The Real Deal New York

Ackman-Ziff hires Evan Denner to expand I-sales, JV equity teams

New adviser expected to hire senior brokers in NY, satellite offices

From left: Evan Denner and Simon Ziff

Ackman-Ziff Real Estate hired Evan Denner to expand the brokerage’s investment sales operation and other areas of business with several senior-level hires, the firm told The Real Deal.

Denner, co-founder of merchant banking firm Lauderhill Partners, joined the Midtown-based finance brokerage late last month as an adviser. He is focusing on growing the investment sales and joint-venture equity divisions in New York and the satellite offices.

The move is part of a larger hiring push by Ackman-Ziff president Simon Ziff to ramp up its investment sales platform, which has four full-time brokers. Marion Jones and Jason Meister joined in 2015 from Eastern Consolidated and Avison Young, respectively. David Robinov, managing director of investment sales, has been there since 2012, though he doesn’t run the team, as it is run by committee, Ziff said.

“We have successfully attracted strong talent and will continue to do so. We have experienced significant growth over the past few years and believe the next few years will provide further opportunity to continue to build our brand in debt, as well as to continue the build-out in investment sales and equity placement through both strategic hires and corporate acquisitions,” Ziff said in a statement.

Denner said, “I am looking at the entire platform from personnel, policy, procedures, organic growth opportunities as well as acquisitions of companies and people. The firm expects to become significant players in these sectors and others.”

Denner also ran Campus Evolution Villages, an owner of U.S. student housing with a portfolio of more than 10,000 beds. Campus Evolution Villages is a subsidiary of Lauderhill that was formed in partnership with Joel Schreiber’s Waterbridge Capital in 2012. Lauderhill is now weighing the sale of its portfolio.

Before Lauderhill, Denner served as deputy CEO of Hypo Real Estate Capital Corporation from 2004 to 2009, and was chief investment officer of merchant banking at Cantor Fitzgerald from 2010 to 2012, according to his LinkedIn.

Ackman-Ziff took No. 20 in TRD’s 2015 top investment sales firm ranking with $458 million in New York City deals.