Andrew Farkas

Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 Gala Honors David Heyman

The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 honored David Heymen, a big-shot in the film industry, known for producing “Gravity” and all of the Harry Potter films.  The organization includes Harvard’s only co-ed undergraduate social club, as well as the Krokodiloes (an all-male a capella group) and the Theatricals, a group comprised entirely of men in drag.  These performers made for a funny sight when they danced around some of the more prominent guests, including hedge-fund manager Dan Loeb, a long-time friend of Heymen.

Other famous attendees included J. Crew boss Mickey Drexler, buyout executive J. Christopher Flowers, and Neil Patrick Harris, the 2014 Hasty Pudding man of the year.  The presentation honoring Heymen included humorous videos starring famous actresses he had worked with in the past.  Sandra Bullock appeared, sitting in a car with her son, claiming not to know who Heyman was, while Emma Watson complained that Heyman always calls her Emily.

In true “Hasty” fashion, the evening was a quick one, according to the vision of the evening’s host, Andrew Farkas (Bloomberg), the Graduate Chairman and Grand Sphinx of the Hasty Pudding Institute. By 8:30, Farkas, who runs his own real estate investment firm, Island Capital Group, was encouraging the guests to move to the after-party.  Of course, he still managed to have time to acknowledge sponsors, eat some actual Hasty Pudding, and have a little fun at his own expense before moving the guests along.

In a rare serious moment of the evening, Farkas also highlighted the club’s philanthropic activities, which include making grants for arts education and encouraging satire, comedy and the cultivation of young talent.

Andrew Farkas Named Among 50 Most Important People in Commercial Real Estate Finance

To compile its self-admitted subjective list of The 50 Most Important People in Commercial Real Estate Finance, Commercial Observer consulted various industry professionals and lists of top producers. Additionally, charts noting the most active banks were taken into consideration.

While an emphasis was placed on the New York tristate region, geography was not the only factor to come into play. When battling the question of who is more important among brokers or lenders, predictions for 2013 investments had to be considered.

“Brokers control the deals and the bankers control the money – and the money makes the deal happen,” one executive, himself a broker, told Commercial Observer. But then: “I feel like the brokers have the upper hand in the moment.”

As Chairman and CEO of Island Capital Group, Andrew Farkas was named number 7 on the list. Noting a “big year,” C-III Partners acquired NAI Global last year, as well as its 5,000 real estate professionals. The firm manages four funds totaling a $2 billion investment.

Hasty Pudding Institute & Andrew Farkas Honor Michael Lynton

At the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Manhattan on Monday night, Sony Pictures Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Lynton was honored by Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Institute with the “Order of the Golden Sphinx” award. Lynton was chosen for this award because of his efforts supporting arts education while working at Sony, Time Warner, and Walt Disney.

“The award really embodies everything that’s really wonderful about being involved in the performing arts — what it does for the community, what it does for education,” said Andrew Farkas, chairman of Island Capital Group and Grand Sphinx of the Hasty Pudding Institute. “No one has done more of that in their career than Michael.”

Lynton earned his BA and MBA from Harvard and is the first Hollywood executive to be honored by the Hasty Pudding Institute. In 2010, his studio produced “The Social Network” which was set at Harvard.

Andrew Farkas was full of praise for Lynton: “I think that Michael has stayed very true to his own beliefs. For a studio executive to pander to nobody for anything is an extraordinary thing. He really doesn’t waver for anyone.”

There were 350 people that attended the dinner on Monday, which raised $1.5 million for the Hasty Pudding Institute. The event featured performances by the Krokodiloes (Harvard’s a capella group) and The Hasty Pudding Theatricals (Harvard’s all-male, cross-dressing theater troupe).

