Frequently Asked Questions

About Alternative Investments

Alternative investments can be broadly defined as those that are not traditional investments such as stocks, bonds, or cash equivalents like CDs or money markets. Types of investments that fall into the category of alternatives include real estate funds, which are the focus at Civitas.

Alternative investments are not new — some have existed for many decades. However, what is new is the heightened awareness among investors worldwide of what alternative investments can add to an investment portfolio. This has led to explosive growth in the number and type of alternative investments available to investors.

Civitas Alternative Investments focuses on niche opportunities for investors to realize excellent risk adjusted returns. We frequently pursue investments in certain specialty assets, such as real estate, certain varieties of tax credits, and leveraged loans, which are generally – but not always – related to real assets.

In the real estate realm, Civitas Alternative Investments has invested in a broad spectrum of property types including office, hotel, multifamily apartments and mixed-use developments. Our investments include joint ventures with top tier developers as well as projects undertaken by the firm’s in-house development arm.

Amid the persistent high-volatility environment of the last decade, investors with traditional portfolios composed primarily of stocks and bonds have not been rewarded for taking on more risk. Selecting from a broader menu of investments including alternative asset classes and strategies—which have different risk and return characteristics than stocks and bonds—may help investors improve the risk/return dynamics of their portfolios. At Civitas Alternative Investments. We believe properly selected and managed alternative investment strategies can both enhance diversification of an overall portfolio and drive alpha.

Today, real estate has evolved into a multi-faceted asset class, capable of meeting a wide range of investment objectives. With the proper approach, real estate offers enhanced portfolio diversification, attractive absolute and current return potential, and a hedge against inflation. This has resulted in a real estate investment landscape that is full of opportunities – and risks. Civitas Alternative Investments seeks to be your partner to help navigate this landscape.

Civitas is a professional investment management firm with years of experience in real estate investment. Since 2009, Civitas has deployed more than $700 million into U.S. real estate across a range of property types. Each opportunity is carefully vetted and pursued via an investment vehicle designed to achieve a specific targeted return object.

At Civitas, we take pride in our team of accomplished financial and cultural experts. By drawing on their deep experience, they evaluate every opportunity to ensure that it meets Civitas’ unique requirements. We focus on risk mitigation by investing where we believe the implied risk is outweighed by the potential reward.

Civitas’ funds and other products and services are generally suitable for sophisticated investors. These can include institutions such as insurance companies and asset managers, as well as individuals who qualify as “accredited investors” or “qualified clients” under U.S. law. Civitas has particular expertise in serving non-U.S. clients; we speak 14 languages and serve clients from more than 30 countries.

Civitas’ alternative investment products are generally available only to “qualified clients” under U.S. law. To meet this threshold, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. A natural person who has at least $1,000,000 under the management of Civitas; or
  2. A natural person who Civitas reasonably believes has a net worth (together, in the case of a natural person, with assets held jointly with a spouse) of more than $ 2,000,000.
  3. A company with a minimum of $5,000,000 invested in securities owned by close family members.
  4. A trust, not formed specifically for the investment, with a minimum of $5,000,000 in investments
  5. An investment manager with a minimum of $25,000,000 in assets under management,
  6. A company with a minimum of $25,000,000 invested in securities.

For more information about the requirements to qualify as a client, please contact us.

While every investment is subject to different duration, most of our investment partnerships have a projected life of 5 years.

The minimum required investment can vary. For Civitas Alternative Investments funds designed to accept individual investors, the minimum investment is typically $250,000 to $1 million. For institutionally-oriented products, the minimum is typically higher. Separate accounts generally start at $20 million.

The fees applicable to each Civitas Alternative Investments fund are set forth in detail in the applicable private placement memorandum (or other offering document). These fees can vary, but they generally will include an annual investment management fee, which is usually paid quarterly in arrears. In some cases, particularly with respect to funds that will invest in equity rather than debt, the firm may retain a “carried interest,” i.e., a share of the investment vehicle’s profits. The amounts of these fees varies depending on the type of investment.

It is important that you fully understand how Civitas is compensated for the services we provide. Please review the offering documentation for each prospective investment you consider very carefully, and ask a Civitas representative any questions you may have.

Every quarter we send investors reports with construction progress, and other relevant information. Once construction is completed, we continue to report on the project’s performance until the investment is concluded. In addition to quarterly reporting, our team is always available to answer any questions you may have about your investment.

Step 1 – Complete Our Questionnaire

Contact Civitas to receive our confidential investor questionnaire. Once completed, your questionnaire will be evaluated internally to see if you qualify to invest.

Our compliance department will complete the review promptly.

Step 2 – Review Project Information & Legal Documents

Once the Civitas compliance department has approved the investor’s questionnaire, a member of the Investor Relations Team will determine which project meets the investor’s stated investment objectives. We require the initial delivery of the project information and legal documents, including a numbered Private Placement Memorandum (“PPM”) and Subscription Agreement, be directed to the investor in order to ensure the most recent and up-to-date project information and documentation is provided.

Step 3 – Answer Questions

The investor will review the project information and legal documents. Civitas representatives are always available to answer any questions you may have.

