Guggenheim spin-out targets global debt, equity

Newly formed G2 Investment Group, co-founded by J. Todd Morley, David Conrod and Antonio de la Rua, has as its CIO Alan Menkes, a buyout veteran formerly of Thomas Weisel and Hicks Muse.

G2 Investment Partners, a spin-out from global financial services firm Guggenheim Partners, is ramping up platforms to invest in debt and equity around the world, including through private equity, real estate and credit strategies.

G2 Investment Group’s chief investment officer is a person well known to the private equity community – Alan Menkes, formerly of investment bank Thomas Weisel’s merchant banking arm. Menkes also is a former partner with buyout firm Hicks Muse Tate & Furst (now called HM Capital), and before that was an early employee of The Carlyle Group.

The New York-based firm also has formed a real estate merchang banking platform targeting direct lending, CMBS, hospitality debt and equity investments, and commercial real estate advisory work. It is led by a raft of former Lehman Brothers’ senior executives.

G2 Investment Partners was formed by two former Guggenheim Partners executives and a prominent Latin American financier and social activist. J. Todd Morley was a co-founder of New York- and Chicago-based Guggenheim, and he continues to serve on the firm’s executive committee. David Conrod was a Guggenheim senior managing director leading its private fund placement group. The third G2 co-founder, Antonio de la Rua, is the son of Fernando de la Rua, Argentina’s president from 1999 to 2001. The younger de la Rua, a lawyer by training, has been involved in land development and charitable work since his father left office. Among de la Rua’s non-profit work is the Alas Foundation, an early childhood education charity that counts among its board members de la Rua alongside Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and Brazilian billionaire Joseph Safra.

G2 is focused on a wide set of equity and debt opportunities around the world. In an interview with PERE, Morley said of the real estate platform: “We saw a great opportunity with corporate debt last year and the great deleveraging that occurred after the crisis of 2008. A similar backdrop now exists for commercial real estate globally. The amount of debt that needs to be refinanced is staggering.”

The New York-based firm has formed G2 Real Estate Partners, led by Kenneth Cohen, Larry Kravetz and Charles Manna, previously with Lehman Brothers’ conduit large loan and CMBS trading businesses; Alan Kanders, formerly managing director of the bank’s global commercial real estate group targeting hospitality; and Spencer Kagan, former head of credit and underwriting for Lehman’s large loan group, together with a team of underwriters and credit analysts. 

G2 has also hired former Fortress real estate executive Joseph Fong and Jeffrey Mudrick, previously head of commercial real estate credit distribution at Citi Markets & Banking. Both previously worked at Lehman Brothers until 2007 and 2008, respectively. 

Last week PE Hub reported that G2 Investment Partners had teamed up with the family office of magazine family Forbes to create placement group Forbes Private Capital Group.

The firm has also launched a credit sales and trading division with the hire of Scott Best and James Gregorek, two former Lehman executives.