Eastern Union Funding has launched a synergistic new business: an equity division, with a focus on smaller investments. The firm’s president, Ira Zlotowitz, confirmed the creation of the new equity-sourcing arm, which he said he had been mulling for over a year, at the RECon conference yesterday.
Chaim Fishof will lead the equity division with Marc Belsky and Josh Novoseller.
The division launched on May 1.
Mr. Fishof previously worked at Deerwood Real Estate Capital and the Carlton Group, according to a representative for Eastern. Most recently, he served as vice president and director of acquisitions at Zamir Equities. From 2003 to 2009, Mr. Fishof started worked directly under David Werner of David Werner Real Estate Investments and alongside JFR Global Investments and their partners.
The other six hires hold the title of relationship manager.
The equity group will target smaller passive equity investors, such as high net worth individuals, Mr. Zlotowitz said. They will only raise equity for projects where Eastern is already raising the debt. In fact, if borrowers cover the cost of an equity raise–approximately $6,000, he said–Eastern will waive the commission for that service.
“We expect this to be a real game-changer,” he said, given that there are an estimated 8 million accredited investors in the U.S. and many of them would like to invest in real estate without having to do a ton of due diligence. “Why do you think crowdfunding exists?” asks Mr. Zlotowitz rhetorically. The answer is: everyone wants in on real estate. Now, smaller investors have the opportunity to provide capital in a passive fashion, the way a larger institutional fund might.