JER Partners Commercial Servicing Business is Andrew Farkas’ Latest Acquisition

Andrew Farkas‘ C-III Capital Management acquired the commercial real estate special servicing and collateralized debt obligation management business of JER Partners for an undisclosed amount, the company announced today. JER is the named special servicer for $35.5 billion of commercial real estate loans, of which $4 billion is under active management. In May the firm sold the defaulted loan on Kent Swig’s 80 Broad Street to Savanna Investments for about $66 million (note: correction appended).

C-III will take control of all of JER’s assets, and will merge its servicing portfolio employees into its asset management division. The firm has been on a bit of a buying spree in the last 18 months, acquiring both Centerline Capital Group’s commercial loan servicing business in March 2010 and commercial services firm NAI Global in June 2011. As previously reported, Andrew Farkas is one of several high-profile firms that is strategically purchasing loan servicers to profit off of underwater boom-year loans.

“This acquisition strengthens C-III’s position as one of the top three special servicers in the country and advances our growth strategy,” Farkas, the firm’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Special servicing is a key foundation of our strategy to create a fully diversified commercial real estate company.”

Read the full article on The Real Deal.

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.

Andrew Farkas’ C-III Acquires NAI Global

C-III Capital Partners LLC (C-III), a portfolio company of Andrew Farkas’ Island Capital Group, announced on Wednesday that it has reached an agreement to acquire NAI Global, a network of independent commercial real estate firms in 55 countries around the world.

Farkas said that he plans to use C-III’s asset base and the acquisition of NAI Global — as well as other strategic acquisitions — to develop a more diversified real estate company.

“This is the strategy that was successful for Insignia,” he said. “C-III is led by the same team that built Insignia, and with C-III’s significantly larger asset base, I believe C-III can substantially exceed Insignia’s success.”

NAI Global boasts 5,000 professionals and 350 offices in the United States alone, and provides a variety of corporate, management and technological services, with over $45 billion of transactions completed annually. Despite the acquisition, the company will still operate independently under its current management.

Before acquiring NAI Global, C-III also purchased Centerline Capital Group’s real estate debt fund management and commercial mortgage loan servicing businesses. Through this acquisition, C-III was able to develop mortgage origination, investment sales and title insurance businesses.

President and CEO of NAI Global Jeffrey M. Finn called the partnership between C-III and NAI Global a “perfect fit” for the two companies. He went on to say that the acquisition will “take the enterprise to a new level.”

ASPCA Spay and Neuter Clinic Opens in NYC

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), one of many charities supported by Andrew Farkas, recently opened a spay/neuter clinic for animal rescuers in Ridgewood, Queens. The clinic will serve as an interim facility through 2012, when construction for the permanent headquarters in Manhattan is expected to be completed.

The clinic is part of a larger effort to make safe and high-quality spay and neuter services available and affordable to all cats and dogs in New York City. It is yet another step in ASPCA’s plan to address animal homelessness, and the new facility will feature modern equipment, accept appointments and work with the organization’s transport services, which provide free rides to spay and neuter animals, including feral cats and dogs.

ASPCA’s current mobile clinics treat 30,000 animals per year in New York City, and have recently started a program to identify neighborhoods with higher numbers of abandoned cats and dogs. The organization is beginning by targeting East Harlem and the Lower East Side with increased spay and neuter services, monitoring the number of abandoned animals in those areas both before and after their efforts. ASPCA is an influential force outside of New York as well, and their website features a searchable database so you can find low-cost spay and neuter programs in your own community.

How Andrew Farkas Landed at the Top of the Real Estate Game

Do you ever wonder how Andrew Farkas went from being an energetic Harvard undergrad to one of the top players in the real estate industry? After graduating in 1982 with a degree in economics, he went on to work at Salomon Brothers, a Wall Street investment bank. Soon after, he founded Insignia, which quickly became one of the largest owners and operators of both multifamily real estate and commercial space in the United States.

Now, Andrew Farkas remains busy as the CEO and founder of Anubis Advisors, which is a subsidiary of Island Capital Group LLC (ICG), an international real estate merchant banking and asset management firm. The company is headquartered in New York, where Farkas lives with his wife Sandi. In addition to being heavily involved in the commercial real estate industry, the couple supports several charities and is often seen at fundraisers for organizations such as The Doe Fund, The Fresh Air Fund, NARAL, the ASPCA and AMFAR.

