Ethika hires capital markets director

Marisa Lizak has started in the newly-created role as the firm markets its second real estate fund.

Los Angeles-based Ethika Investments has hired Marisa Lizak as its director of capital markets, the private equity real estate firm said Wednesday.

Lizak, who started in August, came to the newly-created role after nearly six years at Starwood Property Trust, a commercial mortgage real estate investment trust, where she was the head of underwriting, according to her LinkedIn profile. Previously, she was a vice president at Coastal Capital Partners and worked at Countrywide Commercial Real Estate Finance and Lehman Brothers.

At Ethika, Lizak reports to chief investment officer Austin Khan. In addition to assisting with strategy for Ethika’s private equity real estate funds, she will help with the firm’s capital raising, investor relations and investment strategy initiatives, according to Wednesday’s statement.

“Marisa's diversified and substantial background in credit analysis and creative deal structuring through various points in the real estate cycle will make her integral to the firm's continued expansion, into new markets and alternative investment strategies, as we explore unique approaches to value creation while upholding our commitment to delivering outstanding risk-adjusted returns to our investors,” Jean Paul Szita, Ethika’s co-founder, said in Wednesday’s statement.

Ethika is currently on the fundraising trail for its second vehicle, Ethika Diversified Opportunity Fund II, which it launched in December, PERE previously reported. The firm is targeting $250 million for the opportunistic vehicle, with a 16 percent or more target net internal rate of return and a 2x net equity multiple target, according to sources familiar with the fund.
The firm declined to comment on fundraising, but PERE understands that Ethika has completed three investments since launching the vehicle and anticipates holding a final close in the third quarter of 2017.

Ethika is an affiliate of real estate development firm Laurus Corporation, which was started by brothers Andres and Jean Paul Szita. Founded in 2012, the firm manages over $1 billion in assets.