Fir Tree exec launches new firm

Jarret Cohen, who has teamed up with three former colleagues to form Jadian Capital, plans to raise a new vehicle next year.

Jarret Cohen, formerly the head of private real estate at New York-based hedge fund Fir Tree Partners, has struck out on his own, officially launching real estate investment firm Jadian Capital this week.

Jadian plans to makes both equity and debt investments in real assets and companies. The firm will focus on the commercial, residential and alternative real estate sectors in the US, particularly on the eastern half of the country.

“I am extremely excited about the launch of Jadian,” said Cohen in a statement. “Despite the challenging environment, we continue to uncover compelling real estate opportunities, even if they are sometimes hiding in non-real estate sectors. We look forward to capitalizing on these situations in our new firm.”

Jadian initially expects to capitalize investments with personal capital and existing investors. However, the firm is anticipated to launch a vehicle in early 2018.

Joining Cohen at Jadian will be three former colleagues with whom he worked at Fir Tree: Doug Sanders, who was a consultant at Fir Tree and now will be Jadian’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer; Jeremy Erdman, who will be vice president of investments; and Jennifer Swalley, who will be office manager.

Jadian will act as asset manager of the private real estate investments held by Fir Tree’s most recent real estate fund, Fir Tree Real Estate Fund III, which attracted a total of $750 million in 2014. The two firms will work together to wind down the fund’s private real estate assets over the next two to three years. PERE understands that the key man provisions of Fund III were not triggered as a result of Cohen’s departure.

Meanwhile, Fir Tree managing partner David Sultan will be the portfolio manager of Fund III’s public real estate investments and Fir Tree will continue to be the investment manager with ultimate control of the fund. “In the future, should the opportunity set become more interesting for another real estate fund, Fir Tree will dedicate the proper resources and seek to capitalize on these opportunities,” the firm said.

“Earlier this year, Fir Tree and Jarret decided not to raise another large real estate fund at this time, primarily because: (1) the opportunity does not seem ripe to invest a large fund—more interesting deals have been niche and smaller; and (2) Fir Tree’s priority is focusing on its core business,” a Fir Tree spokesman wrote in an email to PERE.

Cohen joined Fir Tree in 2010 to build its private real estate business and was a partner and managing director at the firm. Prior to his time at Fir Tree, he held senior roles in the real estate groups at Paramount Group and Merrill Lynch.

Founded in 1994, Fir Tree Partners has approximately $10 billion of capital under management and invests in public equities, credit, distressed debt and real estate globally.