Phoenix hires ex-JER exec Ratinoff

The New York-based multifamily investment firm has appointed Edward Ratinoff as managing director as it looks to deploy more than $370m in dry powder.

Phoenix Realty Group has hired Edward Ratinoff to lead its New York and Los Angeles acquisition teams as the firm eyes the deployment of $375 million of capital.

Ratinoff was previously managing director at JER Partners with responsibility for the firm’s multifamily strategy.

Phoenix, which closed two private equity real estate funds in late 2007 with combined equity commitments of $470 million, targets multifamily deals in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as the metropolitan area of Los Angeles, according to Xavier Gutierrez.

Gutierrez, principal and managing director of Phoenix, said the vehicles – the Metropolitan Workforce Housing Fund, which targets the tri-state region, and the Genesis Workforce Housing Fund II, which targets Los Angeles – had invested just $100 million to date and were currently eyeing distressed residential sellers and lenders for opportunities.

The firm last year closed on a broken condo deal in New Jersey, taking ownership of one apartment tower, near Palisades, from the lender and keeping the developer in place to continue the project. “The opportunities are growing. We are seeing existing multifamily properties slowly starting to be priced at a level we are comfortable with,” said Gutierrez.

The funds’ investment periods run until the end of 2011. Ratinoff will oversee acquisitions for the two vehicles, splitting his time between New York and Los Angeles. According to a statement, Ratinoff spent five years with JER, working previously with multifamily investment firm Fowler Flanagan Partners, Keybanc/McDonald Investments, Chase Securities and developer Paragon Group.