“I probably should have googled Oaktree before I went to the meeting,” Garvey muses, in hindsight.
Garvey, a low-key builder during the boom, had of course, heard of the Los Angeles-based outfit – among the first wave of overseas investment firms to snap up distressed assets and loans stemming from Europe’s biggest property crash. But he had “no expectations” of what would come from the meeting, which was set up by a property agent.
As it happens, he talked the then Oaktree European executive, Justin Bickle, out of buying a residential development portfolio the firm had been weighing, saying it might not achieve the internal rate of returns (IRR) that a private equity firm would be targeting. But the encounter would ultimately