Baseball's Alex Rodriguez backs $650M hospitality fund

The Gabriel Miami, a member of Hilton's Curio Collection, is part of CGI Merchant Group's hospitality portfolio. Photo credit: Hilton (Gabriel Miami)

CGI Merchant Group, a global investment management firm with a focus in real estate and private equity, has launched a new multimillion-dollar investment partnership with three-time Major League Baseball MVP and serial investor Alex Rodriguez as well as with capital markets veteran and founder of Maverick CP Adi Chugh. 

The two are among the first institutional investors to back the firm’s $650 million Hospitality Opportunity Fund (H-Fund) and its endeavors.

A-Rod Corp. and Maverick CP joined forces earlier this year to expand their portfolios and build a large commercial real estate platform across various asset classes. As part of the agreement, Rodriguez and Chugh will support CGI’s investment strategies, expanding the firm’s debt capital markets capabilities, and assisting in the acquisition of upcoming trophy investments for the H-Fund. In this new venture with CGI, Rodriguez and Chugh also will take an active role in advancing the firm’s co-investment platform and expanding its flexible and multiuse office portfolio.

The H-Fund will focus on acquiring and developing hotel properties throughout North American and Caribbean markets and target more than 20 hotels over the next three years. H-Fund assets will be hand-selected and repositioned to form what the company calls a first-of-its-kind hospitality portfolio. The assets will be housed within the Hilton portfolio of brands.

“Continuing to earn the trust and partnership from sophisticated investors, such as Alex Rodriguez and Adi Chugh, is a testimony to our track record and contrarian approach. Their support will be crucial as we execute on key strategic initiatives for the firm,” said CGI founder and CEO Raoul Thomas. “Alex and Adi will not only increase the depth of our business relationships but also broaden the social impact of our investments, which we hope will spur a more conscious approach to investing across the entire commercial real estate industry.”

“CGI’s visionary and conscious approach to business has the potential to transform the commercial real estate industry, bringing in untapped voices that can inject new energy and ideas to ignite vast opportunities,” said Rodriguez. “I’m proud to be involved with a company that is as focused on advancing the communities it calls home, as it is on financial returns.”

Founded in 2006, CGI Merchant Group currently holds assets across multiple alternative investment strategies, including value-add and opportunistic funds. These strategies have consistently delivered double-digit returns since inception, and in the process, allowed CGI to be prepared to execute in all economic cycles, such as the current one, that has heavily influenced its soon-to-be-announced hospitality concept.

“Simply put, CGI is an industry disrupter. As other commercial real estate funds are shedding assets, CGI is gaining ground, all while changing the definition of thoughtful investing,” said Chugh. “I am looking forward to working alongside CGI to blaze a new path of innovation in real estate investing.”