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How Andrew Farkas Landed at the Top of the Real Estate Game

Do you ever wonder how Andrew Farkas went from being an energetic Harvard undergrad to one of the top players in the real estate industry? After graduating in 1982 with a degree in economics, he went on to work at Salomon Brothers, a Wall Street investment bank. Soon after, he founded Insignia, which quickly became one of the largest owners and operators of both multifamily real estate and commercial space in the United States.

Now, Andrew Farkas remains busy as the CEO and founder of Anubis Advisors, which is a subsidiary of Island Capital Group LLC (ICG), an international real estate merchant banking and asset management firm. The company is headquartered in New York, where Farkas lives with his wife Sandi. In addition to being heavily involved in the commercial real estate industry, the couple supports several charities and is often seen at fundraisers for organizations such as The Doe Fund, The Fresh Air Fund, NARAL, the ASPCA and AMFAR.

Crain’s 40 Under Forty: The New Class

It’s been nearly 15 years since Andrew Farkas was named as one of Crain’s New York Business’ “40 Under Forty,” but the people who make up 2011’s class seem to hold just as much promise—especially Sush Torgalkar, a CEO whose path to success sounds similar to the one that Farkas himself took. Torgalkar began as an associate at Westbrook Partners, and after bonding with co-founder Paul Kazilionis over a difficult coffee machine in the break room, began his journey to the top of the company. Now he oversees the fund, which owns more than $20 billion worth of real estate, including office space, multi-family residential buildings, hotels and retail areas, similar to Andrew Farkas’ Island Capital Group LLC (ICG).

Just as Torgalkar dominated the real estate category of the 2011 class, Farkas was the most notable real estate entrepreneur of the class of 1997, and he continues to work in the industry, overseeing ICG as well as Anubis Advisors. Separating the most recent class from previous years is an increased involvement in the digital area—Crain’s reported that 50 percent use Twitter and 77.5 percent use Facebook.

Andrew Farkas among 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate

This year’s list of “The Real Estate Power 100” from The New York Observer reflects a refreshed economy—a flip from the recession-addled past years that stalled the industry. Andrew Farkas comes in at No. 11 on the list, after a successful year serving as the CEO of Anubis Advisors, which provides management consulting, restructuring, distressed debt and real estate advisory services. While the president of the United States ranked No. 1 on 2009’s list, this year brought the return of the real estate industry’s serious players, clearly taking into consideration the news of several major leases that were announced in the summer of 2010.

Alongside Andrew Farkas on the list is Si Newhouse (No. 51), who signed a deal at the end of last year with Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, cementing his plans to anchor Condé Nast at 1 World Trade. Also on the list are the people who won the private bid to be an equity partner in that very address, Douglas and Jody Durst (No. 1). Newcomers to the list include Gary Barnett at No. 6, Mikhail Prokhorov at No. 24 and Scott Rechler at No. 19. The New York Observer noted that the people on the list remain overwhelmingly male; with 10 women making this year’s cut.

After the NME List: What Real Estate Stars are Doing Now

Since their names were listed on the National Real Estate Investor’s (NME) website, the ten real estate moguls who made the magazine’s Top 10 to Watch list have shown no signs of stopping. Among them was Island Capital Group CEO and Chairman Andrew Farkas, who has been spending some of his recent time with his latest company, Anubis Advisors, which he founded in March 2010.

Anubis Advisors, which is a subsidiary of Island Capital Group LLC, is in the management consulting, restructuring, distressed debt and real estate advisory business. Andrew Farkas launched the company to provide strategic planning, M&A and other financial services.

Also making recent headlines is another CEO from NME’s list, Sandeep Mathrani, who runs General Growth Properties, a publicly traded real estate investment trust. Mathrani’s company owns 169 malls, and the The Wall Street Journal interviewed the CEO about the trend of large real estate groups selling malls to take advantage of the slowly improving economy. Stay tuned to learn what the other big names on NME’s list are up to.

Harvard Names Garber as New Provost

Harvard University, the school of which Andrew Farkas is an alumnus, recently named Alan M. Garber as its next provost, effective Sept. 1. Garber, a professor of economics and medicine at Stanford University, will succeed Steven E. Hyman, who will step down at the end of this academic year.  Garber graduated from Harvard summa cum laude in 1976, and went on to also receive his Ph.D. in economics from the university. A press release from Harvard stated that Garber will focus on “leading the university’s efforts to define academic aspirations and achievable programs in the entrepreneurial space represented by Allston.” Until Garber’s appointment is effective, President Drew Faust will oversee all academic functions of the university.

Andrew Farkas, who also studied economics at Harvard, earned his bachelor’s degree in 1982. Farkas, now a prominent businessman and real estate magnate, is the founder, Chairman and CEO of Island Capital Group LLC, as well as the CEO of Anubis Advisors, which he founded in March 2010. Farkas also works with Centerline Capital Group and CIII Capital Partners. He currently lives in New York with his wife Sandi.

