Mr. Farkas was previously Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Insignia Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:IFS), a global real estate services company that he founded in 1990 and was merged with CB Richard Ellis in July 2003 to form the world’s largest commercial real estate services company. At its peak, Insignia was one of the largest managers of multifamily residential housing and among the leading providers of commercial real estate services in the United States, owning, controlling or managing approximately 275,000 apartments and approximately 200 million square feet of commercial space.
Immediately subsequent to Mr. Farkas’ merging of Insignia with CBRE in 2003, he founded Island Capital Group, an international merchant banking firm specializing in real estate investing, real estate operating businesses, real estate securities, and special situations. Island Capital presently owns controlling interests in a number of businesses which manage, in the aggregate, over $5 billion of assets today, and since inception had been a named servicer for over $240 billion of mortgage capital. Among the businesses Mr. Farkas has founded and managed over his career include C-III Capital Partners, a leading commercial real estate investment management and services company engaged in a broad range of activities, and Island Global Yachting, the leading owner and operator of yachting oriented resorts in the western hemisphere.
Mr. Farkas is an avid philanthropist, sailor and cook. He is a founding board member of More Than a Vote (www.morethanavote.org), and supports and is involved in The Fresh Air Fund, Playwrights of New York (PONY), The Arthur Miller Foundation, NARAL, the ASPCA, AMFAR, The Doe Fund, The Young Women’s Leadership Network, Trinity School, Harvard University, and various other health, education, and welfare oriented charities. He serves as Graduate Chairman of the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 (www.hastypudding.org). The Hasty Pudding Institute resides at Farkas Hall, one of the primary performing arts centers at Harvard University, so named in connection with a major gift given to the University by Mr. Farkas.
Mr. Farkas received a B.A. degree from Harvard University in 1982, where he majored in economics.