Raymond James ramps up private RE business

With the hire of Peter Fish, the financial services firm’s investment banking practice is planning to expand its private placements business.

Through its investment banking practice, Raymond James Financial has launched an initiative to expand its private equity real estate business, hiring former Fortress Group placement agent Peter Fish to lead the push. Fish, a managing director of the St. Petersburg, Florida-based financial services firm’s real estate group, is based in the Atlanta office.
Raymond James added Fish as its first private real estate specialist, as other members of the real estate team focus on public markets on behalf of the firm’s REIT client base. “We’re keenly aware of many more opportunities with private companies who want to access more reliable capital as inexpensively as possible,” Fish told PERE. 
Fish, who started in his new role last month, will focus on raising capital for US-based private real estate firms for a variety of deal types and structures, ranging from $50 million to $1 billion per transaction. Fish will be working with global investors – including public and private pensions, private real estate funds, endowments and foundations and family offices – sourcing investments at the asset level and the entity level through programmatic joint ventures and separate accounts.
At New York-based placement agent Fortress Group, Fish served as director of real estate focusing on capital formation and advisory services for real estate fund managers, operators and developers. During his time at Fortress, Fish worked with closed-ended commingled real estate funds, but he found the current fundraising environment was too difficult for many of them to succeed. “Trying to find a good product to bring to market was so tough,” he commented. 
As a result, Fish started spending more time on programmatic joint ventures, portfolio recapitalizations, GP and LP buyouts and separate accounts, and he moved to Raymond James to continue those efforts. “I already know where the money is and we’ve got tons of product to work with, so we’re saying, ‘Alright, let’s ramp this up’,” he added.
“The industry knowledge and experience Peter brings are impressive,” said Vick Seth, managing director and head of Raymond James’ real estate investment banking group, in a statement. “We are confident our clients in the improving real estate sector will agree.”