Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Benson Capital Partners launch second fund

by BIZ Magazine

Gayle Benson launched Benson Capital Partners, LLC in 2019. Within a year, she closed on her first venture capital fund, Benson Capital Fund I, LP to facilitate and jump-start business formation, workforce expansion, and wealth creation in New Orleans and across the Gulf South.

Investors in Benson Capital Fund I vary from local investors passionate about the economic vitality of their own backyard to large public entities. The investment strategy of Fund I has exclusively focused on this underserved geography, and its portfolio currently includes early-stage companies in various sectors such as robotics, consumer apps, biotech, industrial tech, and other high-growth areas.

Today, Gayle Benson continues to demonstrate her commitment to bringing new capital to New Orleans, the state of Louisiana, and the Gulf South, as Benson Capital Partners announce the initial closing of Benson Capital Real Estate I, LP with more than $50 million committed.

The fund will focus on the same geographical locations as the firm’s venture capital fund with a particular focus on value-add real estate opportunities. Like the venture capital fund, this real estate fund benefits from decades of business relationships across multiple industries where the Benson organization has been active and successful. Benson Capital Partners has already closed on nearly $16 million of real estate investments with a healthy pipeline currently in due diligence.

“The idea when we started Benson Capital Partners was to build on the value of stimulating our local economy and proving to the rest of the nation that New Orleans and the surrounding area are ripe for opportunity. The initial closing of our first real estate fund exemplifies the progress we are making in our effort to fill the gap of limited investment capital in our region,” Benson said. “It is vitally important that we continue to be a catalyst promoting economic development. This is just another step, another fund, another opportunity to build our economy, add new capital, and create new jobs while generating returns for our investors.”

Keith Schneider will join Mike Katz and Caroline Crumley in advancing BCP’s day-to-day operations and investment activities of this second fund. Schneider previously worked for Stanford University, helping to manage its real estate holdings, before joining TriGate Capital in Dallas.

“After we launched our first fund, Mrs. Benson saw the capital shortage was more pervasive than just a single asset class. This additional pool of capital dedicated to real estate will help close the gap on this shortage,” Katz said. “We’re also thrilled to bring Keith Schneider onto the team. He is a New Orleans native with a strong investment record of accomplishment. We’re confident this new capital, new hire, and new expanded focus will energize our regional economy.”

Ochsner Health, which serves more than 1 million patients each year, is a proud supporter of Mrs. Benson’s efforts to reinvigorate Louisiana and the Gulf South. Ochsner is one of the entities invested in the fund as a limited partner. “Mrs. Benson and the organizations she leads are a critical component of our region’s economic and cultural health,” said Ochsner CEO Pete November. “We’ve seen how much our communities benefit when we invest in them and focus on the future. Ochsner is pleased to join forces with Benson Capital Partners to help to revitalize the communities we serve.”

Jones Walker LLP, as it did with Benson Capital Fund I, LP, provided all of the legal preparation and documentation for Benson Capital Real Estate I, LP.

“When we closed on our first venture capital fund, we had local and national investors, even a number of large public-facing companies. Everyone quickly saw the same investment opportunities that we saw and recognized the unique access we had to many of these investment opportunities,” Benson said. “As we announce our real estate fund, I am very pleased to have Ochsner, as well as many local and national business leaders, join us in this real estate fund.”

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