Napoleon had his Hundred Days. Grover Cleveland had his second, non-consecutive term. Billy Martin managed the Yankees five different times.
Now, Mark Walsh gets his second chance at Lehman, in a way. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday morning that the onetime global head of real estate for Lehman Brothers, will return to the firm … and to its real estate investments:
Mr. Walsh and a team of former Lehman colleagues are setting up a new stand-alone business to manage the private-equity [real estate] portfolio. They stand to profit if the portfolio of distressed assets — for which they once paid top dollar — recovers only some of its value.
My colleague Dana Rubinstein profiled Mr. Walsh in October 2008, just as the wheels came off not only the 158-year-old Lehman—due, in large part, to Mr. Walsh’s investments on the firm’s behalf in what became toxic real estate assets—but the entire global economy, too. He was a Fordham Law grad done spectacularly well for himself:
Mr. Walsh made big, headline-grabbing deals. His team underwrote Tishman Speyer’s $22.2 billion acquisition of the Archstone-Smith apartment portfolio–360 luxury apartment buildings in cities from Houston and Phoenix to Fairfax and New York. Mr. Walsh partnered with SunCal in the $110.2 million purchase of a 2.25-acre plot of land in Southern California. At the time, Forbes reported that SunCal had outbid Donald Trump for the parcel.
Mr. Walsh had, according to Eastern Consolidated’s Eric Michael Anton, risen to “the top of this country’s professional real estate pyramid.” He had also earned a reputation as one of the biggest risk-takers on Wall Street.
Somewhat improbably, the risk-takers are back. We’ll keep you posted.