The Real Deal New York

Andrew Farkas: The sequel

The mogul has returned to build another giant brokerage empire, with a focus on distressed properties

November 08, 2011 11:47PM
By David Jones

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Andrew Farkas
From the November issue: F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “There are no second acts in American lives.” But billionaire investor Andrew Farkas is proving that there are — at least in real estate. Farkas — who built Insignia Financial Group into one of the largest real estate brokerages in the country in the 1990s — is carving out a sequel for himself that could rival his most prolific run of the past 20 years.

Last year, his firm snapped up the country’s third-largest special loan servicer, Centerline Holding Corp. Then, in August, he bought JER Partners, another special servicer, and he’s agreed to buy the massive brokerage house NAI Global. In addition, just last month news broke that he’s buying a significant stake in the struggling commercial brokerage Grubb & Ellis.

“I am simply replicating a strategy that I deployed with Insignia,” Farkas told The Real Deal in an interview last month at his Fifth Avenue office. “The good news being, I don’t have to learn anything new.” [more]

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