Renowned bond shop Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. is muscling its way into the nontraded real estate investment trust business and is hiring up to 28 former Realty Capital Securities wholesalers to lead the effort, according to two sources with knowledge of Cantor’s plans.
The former RCS wholesalers will be led at Cantor Fitzgerald by Steve Williams, who until recently was the senior vice president and sales manager in charge of the west for RCS, according to an RCS company presentation. According to his BrokerCheck report, Mr. Williams left RCS this month.
RCS primarily focused on marketing nontraded REITs sponsored and managed by Nicholas Schorsch’s AR Capital. RCS’s parent company, Realty Capital Corp., or RCAP, closed down the wholesaling unit and laid off 150 earlier this month after it was charged by the Massachusetts securities division with fraudulently rounding up proxy votes to support real estate deals sponsored by AR Capital. RCS Capital settled those charges by agreeing to pay the Massachusetts securities division $3 million.
(More: Massachusetts’ Galvin charges Realty Capital Securities with proxy vote fraud)
RCS was once a cornerstone of Mr. Schorsch’s now decimated nontraded REIT empire, which at its height just a few years ago raised hundreds of millions of dollars per month in equity from mom-and-pop investors who bought Mr. Schorsch’s REITs.
A spokeswoman for Cantor Fitzgerald, Karen Laureano-Rikardsen, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Cantor Fitzgerald currently does not sponsor or manage any nontraded REITs, but may do so in the future. It most recently sold a real estate private placement known as a Delaware statutory trust through advisers affiliated with independent broker-dealers and is considering offering a mortgage REIT, as well as an interval fund, according to a source.