Tri-Artisan moves into real estate principal investing

The private merchant bank has appointed former Bear Stearns executive, Thomas Harney, to lead the new real estate operation, which will focus on recapitalisations, joint ventures and opportunistic debt and equity investments.

Tri-Artisan Partners has hired former Bear Stearns executive Thomas Harney to help build a commercial real estate investment arm.

Harney has been appointed to the specially-created role as head of real estate, where he will oversee principal investments as well as recapitalisations, privatisations, joint ventures and opportunistic investments with other management teams, according to a statement from the firm. A spokeswoman for Tri-Artisan was unavailable for further comment by press time.

Harney was previously with Bear Stearns for 11 years, most recently as senior managing director of the bank’s real estate, gaming, lodging and leisure group and co-head of real estate investment banking. He led the merger of Starwood Financial and real estate investment trust TriNet Corporate Realty Trust to form iStar Financial and the sale of National Government Properties to REIT, Rubicon America Trust.

Tri-Artisan Capital Partners and Tri-Artisan Partners Europe, the private equity arms of the merchant bank, have invested alongside private equity buyout shops, including Apollo Global Management and TPG’s $31 billion deal for Harrah’s casino company and Apollo’s $3.1 billion acquisition of Clare’s accessories stores. The bank has also closed private equity financings.

Gerald Cromack, Tri-Artisan co-founder and managing director, said Harney would help the firm “extend our capabilities and provide Tri-Artisan with additional opportunities in the marketplace”.