Andrew Farkas Will Host Event Honoring Michael Lynton

On March 4, 2013, Andrew Farkas, the Graduate Chairman and Grand Sphinx, will host a gala ceremony at Mandarin Oriental in New York honoring the CEO of Sony Entertainment, Inc., Michael Lynton. The Hasty Pudding Institute, which is the oldest collegiate club in U.S. that was founded in 1770 at Harvard, will present Lynton with the first Order of the Golden Sphinx award. The co-chairs include Leon and Debra Black, Richard Plepler, Barry and Mimi Sternlicht, William Lauder, Jamie Dinan and Elizabeth Miller, Bob Pittman, Andrea Olshan and Veronique Choa.

“There is no one more deserving of the first Order of the Golden Sphinx than Michael Lynton,” said Andrew Farkas, CEO of Anubis Advisors.  “Throughout his career he has demonstrated a deep appreciation and dedication to enhancing the arts through both personal commitment and arts education support.”

The Order of the Golden Sphinx is the highest honor given by the Hasty Pudding Institute to individuals in the entertainment industry that have given extraordinary contributions to the performing arts. Prior to Sony, Lynton held positions at Disney, Time Warner, Pearson plc, and AOL. Throughout his career, he has managed all aspects related to business of music, books, television and film. Lynton holds a BA in literature and history from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He now serves on the Harvard Board of Overseers.

Andrew Farkas Announces Hasty Pudding Clubs Merger

Earlier this week at Farkas Hall, Andrew Farkas announced that the Hasty Pudding Club, Krokodiloes and Hasty Pudding Theatricals have merged into one group known as The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770.  The new conglomerate will be directed by two alumni and Andrew Farkas, who graduated in 1982 and is a former president of the Hasty Pudding Club.  During the announcement, Farkas explained that the merger signifies a testament to the clubs’ history together and a desire to combine their theatrical and social causes.

The Hasty Pudding Club was founded in 1770 and both the Krokodiloes and the Hasty Pudding Theatricals were established at the Club’s headquarters.  Individuals in the Krokodiloes and the Hasty Pudding Theatricals will now be given membership into the Club as a result of the merger.

A letter was sent to alumni of all three groups by the graduate advisory board of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals and Hasty Pudding Club. “We stand poised now to pursue a renaissance of our shared traditions, and to extend the Pudding’s recognition to new and exciting heights,” the letter read.

Last year, Andrew Farkas made a donation to Harvard which led to the renaming of the New College Theatre to Farkas Hall.

Andrew Farkas Featured in Crain’s New York Business

In 2011 and 2010, Andrew Farkas went on a buying spree in which he purchased two special servicers and landed a deal for NAI Global.  The special servicers manage $12.7 billion of distressed real estate loans.  NAI Global has 350 offices worldwide and is the premier network of independent commercial real estate firms and one of the largest commercial real estate service providers.

“In chaos and complexity there is opportunity,” said Andrew Farkas, who once worked as a stock boy at discount chain Alexander’s, which was founded by his grandfather. “We want to recreate the business model of building a fully integrated real estate services company from the distress.”

Farkas split Centerline in two last year and bought its special servicing arm, which became the foundation of his new company, C-III Capital Partners.  In August, he bought the special servicing arm of JER Partners.  According to Trepp, the two companies now control 17.3% of the loan volume in special servicing.

“Where others saw toxic waste, Andrew saw opportunity,” said Bob Lieber, who is an executive managing director at Island Capital Group.

Andrew Farkas Attends the Farkas Hall Dedication Ceremony

The dedication ceremony for Farkas Hall was held on February 10th.  Harvard graduate Andrew Farkas was in attendance and enjoyed performances by the Harvard Krokodiloes and the Radcliffe Pitches during the cocktail reception.  At the close of the ceremony, Andrew spoke about his time at Harvard and his father, Robin Farkas who graduated from Harvard in 1954.  The theater was recently renamed Farkas Hall in honor of Robin Farkas.  To commemorate the event, Sandi Goff Farkas, Andrew’s wife, presented him with an elaborate miniature of Farkas Hall.

