Anubis Advisors was founded in March 2010 by Andrew Farkas, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Island Capital Group LLC. ICG is a real estate merchant banking and asset management firm that operates internationally but has its primary location in New York City. Anubis acts as an advisory company to ICG, ICG’s portfolio companies and others, on issues such as distressed debt acquisition, real estate and asset management.
The services provided by Anubis include strategic planning, M&A, restructuring, executive management and some financial services. Anubis’ management team consists of professionals, including Mr. Farkas as acting CEO, who were responsible for the continued development and expansion of Insignia Financial Group, Inc. which was one of the top three global real estate firms between 1991 and 2003.
One of Anubis’ clients within the portfolio of ICG companies is C-III Capital Partners LLC and its subsidiary C-III Asset Management LLC. C-III provides creative solutions to equity and debt problems within the real estate market, while its asset management team service a portfolio of almost $120 billion of commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS). Anubis’ role is to assist C-III in their integration of a principle capital deployment and M&A strategy within their existing operations, in the hopes of acquiring more CMBS fund managers and incremental CMBS, among other servicing operations. Under the direction of Anubis, C-III also intends to further pursue third-party servicing relationships and expand into new lines of business that correspond with current business operations.
NAI Global, a commercial real-estate services network linked to Andrew Farkas, has agreed to a deal with EVO Real Estate Group based in New York. This network has 165 firms connected across 204 cities worldwide. Through this deal, EVO will become the New York office of the network.
C-III Capital Partners, under the direction of CEO Andrew Farkas, purchased NAI in 2012. NAI provides brokerage among other services to external clients as well as all of Farkas’ ever expanding collection of real-estate businesses. There has been one noticeable hole in the network in New York, which many consider to be the most important real-estate market in the world.
EVO will be instrumental in bridging this gap as they are native to the city and currently manage around 3.5 million square feet of commercial property. The president of NAI Global, Jay Olshonsky, remarked that they were thrilled to now have a strong presence in New York.
Mr. Farkas is well known for his acquisition of Edward S. Gordon Co. in 1996, which he sold in 2003 to CB Richard Ellis for $415 million. This is just one of many real-estate and brokerage empires that Farkas has built over the years.
Current trends in the brokerage industry have shown larger firms moving away from the network structure preferred by NAI, but instead are moving towards ownership of all of their individual member offices. When C-III initially acquired the NAI network, they owned the New York member office, but in a strategic move they decided to replace the newly acquired office within the network, along with a few other offices owned by NAI, with wholly owned companies independent of the network. The network is estimated to reach a combined revenue total of $1 billion in 2014.
Winoker Realty Co. was a well-known New York based real-estate firm who made headlines in 2012 when their president, David Winoker, died tragically in a sky-diving accident. In 2013 the firm was sold to two former employees, father and daughter duo Ira Fishman and Dana Moskowitz, by the deceased’s widow. The firm quickly rebranded as EVO Real Estate Group, with the name being chosen to reflect the desired evolution the firm would undertake.
This new deal between EVO and NAI Global will enable EVO to expand and develop due to the shared information between member firms, according to Mr. Fishman. An example of this might be if EVO had a client in New York, who was also looking to lease out another building in a different state, EVO could link up with the network member office in that state and the fees and commissions would be divided up between the two member firms. Mr. Fishman is said to be excited about the concept as he has never been part of a network like this before.
Mr. Farkas’ vast collection of businesses uses the NAI Global network for brokerage services among others. The president of NAI Global insists this is because the network is continually proving that they offer the best service, not because of the ties with Mr. Farkas. The reason they feel they stand out is because each of the individual firms in the network are experts in their respective regions. This means that firms in the network can refer clients to other member firms with the confidence that they will provide the same standard of care and expertise as each other. According to Mr. Olshonsky, firms within a network that are independently owned have more of an incentive to make sure that their clients, local or referred, are getting the best service.
Robert Lieber, chairman of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), is preparing for the 2014 ULI Fall Meeting taking place later this month. Urban Land Institute of New York is a real estate organization dedicated towards responsible land use and sustainable growth. The Fall Meeting is a time to discuss what strategies are working towards improving sustainable development and ways real estate development can improve. This meeting is Lieber’s most high profile event since becoming chairman in July 2013.
Robert Lieber is heavily involved in real estate development. He is the executive managing director of Island Capital Group, a leading international real estate merchant bank founded by Andrew Farkas and he has been a member of ULI for more than 20 years.
As chairman of ULI, Lieber aspires to raise awareness about the organization and ULI’s mission to the constituencies in both the public and private sectors. Secondly, Lieber plans to continue to be responsive to the needs of the stakeholders in the communities ULI serves.
The ULI plays two major roles. The organization is a networking group that brings real estate professionals together to discuss key issues, but the ULI also operates on a more local level. For example, ULI was consulted about addressing the World Trade Center after 9/11 and how to get development moving 3 or 4 years after the attack.
Lieber is excited about the 2014 ULI Fall Meeting because it is putting the limelight on New York City. It has been ten years since the meeting was held in New York. Lieber sees the meeting as an opportunity to highlight the positive changes in the city, such as the development of parks and the improvements in the New York City transit system.
The ULI Fall Meeting is scheduled for October 21-23 at the Javits Center in New York City. As of now, ULI expects approximately 7,000 attendees.