Crain’s 40 Under Forty: The New Class

It’s been nearly 15 years since Andrew Farkas was named as one of Crain’s New York Business’ “40 Under Forty,” but the people who make up 2011’s class seem to hold just as much promise—especially Sush Torgalkar, a CEO whose path to success sounds similar to the one that Farkas himself took. Torgalkar began as an associate at Westbrook Partners, and after bonding with co-founder Paul Kazilionis over a difficult coffee machine in the break room, began his journey to the top of the company. Now he oversees the fund, which owns more than $20 billion worth of real estate, including office space, multi-family residential buildings, hotels and retail areas, similar to Andrew Farkas’ Island Capital Group LLC (ICG).

Just as Torgalkar dominated the real estate category of the 2011 class, Farkas was the most notable real estate entrepreneur of the class of 1997, and he continues to work in the industry, overseeing ICG as well as Anubis Advisors. Separating the most recent class from previous years is an increased involvement in the digital area—Crain’s reported that 50 percent use Twitter and 77.5 percent use Facebook.

Andrew Farkas among 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate

This year’s list of “The Real Estate Power 100” from The New York Observer reflects a refreshed economy—a flip from the recession-addled past years that stalled the industry. Andrew Farkas comes in at No. 11 on the list, after a successful year serving as the CEO of Anubis Advisors, which provides management consulting, restructuring, distressed debt and real estate advisory services. While the president of the United States ranked No. 1 on 2009’s list, this year brought the return of the real estate industry’s serious players, clearly taking into consideration the news of several major leases that were announced in the summer of 2010.

Alongside Andrew Farkas on the list is Si Newhouse (No. 51), who signed a deal at the end of last year with Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, cementing his plans to anchor Condé Nast at 1 World Trade. Also on the list are the people who won the private bid to be an equity partner in that very address, Douglas and Jody Durst (No. 1). Newcomers to the list include Gary Barnett at No. 6, Mikhail Prokhorov at No. 24 and Scott Rechler at No. 19. The New York Observer noted that the people on the list remain overwhelmingly male; with 10 women making this year’s cut.

After the NME List: What Real Estate Stars are Doing Now

Since their names were listed on the National Real Estate Investor’s (NME) website, the ten real estate moguls who made the magazine’s Top 10 to Watch list have shown no signs of stopping. Among them was Island Capital Group CEO and Chairman Andrew Farkas, who has been spending some of his recent time with his latest company, Anubis Advisors, which he founded in March 2010.

Anubis Advisors, which is a subsidiary of Island Capital Group LLC, is in the management consulting, restructuring, distressed debt and real estate advisory business. Andrew Farkas launched the company to provide strategic planning, M&A and other financial services.

Also making recent headlines is another CEO from NME’s list, Sandeep Mathrani, who runs General Growth Properties, a publicly traded real estate investment trust. Mathrani’s company owns 169 malls, and the The Wall Street Journal interviewed the CEO about the trend of large real estate groups selling malls to take advantage of the slowly improving economy. Stay tuned to learn what the other big names on NME’s list are up to.

Harvard Names Garber as New Provost

Harvard University, the school of which Andrew Farkas is an alumnus, recently named Alan M. Garber as its next provost, effective Sept. 1. Garber, a professor of economics and medicine at Stanford University, will succeed Steven E. Hyman, who will step down at the end of this academic year.  Garber graduated from Harvard summa cum laude in 1976, and went on to also receive his Ph.D. in economics from the university. A press release from Harvard stated that Garber will focus on “leading the university’s efforts to define academic aspirations and achievable programs in the entrepreneurial space represented by Allston.” Until Garber’s appointment is effective, President Drew Faust will oversee all academic functions of the university.

Andrew Farkas, who also studied economics at Harvard, earned his bachelor’s degree in 1982. Farkas, now a prominent businessman and real estate magnate, is the founder, Chairman and CEO of Island Capital Group LLC, as well as the CEO of Anubis Advisors, which he founded in March 2010. Farkas also works with Centerline Capital Group and CIII Capital Partners. He currently lives in New York with his wife Sandi.

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