Colony Capital adds two principals

The private equity real estate firm has added Wilson Magee and Jeff Moore to its New York office in order to build a platform focusing on real estate securities.

Los Angeles-based private equity real estate firm Colony Capital announced today the hiring of two new principals, Wilson Magee and Jeff Moore, to establish the firm’s presence investing in global real estate securities.

Both Magee and Moore will be based in Colony’s New York office and will report to Colony President Richard Saltzman. They join the firm’s eleven other principals as well as Colony chairman and chief executive officer, Thomas Barrack.

The 49-year old Magee was formerly co-portfolio manager for the Real Estate Securities Investment Strategies of Goldman Sachs. His previous work experience also includes six years as a portfolio manger of real estate securities for investment management firm Grantham, Mayo Van Otterloo & Co.

Moore, 40, was formerly managing director at Citigroup Alternative Investments. He had previously worked for ten years as a real estate investment banker at UBS and its predecessor firms, Paine Webber and Kidder Peabody.

Although Colony has traditionally invested in real estate assets through its six private equity funds, Barrack noted in a statement that the firm is looking for “fertile investment areas that offer extraordinary risk adjusted rates of return differing from, but complementary to, our historical opportunity fund orientation.”

In September 2004, Colony announced the purchase of four casino hotels from Harrah’s Entertainment and Caesars Entertainment for $1.2 billion, a deal which is expected to close this year. A few months earlier, the firm completed its $280 million purchase of the Las Vegas Hilton and in April, Colony, along with co-investor The Blackstone Group, sold the Savoy Group of London, a hotel consortium, for $1.4 billion.

Founded in 1991 by Barrack, a former principal with the Robert M. Bass group, Colony Capital has invested approximately $12 billion in real estate-related assets and operating companies over the past 13 years.