Cohen & Steers is a global investment manager specializing in liquid real assets, including real estate securities, listed infrastructure, and natural resource equities, as well as preferred securities and other income solutions. In 1986, Martin Cohen and Robert Steers established Cohen & Steers as the first investment company to specialize in listed real estate. As the global real estate securities market evolved, we expanded our operations to Europe and Asia Pacific, forming the industry’s largest global investment team dedicated to real estate securities. Through careful consideration, we have added to our investment offerings over the years, developing related strategies designed to meet investors’ increasing demand for dividend income and real returns.

We are:

  • Focused on specialty asset classes where we can offer a competitive advantage
  • Consistent in our investment process
  • Global in our capabilities, offering clients a broad opportunity set
  • Relentless in our pursuit of superior investment performance
  • Advocates of industry change on behalf of shareholders
  • Dedicated to providing best-in-class client service
  • Stable in our company leadership
  • Majority owned by employees, aligning our interests with those of investors
  • Committed to offering insights and solutions to complex investing challenges
  • Trusted by large and small investors around the world 

Competitive Advantages

As a firm that was founded as the first investment advisor to focus on real estate securities and that has continued commitment to listed real asset classes, our primary priority is maintaining our industry-leading real assets platform. Our commitment, combined with our drive for excellence has led to us build a platform that is positioned to outperform our peers and deliver compelling returns for our clients. Specifically, our investment organization and process provide the following competitive advantages:

Large, Experienced and Dedicated Investment Teams

For each of the asset classes we manage, we employ large, experienced professionals. We have portfolio managers, research analysts and traders located in key markets including New York, London, and Hong Kong. We believe our commitment to maintaining an industry-leading team is unmatched among our key competitors. We also employ dedicated macro strategy and risk management teams that are focused on issues and factors specific to real asset investing. More details on these teams are provided below.

Advantageous Market Position

In our view, the size of our assets under management in listed real assets and significant presence in global markets offer advantageous access to information. We believe we are viewed by company managements, sell-side analysts, industry specialists, and boutique research firms as a priority shareholder and client. We have strong relationships with the global brokerage community in terms of research and trading access. We leverage this access and information into value-added investment decisions for our clients.

In addition, our market position enables us to influence company management teams to benefit shareholders. For example, we were a driving player in the recapitalization of REITs during the Global Financial Crisis and are now monitoring opportunities to provide capital infusions to REITs in a variety of ways, including: helping healthy companies take advantage of opportunistic acquisitions, improving strained capital structures of otherwise sound businesses and assisting high quality but cyclically challenged businesses survive.

Finally, our industry-leading presence in the space serves as a retention and recruitment tool to attract the most talented investors.

Financial Strength

Given our strong balance sheet (no debt and substantial cash and liquid assets), we have the resources to expand and enhance our global real asset platform as necessary. As we have in the past, we will continue to evolve as a firm to accommodate the growing demands of our customer base and tailor our resources to deliver the best performance for our clients.

In addition, our strong balance sheet has allowed us to weather challenging market environments and market downturns. For example, during the Global Financial Crisis, the firm did not make any reductions to its core functions or headcount and was actually able to reinvest in the platform to position the firm for strength during the market recovery. The firm continues to be in sound financial condition and similarly has no plans to reduce headcount or functions during the 2020 downturn.

Ownership Structure

The ownership structure provides transparency to investors and also enables us to attract and retain key professionals; the majority of our investment team is Cohen & Steers shareholders and receive a significant part of their annual compensation in Cohen & Steers restricted stock. The majority insider ownership aligns interest to promote the long-term continuity of the firm. Also since real asset securities are the dominant part of the firm’s business, we are strongly incentivized to deliver compelling, long-term investment returns for our real asset strategies.