Out of Africa

Africa Israel Boots Boss Who Helped Bring Down Bear Stearns

met life building Africa Israel Boots Boss Who Helped Bring Down Bear StearnsAfrica Israel USA, the American arm of Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev’s company, was one of the top real estate players when the bubble was at its biggest. Which is to say a lot of expensive investments—The Apthorp, the old Times Building, the MetLife clock tower building on Madison Square Park—have since soured.

Richard Marin was not responsible for any of these purchases; in fact he was hired three years ago to fix many of them–following his dismissal as chief of Bear Stearns Asset Management, the division behind the two funds that ultimately destroyed the storied bank. Yet Marin is once again out of a job, according to The Journal, due to disagreements with his bosses:

Mr. Marin, who was hired to help resolve the company’s problem projects, made progress during his tenure and received a bonus of about $1.25 million earlier this year, according to people familiar with the matter. But he clashed with senior management over strategy and his departure occurred suddenly, these people said.

[...]

It’s unclear what the disagreements between Mr. Marin and senior management were about. But big decisions still need to be made about such major issues as financing, construction time tables and marketing.

The Journal also notes that Africa Israel USA has invested heavily in such imploded markets as Vegas, Miami and Phoenix. Taking over all these projects will be Tamir Kazaz, the firm’s CFO. Looks like he’s got his work cut out for him.

mchaban [at] observer.com | @mc_nyo

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