Farkas Launches Anubis Advisors to Manage CIII, Centerline

It’s been a busy year for real estate mogul Andrew Farkas. His latest endeavor is Anubis Advisors, which is in the management consulting, restructuring, distressed debt and real estate advisory business and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Island Capital Group LLC. Serving as the company’s CEO, Andrew Farkas founded Anubis Advisors in March 2010. 

Anubis Advisors provides strategic planning, M&A and other financial services. The same team that led Insignia Financial Group, Inc. to the top of the world’s commercial real estate game—a rank it held from 1991 until 2003—is the one that makes up Anubis’ staff.

Anubis is CIII Capital Partners LLC’s exclusive advisor, helping the real estate finance company to integrate a principal capital deployment and M&A strategy to eventually acquire various servicing operations, such as commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) and CMBS fund managers. Anubis also serves as an external advisor to Centerline Holding Company, for which it provides advice about possible expansion, assistance in connection with acquisitions and more.

The company’s headquarters are in New York. Visit its website to learn more about the Anubis Advisors team and their services.

Farkas Climbs to the Top with New Business Ventures

Andrew Farkas is a businessman with a plan. His recent placement on the National Real Estate Investor’s annual “Top 10 to Watch” list can only serve as foreshadowing of the rise to the top that appears to be in the cards for Farkas. Paired with his financial success in Dubai, he seems to have his hands in all the right deals.

As the current Chairman and CEO of Island Capital Group and being involved in several yachting ventures, Andrew Farkas has made it clear he’s not the type to stay still for long. His investment in Centerline reflects his confidence in the company, which will continue to focus on affordable and conventional multifamily housing. Centerline provides real estate financial and asset management services, and news of its developer and investor partners has recently made international headlines. The company has come a long way since the implementation of its Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program 24 years ago. It’s raised nearly $10 billion of equity and financed more than 1,500 affordable multifamily properties in almost every state.

Andrew Farkas Supports NYLAG’s Cause

Andrew Farkas and his wife Sandi Farkas attended the 20th Anniversary Gala of the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) under the banner, “Empowering Women & Girls.” The Gala is a premier event for the nonprofit law office NYLAG, which focuses on low-income New Yorkers by offering them free legal services in civil law matters. Since it was founded in 1990, it has provided help with healthcare, immigration law, Holocaust compensation, LGBT rights, elder abuse, employment law, as well as family and matrimonial law to those who could not afford attorneys.

The Gala on March 30th at the Pierre Hotel in New York City celebrated NYLAG’s achievements of handling various legal needs of New York’s low-income women of all races, ethnicities, orientations, faiths and age. Celebrities and businessmen like Andrew Farkas attended the event to celebrate the company’s success and to contribute financially to the cause. Next to Farkas, NYLAG expected 350 prominent local, state and federal corporations, politicians and individuals to attend the event and to help raise a substantial amount that would go towards the law projects of the nonprofit organization. With 800 interns, law students and volunteer lawyers, but only 100 paid staff members, all contributions to the event will go a long way in supporting the needs of low-income New Yorkers.

ENSeC’s Impact on the Asian and Middle East Market

Island Capital Group has been involved in multiple international ventures since former Insignia Financial Group Chief Executive Officer Andrew Farkas founded it in 2003. The real estate merchant banking firm specializes in real estate operating businesses, real estate investment, and real estate securities.  It has operated as an advisor to the government of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The government of Dubai hired Island Capital Group to be the sole consultant in the creation of the Emirates National Securitization Corporation (ENSec). ENSeC focuses on securitizing pools of commercial and residential loans on real estate in Dubai by working closely with local banks and government entities. Its advising and structuring services reach across various capital markets in Asia and the Middle East.

As part of Island Capital Group’s portfolio, Andrew Farkas has the opportunity to tap into ENSeC’s expertise and embedment in the local prosperous market in order to further establish his leadership in the global real estate industry. Throughout its life, ENSeC has been able to gain the trust of its clients by focusing on securing commercial and residential backed financings, small-scale enterprises and industries loans, operating cash flows, future cash flows, and consumer assets to facilitate the real estate finance sector.

Andrew Farkas on NREI 2011 Top 10 to Watch List

The National Real Estate Investor has come out with its 2011 Top 10 to Watch list. Island Capital Group CEO and Chairman Andrew Farkas was selected to be one of them. Next to Andrew Farkas, nine other candidates were chosen from the varying financial interests and property types. The list shows the real estate leaders who have shaken up the industry and are expected to make the largest impact in the commercial real estate industry during this year. It refers back to deals the leaders made and on actions they took in 2010 and will show whether the risks associated with these actions will pay off. The results of their bold moves will be signs for the impact the recession has made on various industries.

Accompanying Andrew Farkas on the 2011 National Real Estate Investor Top 10 to Watch list are Andrew Mathias, President of SL Green; Michael Tompkins, Managing Partner of TriBridge LLC; Mark Burkhart, CEO of Cassidy Turley; Bill Pettit, President & COO of Merrill Gardens; Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of General Growth Properties; Chris Merrill, President & CEO of Harrison Street Real Estate Capital LLC; George Toth, President & CEO of CanCan Development LLC; Ronald Dickerman, President of Madison International Realty; and Marc Nemer, President of Cole Real Estate Investments.

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