Former principals of SunCal, the large-scale private developer whose failed project partnerships with bankrupt Lehman Brothers have grabbed headlines since the financial company imploded in 2008, have hung out their shingle on a new real estate management firm.
The new venture, known as Argent Management and tagged as an affiliate of hedge fund giant D.E. Shaw, promises to provide institutional investors, private-property owners, developers, and financial institutions with a one-stop shop for a wide array of real-estate related services, from deal sourcing to asset disposition and nearly everything in between.
"We have the infrastructure and the expertise to create value for third-party organizations," said Frank Faye, a principal and COO for the new service firm.
Faye most recently was the COO and regional president at SunCal. Prior to his nine-year tenure at SunCal, Faye was the director of planning and acquisitions at Shapell Industries and vice president of land at Centex, which was acquired by Pulte Homes in 2009.
Stephan Elieff, former president of SunCal, also is an Argent principal.
Faye said the firm, which is largely the same group that provided many of the same services internally at SunCal, counted nearly 100 employees and had a multi-market presence, most recently setting up toeholds in New York and Washington, D.C. However, the company's main headquarters is in Irvine, Calif.
Faye declined to provide specifics related to the size of the firm's current business portfolio, other than to say the company was managing assets in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, and New Mexico. However, company literature stated that the firm was acting as the special servicers for more than $1 billion in non-performing loans and REO properties.
SunCal and D.E. Shaw have a history as partners in a number of real estate projects. However, most recently the spotlight has been on the two companies' 2006-vintage deal to acquire a massive 55,000-acre parcel in New Mexico for $250 million; last month, project lenders foreclosed on the property.