Kurash's new venture seeks to feed property industry's hunger for equity (EUR)

Property financier Perry Kurash and four partners have set up a corporate finance house with a wide remit but focusing principally on raising equity finance for the property industry.

Kurash, the former managing director of dd2group (now rebranded as Bircroft Group), has set up Real Estate Capital Group (Recap). He is working with two of his former dd2 team, Martin Griffin and Paul McCutcheon along with Dean Main and Alain Charbit, who were previously transaction managers in Europe for a number of high net worth individuals.

The group will specialize in sourcing equity from the Middle East and the US for transactions throughout the world. "We are extremely well-connected in the Middle East and have access to the highest net worth individuals, investment banks, sovereign wealth funds and even the royal families." Kurash said.

Griffin, who is an ex-Merrill Lynch treasurer and chartered accountant and McCutcheon, who was a fund manager at Fleming Family & Partners, have both a long track record of raising equity in the Middle East.

Recap has just launched an office in Bahrain, which will be run by Ahmed Salem acting as managing director for the region and who has joined from Mashreq Bank. Two partnerships have been set up in Ireland to provide funding for both developers and investors - with Westboro Partners, a leading accountancy practice in Cork, and corporate financier Magna, founded by Michael O'Hara, formerly of AIB Capital Markets.

A further alliance will be launched early in 2009 with a major US investment fund and close links have been established with hedge fund-like investors in both New York and on the West Coast of the US. The intention is to have representation in all the key financing capitals.

Kurash said Recap has a lot of mandated business, typically schemes that involve $250m - $300m of equity. Deals that the team is working on include: two US$200 mln. fundraisings in China for UK clients with Chinese partners; a South African infrastructure fund looking for US$400 mln.; a

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