Step 4 – Execute Subscription Agreement

If the Investor decides to invest:

  • Investor sends completed and signed Subscription Agreement (scanned and sent via email* with an original hard copy by mail)
  • The General Partner and Compliance will review and approve all the legal documents

Step 5 – Funds Transfer

Civitas will inform the investor that he/she is approved to invest. Wire instructions will be provided to the investor to make wire transfers.

Accounting will confirm the receipt of funds in writing for investor’s records. This process may take 2-3 business days.

Important Note: Please adjust your investment to account for banking fees. Please ask the bank before transferring the funds for you to cover additional wiring expenses separately and avoid any deduction from your investment.

Step 6 – Return of Countersigned Copy of Subscription Agreement

Civitas will return to the investor a countersigned copy of the subscription agreement after the closing of the Investment Fund.

About EB-5 Investments

The EB-5 Investment Visa Program is the immigrant visa category for foreign entrepreneurs and investors like you. Through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, a foreign national can obtain lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in the United States for himself/herself, a spouse and unmarried children under age 21, in return for making a qualified investment in a U.S. enterprise.

Traditional EB-5 investments require that the investor demonstrate that the required 10 full-time jobs were created directly by the commercial enterprise in which the investment was made. In contrast, EB-5 investments made through a Designated Regional Center, receive credit for jobs created both directly and indirectly, which benefits the applicant by reducing the risk associated with job creation. About 95 percent of all EB-5 investments are made through a Designated Regional Center. You can find more information about the Centers at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website here: http://www.uscis.gov/eb-5

A Designated Regional Center is an entity or economic unit, public or private, approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to facilitate the pooling of capital by multiple EB-5 investors. Each Designated Regional Center focuses on a specific geographic area within the U.S. and seeks to promote economic growth and creation of new jobs in that area. Importantly, making an investment via a Designated Regional Center provides EB-5 investors with two key benefits:

  • The ability to invest alongside other EB-5 investors in a pooled vehicle, such as a limited partnership sponsored by the CDRC; and
  • The ability to receive credit for both direct and indirect jobs created as a result of the EB-5 investor’s investment.

As an EB-5 investor, you may have many reasons for seeking permanent residency in the United States through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. You may be seeking economic opportunity, educational opportunity for yourself or your children, or retirement in the U.S. Obtaining an EB-5 visa through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program provides you and other investors the opportunity and flexibility to live and work permanently in the U.S. Investments with Civitas are generally available only to accredited investors. For more information about the requirements to qualify as an accredited investor, please contact us.

No, not in the day-to-day management. However, EB-5 regulations do require you the investor to be involved in management or policy-making in the enterprise. Our EB-5 investments are structured to comply with this requirement. As a limited partner in a limited partnership that is properly structured and conforms to the Uniform Limited Partnership Act, you will be sufficiently engaged in the EB-5 enterprise to meet this requirement.

EB-5 regulations require that all invested capital be “at risk” of loss. Therefore, no investment can be guaranteed – that is, without risk – if it is to qualify as an EB-5 investment. “At risk” generally means subject to normal business and financial risk. Other risks include the enterprise’s failure to meet the direct or indirect job creation requirement. While no investment can be guaranteed, Civitas investments are structured specifically to minimize your risk to the greatest extent possible. These and other risks are described in detail in the documentation provided for each investment.

While every investment is subject to different terms, most of our investment partnerships have a projected life of 5-7 years.

Yes, Civitas is happy to arrange such visits on a case-by-case basis provided enough notice is given to schedule a visit.

A Green Card is not “guaranteed.” No one can ever guarantee the outcome of any visa application or petition; it is solely up to USCIS to adjudicate. The key is to have a well-prepared petition crafted by competent, legal counsel that is experienced in EB-5 visa matters in order to create the best opportunity for success.

  • Your principal investment of $500,000
  • Civitas administrative fee
  • Immigration attorney’s fee
  • Filing fees to USCIS (cost may vary depending on the number of family members)
  • Additional professional help, such as tax advice, translator, etc.

No, it is important for you to have independent legal counsel representing your interests. We would be happy to recommend an experienced EB-5 immigration lawyer who can competently handle EB-5 applications. However, you will ultimately choose the attorney who will represent you.

Civitas does not file any immigration petitions. However, Civitas will work hand in hand with your immigration attorney. Civitas requires all investors to secure their own independent legal counsel to file the immigration paperwork and complete the applications for an EB-5 investor visa. Civitas will provide documents in support of the investor’s I-526 and I-829 petitions to the attorney of the investor’s choice. In order to maintain quality consistency across applications, Civitas’ immigration advisors will review all investor’s petitions prior to filling.

Civitas reviews all draw requests to make sure funds are being spent in accordance with the original budget and the project is proceeding as planned. We use independent inspection firms to verify work has been completed prior to releasing any funds; we also conduct onsite visits to confirm progress. By closely monitoring construction expenditures and other relevant metrics, we are able to estimate job creation in real time and ensure that this is also progressing as planned. Reporting to investors like yourself on the status of your investment is a critical component of what we do here at Civitas. Every quarter we will send you reports with construction progress, job creation and other relevant information. Once construction is completed, we continue to report on the project’s performance until the investment is concluded. In addition to quarterly reporting, our team is always available to answer any questions you may have about your investment.