New US real estate group to open for business

Michael Medzigian, Cordell Lietz and Hicks Muse co-founder John Muse have joined forces to set up Watermark Capital Partners.

Michael Medzigian, the former president and CEO of Lazard Freres Real Estate Investors, has joined forces with a number of other US principal investment luminaries to form Watermark Capital Partners, a new real estate private equity investment firm based in Connecticut.

Cordell Lietz, formerly senior vice president of Taubman Realty Group, the US shopping center specialist, is part of the founding line-up, as is John Muse, co-founder of US private Hicks Muse Tate & Furst and head of the firm's European operation, who will become a non-executive founding partner, serving as a member of Watermark’s Board and its investment committee.

According to Medzigian, the firm will both acquire properties directly and provide joint venture capital to operating and development partners. The size and timing of funds to be raised has not yet been disclosed, but are unlikely to exceed $1bn. The firm will invest equity capital on behalf of its institutional investors, as well as significant personal capital from its founding partners.

Medzigian was previously one of the original partners of Olympus Real Estate Corporation, a real estate fund management firm which was affiliated with Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst. “I’m pleased to reunite with my former partner, John Muse, who will provide valuable strategic and investment counsel.”