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December 12, 2011

Dubai Group Selects Ex-Lehman Execs to Manage $1.1B Portfolio

December 12, 2011
By Scott Baltic, Contributing Editor

Silverpeak Real Estate Partners has been tapped by Dubai Group and its subsidiary DIG Management Services (USA) Inc. to provide asset/investment management services for, and eventually restructure, DIG’s $1.1 billion commercial real estate portfolio in the United States and Germany. Dubai Group is a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, a holding company belonging to the government of Dubai.

The portfolio, assembled from 2004 to 2008, consists of 30 hotel, office and retail properties across 11 separate investments in the United States (28 properties) and Germany (two properties), including the Essex House Hotel on Central Park South and the 900,000-square-foot 110 William Street.

Investment advisory firm Silverpeak was formed recently as the successor to Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners and has approximately $18 billion of real estate assets under management. Former Lehman executives Mark Walsh and Brett Bossung are leading the Silverpeak team on the Dubai deal.

“We are pleased to have been selected by DIG to carry out this important mandate and remain focused on improving the portfolio’s operational performance and positioning,” said Brett Bossung, managing director and co-founder of Silverpeak. “We see immediate opportunities to work with the existing operating partners to enhance value.”

As part of the transaction, Anthony Juliano, former head of Dubai Group’s U.S. and European real estate investment platform, has joined Silverpeak as managing director. Other new arrivals include senior vice president Jason Kwik, formerly of GE Capital Real Estate.

Through partners Mark Edelstein and Jeff Temple, law firm Morrison & Foerster, headquartered in San Francisco, advised the Dubai Group and handled the RFP process that led to the selection of Silverpeak.

Morrison & Foerster drew a big headline in Commercial Property Executive barely five weeks ago for representing various parties in three financing deals totaling $970 million. In the largest, at $700 million, the firm represented Bank of America in a syndicated construction loan for Extell Development Co.’s 90-story Park Hyatt Hotel and residential condo tower on West 57th Street in Manhattan. That deal was described as the largest single-property construction financing in the United States this year.