Faris Lee, Others Expand Capital Markets Reach

Faris Lee Investments is one of several firms broadening its horizons in the capital markets field.

Faris Lee Investments is broadening its horizons with the addition of its capital markets group. The firm, which has been steadily spreading its wings this year, has named principal Richard Berlinghof managing partner of the group.

According to Faris Lee CEO Rich Chichester, an increased complexity in the investments the firm is handling requires broadened transactional, financial and operational capacities.

Those investments include several major assignments in recent years. In February, the firm was awarded the marketing gig for a portfolio of 13 former Mervyns stores comprising more than a million square feet in Southern California and Arizona. In March, Faris Lee noted on its Twitter page that the portfolio was getting “lots of offers” with “all well-located centers proving to have good value.”

Previously, the firm was selected by Kohl’s Corp. to market a portfolio of five retail properties occupied by Kohl’s in previous Mervyns locations. Those locations were in Rancho Cordova, Calif., Redondo Beach, Calif., Monrovia, Calif., Eureka, Calif. and Henderson, Nev.

The new capital markets group will offer a slate of services including investment sales, debt placement, structured finance, recapitalization and equity, along with financial advisory services.

Faris Lee isn’t the only firm to expand its capital markets offerings in recent months. In May, CRT Capital Group L.L.C. formed its own capital markets group, which will provide clients with debt and equity origination services as well as liability management advice. Also in May, law firm Goodwin Proctor L.L.P. expanded its real estate, REITs and real estate capital markets group with the addition of Mark Schonberger as a specialist in real estate companies and real estate fund formation matters. And at the same time, Cassidy Turley added Edward Suharski as a senior vice president of capital markets in San Francisco.

What do these heightened capital markets activities mean in the bigger picture? As the market’s tenuous recovery grows more robust, one can only hope it portends positive things.