ACKMAN-ZIFF'S SECRET; BERKEY ON BIG APPLE
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|Ackman-Ziff is still busy because of specific adjustments to the downturn. From its E. 42nd St. offices, president Simon Ziff, COO Gerald Cohen, and principals Russ Schildkraut, Patrick Hanlon, and Shawn Rosenthal told us that one was building a loan sale platform, leading to a partnership with Garnet Capital Advisors.|
|Here we snapped some of Simon’s 25 Japanese maple saplings on the firm’s terrace. (Russ, Pat, Simon, and Gerald also found their way into the pic.) The deal was inked in January, forming AZ-Garnet Loan Sale Advisors. Another major growth area for Ackman-Ziff is its advisory/workout business, which has especially grown due to the market’s lack of liquidity. Simon adds that when the market turns, they believe it will be in a position to have additional market share as a strategic capital advisor.|
|Studley's Woody Heller, right, presents Shawn with REBNY’s 2008 Edward S. Gordon Award for the financing of 650 Madison Ave; the transaction included debt, mezz, and JV equity. The firm continues to dedicate a significant amount of time to its capital relationships, working with debt sources to discuss items like new loans, work-outs, and distressed debt sales. They say that JV equity will play a major role in the workout of existing loans and also has a dedicated equity platform, established in the early '90s.|
|Riddle: If a broker plays arcade golf, can he still write off his greens fee (50 cents?) The firm’s about to announce a strategic alliance with a team of real estate acquisition and finance pros in a western city, which will focus on originating debt and equity transactions, advisory and restructure assignments, and distressed debt recapitalizations and loan sale opportunities. As for the market, the partners have been more optimistic, as positive talk and players re-emerge. Sellers are now committing to price levels where people can transact, and they’re seeing multiple bidders on properties and paper that are now being sold at a reasonable price.|