Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Hotels Expands With Key Hires

Jan 16, 2013, 10:58 ET from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank

NEW YORK, Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF), one of the world's leading global real estate advisory firms, today announced the addition of three hospitality professionals to its rapidly growing NGKF Hotels group, an extension of NGKF Capital Group. Joe Weinberger joins as a managing director, Jonathan Kule as a vice president, and Rachel Cohen as an associate.

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The hires reinforce NGKF Capital Group's commitment to attract top talent as it continues to expand its offerings as a comprehensive, best-in-class advisor for the hotel industry.

"These new members of our group add invaluable capability and depth of hospitality expertise," said Michael Lehrman, global head of real estate at NGKF parent company, BGC Partners, Inc. "By equipping Joe, Jonathan, Rachel and all of our industry-leading capital markets professionals with the unparalleled, integrated resources of NGKF Capital Group, including Landauer Valuation & Advisory, as well as Cantor Fitzgerald and Cantor Commercial Real Estate (CCRE), we offer clients a service platform like no other. We are ideally positioned to address every aspect of our clients' real estate and finance needs."

NGKF President and head of NGKF Capital Group James D. Kuhn stated, "Halfway into our one-year plan to build a fully integrated capital markets platform, in addition to the nearly 150 capital markets and investment sales professionals acquired through the acquisition of Grubb & Ellis, we have added more than 35 high-level capital markets executives in the last six months, and we are only getting started."

Clients benefit from the capital markets prowess and the global reach of full-service commercial real estate advisory firm NGKF and its London-based partner, Knight Frank, according to Jonathan Falik, head of hospitality capital markets and head of hotel investment sales for NGKF Hotels.

"The combined platform of NGKF, its affiliates and partners includes a wide spectrum of services such as site selection and feasibility analysis, appraisal, acquisition due diligence, joint venture equity raising, mortgage finance, property and facilities management, investment sales, strategic retail advisory and more," commented Mr. Falik. "We have the expertise, the capability and the experience to add value for our clients throughout the transaction and ownership cycles.

"Currently, NGKF Hotels has 28 hotels listed for sale throughout the country and we are expecting to bring another 10 to 12 properties to market during this first quarter of 2013. We recently completely the sale of the $105 million note secured by a 500-plus room, full-service hotel in the Northeast that was purchased by an investor, and are engaged to secure $500 million in equity and preferred equity for 10 assignments nationwide," Mr. Falik added. "Clients have switched to NGKF from other firms because of its integrated platform, robust access to the lowest cost capital and most active investors globally. They are benefiting from our extended national team of experts in major sectors such as retail, food and beverage, and gaming."

Mr. Weinberger will draw upon his extensive experience and longstanding relationships within the hospitality sector to assist clients with single-asset and portfolio acquisitions and dispositions, merger and acquisition transactions, public and private debt and equity raising, and strategic advisory assignments. He has played a primary role in closing transactions totaling more than $12 billion in value, including hotel investment sales, equity and debt underwriting, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate restructurings.

Mr. Weinberger was most recently the founder and CEO of Two By Two LLC, a hospitality investment and advisory business, and previously served as principal and chief operating officer of JF Capital Advisors. Together with Mr. Falik and a series of institutional capital partners, Mr. Weinberger acquired or developed 25 hotels for JF Capital, amounting to more than 5,500 keys across the country. Prior to joining JF Capital in 2005, Mr. Weinberger was a senior associate at Inlet Capital, LLC, a real estate mezzanine fund. He also was an investment banker in the real estate, gaming and lodging group of Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. He received a bachelor's degree with great distinction in economics from McGill University and an MBA from Columbia Business School with a concentration in finance.

Mr. Kule will source business opportunities across real estate assets focusing on hospitality, student housing, retail, and multifamily. Mr. Kule previously was responsible for property valuation strategies at Ducat Investment Group, a single-family mortgage fund. In his prior role, he worked in private equity and brokerage at The Modlin Group where he helped to source and raise capital for commercial deals in excess of $250 million; and, as a licensed real estate broker, Mr. Kule was involved in over $100 million in New York residential brokerage. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, and a masters in real estate finance and investment from New York University.

Ms. Cohen will assist clients with acquisitions and dispositions, portfolio transactions, management company and brand evaluation, strategic and capital markets advisory, and property-specific capital raising. Ms. Cohen previously worked with the acquisitions team at Hersha Hospitality Trust to analyze hospitality capital markets and underwrite investment opportunities. In her prior role, she was director of a subsidiary of SL Green Realty Corp., where she managed the acquisitions, leasing, strategic partnerships and operations of the group's commercial assets. She earned a bachelor's degree with university honors in economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

About Newmark Grubb Knight Frank

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank is one of the world's leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with its affiliates and London-based partner Knight Frank, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank employs more than 11,000 professionals, operating from more than 300 offices in established and emerging property markets on five continents.

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank's integrated services platform includes leasing advisory, global corporate services, investment sales and capital markets, consulting, program and project management, property and facilities management, and valuation services. A major force in the real estate marketplace, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank serves the local and global property requirements of tenants, landlords, investors and developers worldwide. For further information, visit

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank is a part of BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP), a leading global brokerage company primarily servicing the wholesale financial and real estate markets. For further information, visit

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