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Crocker Partners names new managing partner

The Boca Raton, Florida-based firm tapped one of its longtime partners for leadership as founder Tom Crocker scales back his day-to-day involvement.

Crocker Partners has tapped a longtime partner to take over the day-to-day operations of the Boca Raton, Florida-based firm, according to an announcement last week.

The firm, which focuses on a variety of value-add and opportunistic investments in the southern US, promoted Angelo Bianco from partner to managing partner. Bianco said the firm is not planning any other senior staffing changes.

Tom Crocker, who founded the firm in 1993, will now work in a “strategic advisory role,” Bianco told PERE. Crocker will continue to sit on the firm’s investment committee, while Bianco, who has worked with Crocker for 17 years, will take over operational leadership. Prior to his time at Crocker Partners, Bianco was a lawyer for New York-based real estate investor Tishman Speyer, concentrating on the redevelopment of the firm’s Rockefeller Center in New York.

Bianco qualified, however, that “although my title has changed, what I’m doing won’t change very much because we’re a smaller firm and everyone wears a lot of hats.”

The firm has raised capital through a variety of fund structures, ranging from a public real estate investment trust to commingled funds to separate accounts. Crocker Partners’ last commingled fund, Crocker Partners IV, closed in 2008 on $170 million. While the firm is still returning capital from the fund, which has a 10-year life, it is now investing through programmatic joint ventures and one-off transactions. The firm works as a local operating partner for larger opportunistic and value-added funds, and invests with fund-of-funds and pension funds, Bianco said.

“We look at capital raising as something we have to do to run our business, but we’re not wedded to any particular means of raising capital,” Bianco said. “If in two years it becomes more advantageous to raise capital in a different structure, we’ll do that.”

Crocker Partners was a net seller in 2016, he said. One of its major transactions was selling Esperante, a 20-story office building in West Palm Beach that the firm acquired for $71 million in December 2013 with Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, now known as Barings, Bianco said. The partnership sold the tower to RedSky Capital, a Brooklyn, New York-based real estate investor, for $126 million in July.