Ackman-Ziff Hires Trisha Connolly From B6 Real Estate Advisors

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Trisha Connolly, formerly a senior managing director at B6 Real Estate Advisors, has taken a new role at Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group, Commercial Observer can first report. Connolly joins as a managing director in the firm’s debt and equity group based in New York City. 

“Trisha Connolly brings an impressive track record and depth of knowledge to the Ackman-Ziff platform,” Simon Ziff, president of Ackman-Ziff, said. “Her debt and equity capital markets expertise will be immensely valuable in helping us continue to grow and deliver unparalleled service to our national clients.”

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With more than 15 years of experience under her belt, Connolly joins the firm having structured full capital stack solutions for clients nationwide, including acquisitions, construction financings and refinances across asset classes. In her new role, Connolly will also have a national focus and partner with Ackman-Ziff’s debt and JV equity professionals, as well as its investment sales team. 

“I’m thrilled to be joining an entrepreneurial team with a focus on trust, integrity, and teamwork,” said Connolly. “As a competitor for years, I have always been impressed by Ackman-Ziff’s debt and equity capital-raising capabilities.”

Connolly began her career at General Growth Properties (now Brookfield Properties). Prior to B6, she led Cushman & Wakefield’s debt, equity and structured finance team in Chicago. 

Bringing more women into commercial real estate is a big focus of Connolly’s. An active member of the Marquette Real Estate Executive Board and Alumni Associations, ICSC and CREW Chicago, as well as a board member of the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation, Roosevelt University, Real Estate Finance Forum and Goldie Initiative Foundation, she hired an all-woman team at B6, and has always made a point of hiring female interns, she said. 

“We are excited to have Trisha join the Ackman-Ziff team,” Andrea Jang, Ackman-Ziff’s chief operating officer, told CO. “Not only is she a force in the capital markets, but she is also an inspiration to women pursuing a career in commercial real estate finance.”

With regard to Ackman-Ziff’s equity raising capabilities, Connolly said: “A lot of my clients — pre-, during- and post-pandemic — need capital, but raising equity is very challenging in this environment. So, partnering with a team that has over 30 years of experience on the equity side is very exciting.” 

Competition is back in the debt markets once again, too, and she will be kept just as busy on the debt arranging side of the brokerage’s platform. Connolly joins the firm at a time when one of the most common borrower requests is for non-recourse construction financing, she said. 

Connolly spent 16 years in Chicago, moving to New York roughly one week before the pandemic hit. She brings her existing clients with her, who she describes as “the heart and soul of my business,” and who bolster her own national focus with their increasingly national deal footprints. 

In terms of her sweet spot, Connolly’s typical transaction size to date has been in the $35 million to $40 million range — $65 million to $70 million if you include mezz and preferred equity — an amount she now can grow while leveraging Ackman-Ziff’s expertise and infrastructure. 

“For me, the most exciting part is that I view this as the high point of my career, and to be part of a firm that is constantly growing and evolving with the times, and providing its professionals with all the tools and research and resources we need in order to execute for our clients, is pretty great,” Connolly said. “I can’t wait to team up with all of my new colleagues on one of the strongest platforms in capital markets.” 

Connolly received her Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from Marquette University, majoring in political science and Spanish.