Cantor Fitzgerald launches Cantor Real Estate

Cantor Fitzgerald L.P., the Manhattan-based global financial services firm, said it will launch an investment and development group, called Cantor Real Estate LLC, focused on distressed assets and other opportunistic real estate deals.

Cantor Fitzgerald said it plans to raise between $300 million and $350 million for the new fund. It will compete with other financial services firms looking for new investment opportunities.

Andrew Stark, the newly named executive managing director of Cantor Real Estate, previously worked as president of the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions of WCI Communities Inc., a Bonita Springs, Fla.-based homebuilder that specializes in master planned communities.

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While working at WCI Communities, Stark led the acquisition of more than 5,000 residential housing units and secured more than $1 billion in financing from various domestic and international institutions.

Stark previously launched an opportunity fund with Reckson Associates, following the merger of that company with Halpern Real Estate Development in 1995. That fund focused on student housing, office suites and other niche properties.

The Cantor Fitzgerald initiative comes just one day after the parent
company of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. announced plans for its own real
estate group, as The Real Deal reported. KBW has been hurt by a downturn in merger and acquisition activity, and is looking to scoop up potential real estate bargains.

Cantor Fitzgerald, based at 110 East 59th Street, did not disclose whether it has any pending real estate deals.

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