Report: Paul Reichmann to exit retirement

The Canadian developer who presided over Olympia & York is planning a real estate investment fund that could reach $4bn.

Paul Reichmann, the retired Canadian real estate developer and investor, is planning a comeback with a $3 billion to $4 billion (€2.3 billion to $3.2 billion) real estate investment fund, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The Reichmann family, which once served at the helm of Olympia & York, a large international developer that built skyscrapers including New York’s World Financial Center and Toronto’s First Canadian Place, will supply the capital for the new investment fund, which will launch in March. However, Reichmann may open the fund, which will be based in Canada with a presence in the UK and Luxembourg, to external investors if it reaches a certain size, according to the report.

Olympia & York was once one of the most well-known property developers in the world, but the company ran into liquidity problems during the development of Canary Wharf in the 1980s and was forced to declare bankruptcy amid the early-1990s recession. Reichmann revived his plans a few years later and was part of consortium of investors including Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal, which gained control of the high-rises that now cater to some of the world’s top financial firms in East London.

However, Reichmann lost out to Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs in a high-profile bid to take Canary Wharf private in 2004.

Today, Reichmann, 76, announced he was stepping down from his position as a trustee of IPC US Real Estate Investment Trust, which he founded in 2001.