The co-head of WeWork’s real estate investment fund has left the company, the latest in a string of recent high-level departures at the embattled co-working giant.
Wendy Silverstein, a New York real estate veteran who joined WeWork last fall to lead its investment vehicle known as ARK, resigned last week, The Real Deal has learned.
Silverstein said her departure had nothing to do with the troubles surrounding the company’s planned initial public offering, which WeWork said last week it was delaying.
“Worldwide travel was not compatible with being available for my two elderly parents,” she said in an interview Friday.
WeWork declined to comment.
A person with knowledge of the matter said that Larry Fuchs, the managing director of alternative investments at JPMorgan Asset Management, is joining ARK. Rich Gomel, ARK’s managing director, will continue to lead the fund, the person said.
Silverstein is among at least a half dozen prominent departures from the office space giant, as the company has struggled to attract investor interest for a public offering and its multibillion-dollar valuation has come under severe scrutiny. Earlier this week, TRD reported that Sarah Pontius, WeWork’s head of real estate partnerships, was leaving the company.
Hiring Silverstein was a major coup for WeWork when she arrived as its chief investment officer last year. Before joining, she was CEO of New York REIT, and previously led Vornado Realty Trust’s acquisition and capital markets divisions, where she oversaw $30 billion of debt and equity financings. She also served on the boards of multiple companies, including Toys R Us Inc., TPG RE Finance Trust Inc. and Alexander’s Inc.
In May, WeWork announced Silverstein would lead ARK, its $2.9 billion real estate investment vehicle, which is in part backed by a $1 billion investment from Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real estate arm of Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. TRD first reported on the existence of ARK in November last year, when it acquired a ground-up development in Austin.
WeWork lost $1.61 billion last year, with its total revenues at $1.82 billion.