After the reception, the Hasty Pudding Club put on a special performance, HPT: 164: There Will Be Flood.  Parts of the play included several Farkas-related jokes.  The Hasty Pudding Club was founded in 1770 and is the nation’s oldest social club.

Andrew Farkas is the Chief Executive Officer of C-III Capital Partners, a provider of innovative real estate equity and debt solutions, and Island Capital Group, the controlling parent of C-III.  Island Capital Group’s portfolio companies currently own and/or manage approximately $150 billion in assets.

Harvard’s New College Theatre Renamed Farkas Hall

Andrew Farkas has endowed Harvard University’s New College Theatre in honor of his father, Robin Farkas.  To thank him for his generosity, Harvard is renaming the theater as Farkas Hall.  Andrew Farkas served as the Hasty Pudding Club president for two years before receiving his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1982.  The Farkas Hall is home of the Hasty Pudding Club and the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, which are the nation’s oldest social club and college theater group.

“My Harvard experience was amongst the most formative and significant in my life,” said Andrew Farkas.  “My times at the Hasty Pudding were amongst the most joyful and memorable.  That generations of Harvard students will learn, grow, and flourish in Farkas Hall, in the building that has been the ancestral home of the Pudding and all of the organizations it has spawned, is a great privilege for the Farkas family.  To know that the space will be preserved for use by those organizations, and that it will also serve to incubate the creative skills of Harvard’s emerging talent, is extremely gratifying.”

Andrew Farkas serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for C-III Capital Partners, a real estate investment company.  He is also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Island Capital Group, a leading real estate merchant bank that is the controlling parent of C-III Capital Partners.

Commercial Real Estate Sales Rise in the Second Quarter

Good news for Andrew Farkas and others in the real estate business — global commercial real estate sales rose 47 percent in the second quarter compared to last year’s numbers. Sales finished out at $101 billion for the second quarter and are set to reach at least $440 billion for the year. Though a $440 billion year would show a vast improvement from the last years of the economic recession, the industry would still be short of its totals in 2006 and 2007 when sales reached a height of over $700 billion. But this quarter marks the highest sales total for a single quarter since 2007, and many are attributing the jump to a strengthening of lending markets, allowing necessary debt financing for transactions.

The world saw the largest increase in direct investment in the Americas at $49 billion. Europe, the Middle East and Asia came in at $34 billion, which was only a slight increase from last year, but still marked an upswing from previous quarters. Though Russia and the Nordic countries saw increased sales, investors have been cautious in European countries, especially those in the euro zone in light of economic crises in Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

This spike in sales gives world economists — and real estate professionals like Andrew Farkas — a good reason to be optimistic for the future of the commercial real estate industry.

Fitch Ratings Returns Decision on C-III Investment Management LLC CDO Transfers

Fitch Ratings, a global credit rating company, reached its decision regarding C-III Investment Management LLC collateralized debt obligation (CDO) transfers. The credit rating company decided that C-III meets all the criteria necessary for becoming a potential replacement CDO collateral asset manager. In April, Fitch Ratings was notified of two possible transfers — Nomura CRE CDO 2007-2 and AMAC CDO Funding I — of CDOs from C-III Asset Management LLC to C-III Investment Management.

Though as a rating company, Fitch Ratings is not a party to the transfers, and thus does not approve or consent to them, Fitch Ratings has confirmed that C-III Investment Management meets the minimum criteria. Fitch Ratings’ criteria for evaluation can be found on its website in two separate documents, “Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria” from August 13, 2010 and in the special report “CDO Asset Managers: U.S. Replacement Activity Update” dated December 9 of last year.

C-III Investment Management is a subsidiary of Andrew Farkas’ C-III Capital Partners LLC, which manages about $2 billion in invested capital and has offices in both New York and Texas. Island Capital Group LLC,  led by Andrew Farkas, is C-III Capital Partners’ controlling company.

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