In a move to further expand its capital and investment footprint in New Jersey's commercial real estate market, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, part of BGC Partners Inc., has folded Woodbridge-based Helios Capital Advisors into its Rutherford office.
"We have a mandate internally that we've decided we really want to be a different type of company in the capital markets world to service our clients from every aspect of commercial real estate investment. We're looking to build our firm more like an investment bank," NGKF President James D. Kuhn said. "I think within a year, we'll have a major capital markets group like we just built with (Helios) in New Jersey in all the major markets in the country."
Kuhn said he chose Helios to expand NGKF's New Jersey capital markets group because he was impressed by their "exemplary nonperforming loan business … which we're looking to build a national platform for, but for which there aren't a lot of large firms that handle them."
Helios founding member and CEO Steven Schultz said he's been looking for an opportunity to get his business on a national platform since he entered the field 25 years ago.
"Being a boutique is great, but I had a lot of trouble competing with the Cushman (& Wakefield)s with not being able to get onto their national level. I always just got at the door to get that bigger national business, but I was losing those opportunities — and even some opportunities from my current clients, who had bigger deals going on," Schultz said. "I thought if I had a grand flag, at least I would be at the table. Coming out of last year, I thought, 'If I can just grow my business to a certain point, a major (real estate firm) will look at us.' "
Although Helios was approached by other firms looking for the opportunity to acquire his business, Schultz said he agreed to NGKF because "they're prominent, but in growth mode."
"I've seen all of the acquisitions lately, and it's clear that BGC and Newmark are risk takers — and I really like people that like to take risks," said Schultz, who will lead NGKF's New Jersey capital markets team and develop the firm's nonperforming loan sales platform in the state. "I've been working in New Jersey's capital market for a long time, and their commitment to growing it is very exciting."