CVCA Member Profiles

CVCA New Member Profile: Balfour Pacific Capital

Team Photo Balfour Pacific

In our ongoing series highlighting new members at the CVCA, we’re taking you behind the scenes to shed light on the impactful organizations in our community.

Say hello to Balfour Pacific Capital!

Tell us about Balfour Pacific Capital.

Balfour Pacific is a Vancouver-based private equity real estate firm that primarily focuses on investments in North America. Together with our family office sponsor, Belzberg & Co., we currently manage approximately $400 million in committed equity capital on behalf of institutions and high-net-worth investors. Since our inception in 2011, we have successfully invested in and managed over $2 billion in assets, which includes a portfolio of 5,000 multifamily units.

Our firm boasts a high-performing team of transactors and asset managers with decades of collective experience. Our reputation for fairness and disciplined investing is backed by years of working together as a cohesive team. We also benefit from the support of the Belzberg family’s back office and infrastructure. Our funds are anchored by investments from the Belzberg family and leading Canadian pension funds.

One of our principal investments in Canada is Dartmouth Crossing, a master-planned residential community situated on a 120-acre site, located 10 kilometers northeast of downtown Halifax. The property is adjacent to two million square feet of premier mixed-use commercial space, which was developed in partnership with NADG, a prominent North American real estate company.

What is Balfour Pacific Capital’s Strategy and Focus?

Balfour Pacific was founded by Sam Belzberg, a highly successful and self-made businessman known for his expertise in corporate deals, private equity, and real estate ventures. He excelled in identifying and realizing value in assets both in Canada and the United States.

Continuing in Sam’s legacy, Balfour’s strategy involves pursuing investments that go beyond the conventional view. Our success lies not in targeting assets in high-priced metropolitan areas, but rather in seeking opportunities in high-growth markets near gateway and secondary cities. We have refined this strategy over time, with a focus on states and provinces with high economic freedom, as it serves as a leading indicator of growth.

Building a strong network of relationships has been key to our success. We collaborate with savvy local partners who offer valuable knowledge and financial commitment to our deals. In various markets, including office, industrial/​flex, and multifamily residential, our strategic approach has consistently delivered leading risk-adjusted returns.

At present, Balfour Pacific is keenly focused on addressing the systemic shortage of affordable housing in Canada. To capitalize on this opportunity, we continue to target underserved markets outside of city cores, following our successful strategy. By providing equity financing to local, mid-sized developers through early-stage investing, forward purchases, and equity for development projects, we aim to make a meaningful impact in this space.

Our strong institutional partnerships, cross-border family office relationships, and transacting capabilities, along with the support of the Belzberg family, enable us to finance our partners and contribute to addressing the structural housing market imbalance.

Who are the key people at Balfour Pacific Capital?

Balfour Pacific is led by Mark Scott, who has an extensive background in corporate finance and real estate. He spent 17 years with Scotia Capital in Toronto, Hong Kong, and Vancouver, where he served as Managing Director and office head. Mark’s experience includes executing or advising on real estate transactions across North America and Asia, encompassing M&A, IPOs, asset sales, and debt financing transactions for leading real estate companies in major asset classes. He is also the Chairman of Canada’s Fraser Institute, a renowned global free market-oriented think tank.

The Belzberg family office is chaired by Strauss Zelnick, Sam Belzberg’s son-in-law and a prominent New York-based media investor and executive. Strauss founded and leads Zelnick Media Capital, an investor in media businesses across the U.S. and Canada. He also serves as Chairman of the Board and CEO of Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ: TTWO), a leading video game publisher and S&P 500 member. Additionally, Strauss is a director of the Starwood Property Trust (NYSE: STWD), a leading real estate finance company. He recently served as Interim Chairman of The CBS Corporation’s (NYSE: CBS) Board of Directors.

Balfour Pacific benefits from the guidance of a distinguished advisory board comprising leaders from Canada’s pension investment, property development and management, government, and business communities. Their expertise and insights further strengthen our capabilities and vision.