Ackman-Ziff’s Jason Meister moves to new firm

Investment sales broker is going to build out real estate, construction division of Hotaling Insurance Services

TRD New York /
May.May 13, 2020 04:50 PM
Jason Meister (Photo by Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Jason Meister (Photo by Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Ackman-Ziff’s Jason Meister has decamped for a firm that is “bringing dead deals to life.”

The investment sales broker has joined Hotaling Insurance Services as a managing director. Meister will help build out Hotaling’s “real estate and construction divisions, both regionally and nationally,” said Bobby Hotaling, the company’s founder, who has known Meister for 15 years.

Among other clients, Hotaling works with high net-worth business owners, individuals, athletes and entertainers. Through its affiliate Titan Capital Recovery Group, the firm offers clients speciality services designed to minimize and defer taxes.

Meister said those strategies have enabled him to bring together buyers and sellers who had put negotiations on hold once the coronavirus overtook the city. “A lot of deals that went sideways are being revived,” he said.

Some sales were sidelined because identifying properties for 1031 exchanges has been difficult in this marketplace. Other buyers simply wanted a lower price.

Now, Meister can use a strategy akin to a 1031 exchange, called an installment sale. It would create that lower price for the buyer while getting “better” than the original proceeds for the seller by deferring taxes for 30 years, he said.

The process also works for other assets such as companies, partnership interests, art collections and exotic cars, Meister said, adding, “The key is that there is a low basis and it must be privately owned property.”

Meister joined Ackman-Ziff in 2015, specializing in affordable housing and the sale of properties targeted for redevelopment. He also created the firm’s Tri-State Investment Sales platform. Most recently, he identified and sold commercial properties in the newly created Opportunity Zones.

Prior to that, he spent three years at Avison Young, during which time he represented both Rubin Schron and Joseph Sitt in their unsuccessful bids for the Empire State building, and the $140 million sale of the Cerebral Palsy Building and a corner lot to luxury residential developer Toll Brothers.

Meister started his real estate career in 2004 developing and selling custom homes in Nantucket to high net-worth buyers that included Lee Iacocca, former CEO of Chrysler. He joined Grubb & Ellis in 2008 where he marketed investment properties.


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