Former UBS pros launch JT Partners

Mitchell Sikora and Peter Finley, who headed up the real estate placement team at investment bank UBS, have launched JT Partners, a placement agent with minority backing from Apollo Real Estate Advisors and Raimus Capital Group.

Real estate pros Mitchell Sikora and Peter Finley have launched a new placement agent, called JT Partners, which is backed by minority investments from Apollo Real Estate Advisors and Raimus Capital Group.

“We believe this business doesn’t fit well in an investment bank platform,” Sikora told Private Equity Real Estate. “We saw this as an opportunity to build a better platform.”

Sikora and Finley were previously with the real estate, leisure and lodging group at UBS, where they ran the investment bank’s private equity real estate placement group.

“There is always a push at banks to do more year after year,” Finley says. “Real estate is a cyclical business. There will be good times to invest and not-so-good-times to invest.”

JT will raise real estate funds for backers Apollo and Raimus, both of which were former clients at UBS, though they say the bulk of the business will come through third-party placements. “This is a third-party business,” Sikora said. 

“We’re looking at value-add and opportunistic managers all the time with the thought of taking them out into the institutional world,” Sikora said, adding that, in addition to raising funds focused on real estate, the firm could eventually broaden its mandate.

Prior to UBS, Sikora was one of the founding partners at real estate fund of funds Madison Harbor Capital and a managing director at ACI Capital. Finley previously headed up the private equity placement practice at JP Morgan, as well as restructuring Equitable Life’s real estate portfolio in the mid-1990s.

Rounding out the team are Gena Cheng, a former portfolio manager at ABP Investments US, and Larry Teitelbaum, a former vice president at Deutsche Bank, both of whom are joining as directors of the firm.