by side with our clients. Our Bellaire Medical Plaza is a prime example of a great cash-flow opportunity. It’s 60,000 square feet, and we acquired it during COVID at 85% occupancy; it’s now at 90%. We bought the building and four acres of land, two of which are parking, so we’re selling some of those acres to a developer who is putting up a second medical office building, so we’re also monetizing the land for our investors.
You also offer direct investment advisory, which is unique to the commercial real estate private equity sector. Tell us more about this.
Our third-party asset management service is one not normally offered by other investment firms. I developed this concept when I was at Wells and replicated it here. Investors today want more control, and are looking to own their properties fully, often for generational wealth transfer purposes. We partner with wealth management firms across the country to offer direct investment opportunities to their clients. This gives our clients much greater opportunities.
What does the future look like for Rycore?
It’s a great time for us. Our goal is to reach $1 billion in assets in five years, and by year’s end, we’ll be at $260 million. When I started Rycore, people said, “Who is this guy?” Now, people know us—especially in Texas. When we put an offer out, they know we’ll close. The sky’s the limit for us in terms of growth as we continue to find the hidden gems and opportunities for our clients.
About Rycore Capital LP
Rycore Capital LP (the “Firm”) is a Houston-based real estate investment manager, focused on acquiring, leasing and managing income producing properties that deliver superior real estate solutions to our tenants while providing our investment partners with some of the most consistent value-add, core-plus and core returns. The Firm offers two investment platforms to investors: Fund Management and Direct Investment Advisory. The Firm aims to provide a solution with its institutional quality real estate investment management process to high net worth, family office and institutional investors. For more information regarding Rycore, visit the Company’s website at www.rycorecapital.com.