Real Estate Investor AEW Capital Management’s Top Picks: Simon Property Group Inc (SPG), Equity Residential (EQR) and Boston Properties Inc. (BXP)

Page 1 of 2

Jeffrey Furber’s AEW Capital Management has disclosed its equity positions as of the end of the first quarter of 2015 in a new 13F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Massachusetts-based real estate investor AEW Capital Management was founded by Furber in 1981. It had more than $25.93 billion in assets under management (AUM) as of July 2014. According to the latest filing, AEW’s portfolio contains a total of 48 positions worth about $5.0 billion, while its four largest holdings are represented by Simon Property Group Inc (NYSE:SPG), Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR), Boston Properties Inc. (NYSE:BXP), and AvalonBay Communities Inc (NYSE:AVB).


As part of our small-cap strategy, we track more than 700 hedge funds and other great investors, as well as monitor their holdings to find actionable patterns and profit from them. Our research has shown that hedge funds’ large-cap stock picks historically delivered a monthly alpha of six basis points between 1999 and 2012. However this 50-stock portfolio also underperformed the market by seven basis points per month. On the other hand, the top 15 small-cap stocks had an average monthly return of 127 basis points per month during the three-month holding period that begins two months after the end of each quarter. We have been sharing the stock picks of our small-cap hedge fund strategy since the end of August 2012 and through March 11th, 2015 it has returned 132.0%, beating the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 79.4 percentage points over this 2.5 year period (read the details here).

We’ll now talk about AEW Capital’s top holdings, beginning with Simon Property Group Inc (NYSE:SPG) which continues to be the top holding of the investor, which has ownership of 3.01 million shares worth $588.97 million. The stake represents a slight decrease from the 3.16 million shares it held previously.  Simon Property Group Inc (NYSE:SPG) is engaged in retail real estate ownership, management and development, and is a S&P 100 company with a market cap of $57.5 billion. Simon Property Group Inc (NYSE:SPG) reported an increase in its first-quarter 2015 net income to $362.2 million, compared with $341.6 million in the prior-year period. Aside from AEW Capital, David E. Shaw’s D E Shaw also holds a significant stake in Simon Property Group Inc (NYSE:SPG).

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) represents the second largest holding of AEW Capital Management. The investor trimmed its position in the $27.8-billion market cap real estate investment trust (REIT) to 4.22 million shares from 4.30 million shares during the first quarter. The stake is valued at about $328.29 million. Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR)’s stock rose by 19.45% during the past calendar year. Other investors having big positions in Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) include Arrowstreet Capital, managed by Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell, and the quant fund D E Shaw.

Page 1 of 2