Procida Steps Down as Palisades Financial CEO, Plans to Focus on Repositioning Vehicle

William “Billy” Procida, a founding member of Palisades Financial, has left the real estate banking and advisory firm based in Fort Lee, N.J., and plans to focus on advising distressed projects and businesses.Procida sold his interests in the firm to the remaining five partners and resigned as chairman & CEO. He will continue to be the largest investor in Palisades’ two investment funds and will be an advisor to the firm and its remaining principals, Mark Zurlini, David McLain, Ira Bergstein, Jack Chimento and James Calvano. Financial terms were not released by Procida or the firm.“At Palisades, we are fortunate to have a very deep bench and the firm’s day-to-day operations have been essentially managed by our five other partners for the past few years, so there will be no disruption to our operation,” Calvano said in a release.Procida said he will revive William Procida Inc., a workout and repositioning vehicle he founded in 1995 after spending 16 years in his own development company and a year working for Donald Trump. In 2002, the company name was changed from WPI to Palisades Financial to better reflect the firm’s diversification and growth. “I started in this business 27 years ago fixing troubled projects. When I started Palisades, we fixed troubled projects,” he noted in a separate news release. “Seems like I should be able to get some work in this environment.” Noting that Palisades’ fund outperformed almost all its peers last year, Procida said, “It was the right time to sell out to management.”Palisades has completed more than $2 billion in transactions in 14 states. In 2002, it launched its first equity fund, Palisades Regional Investment Fund I, which invested in transactions over $500 million. It has since launched a second fund and is raising $200 million for transactions ranging from $2 million to more than $50 million. The firm also originates bridge and mezzanine financing s secured by land and commercial real estate properties, invests in real property and acquires non-performing mortgages.Procida noted that average returns at Palisades have outpaced the S&P, Dow Jones Industrial Average and the major REIT indexes by returning 17 percent this year. “After 13 years at Palisades (including its predecessor WPI), and while I’m only 46, I figured I had one last opportunity to challenge myself,” Procida stated.