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NEW YORK CITY-Former CEO and president of Lazard Freres Real Estate Investors Michael G. Medzigian has taken up a new post as chairman and managing partner of newly created real estate firm Watermark Capital Partners LLC, based in Greenwich, CT.

Watermark Capital Partners will concentrate on value-added investing in a broad range of real estate opportunities. The firm will invest equity capital on behalf of its institutional investors, as well as significant personal capital from its founding partners. And while the firm is open to opportunities on a national level, Medzigian says it will seek out potential value-add deals across sectors and regions.

“It will be national in scope,” Medzigian tells GlobeSt.com. ” When I look back at what I’ve done, it’s been very opportunistic across property types and across regions. Our strategy will be very much a value-added one that identifies assets where we can add value. We will both acquire properties directly and provide joint venture capital to operating and development partners.”

After leaving Lazard Freres at the end of 2001, Medzigian says striking out on his own has proven far more appealing than taking on somebody else’s corporate vision. “I’ve had a senior partner role in two real estate funds over the last decade and I’ve formed some fairly strong opinions as to the things that work well,” he notes. “I want to create a business where we really focus on the best practices that I can pull from my experiences.

Cordell A. Lietz, former senior vice president for shopping center developer the Taubman Realty Group, is also a founding partner of the new firm. John R. Muse, co-founder of private investment firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc. is a non-executive founding partner and will serve as a member of Watermark’s board and its investment committee.

Prior to managing nearly $3 billion of capital and a $7-billion real estate portfolio for Lazard Freres, Medzigian was one of the original partners of Olympus Real Estate Corp., a real estate fund management firm then-affiliated with Hicks, Muse, Tate. He also founded and was national director of the Hospitality Consulting Practice at Deloitte & Touche.

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