Two firms merge to form placement agency

The principals of New York- and DC-based investment advisory firms have joined forces to create Artis Advisors, a new placement agent and investment bank. The firm is already seeking $400m in equity.

Two nascent investment advisory firms, New York-based MMI Advisors and Washington DC-based Kalorama Realty Capital, have merged to become a placement agency and real estate investment bank.

Artis Advisors, which has dual headquarters in New York and DC, will serve as an investment bank and advisor to sponsors of real estate investment platforms including closed-ended fund managers, managers of separate accounts and real estate joint venture partners.

In addition, Artis will also seek capital on behalf of fund managers. In fact, the firm is already seeking a total of $400 million of capital on behalf of three real estate fund managers through its capacity as a placement agent. All three fund managers were prior clients of either MMI or Kalorama.

Brian Gill, a co-founding partner of Artis, told PERE that prior to the merger, the principals of MMI and Kalorama, both of which were formed in 2009, had been “collaborating for the past year”. In order to better serve their respective clients and expand, it made sense to join forces and form a new agency.

“We work well together and have had a lot of success with this arrangement, so this is the natural outgrowth,” Gill added. “We needed to combine our efforts in order to grow and better serve our clients.”

In order to provide debt and equity financing, Artis has affiliated itself with the broker-dealer arm of the Chicago-based real estate capital services firm Cohen Financial.

Prior to the formation of this platform, the founding partners of Artis had formed a similar venture. In May 2011 it was announced that New York-based placement Farragut Capital merged with Kalorama to form real estate advisory group Allegro Advisors. In turn, Allegro served as MMI’s broker-dealer. However, Gill confirmed that the principals of Artis are no longer affiliated with Allegro. 

The other founding Artis principals in addition to Gill are Sam Glass, Henry Kwong and Robert McSween.