PJT Said to Hire Baker, Hobbs as Taubman Builds Real Estate Team

  • Taubman seeks property business with ‘true critical mass’
  • New hires follow Deutsche Bank’s Brand, Barot in real estate

Paul J. Taubman’s PJT Partners Inc. hired Jeff Baker as a partner in its real estate group as the investment bank expects clients to flock to property deals, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Baker and Graham Hobbs, who will join as a managing director, previously worked at commercial real estate firm Savills Studley, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters. They are based in New York and will work for PJT’s Park Hill Group, which helps place investors’ capital with private equity, property and hedge funds.

Taubman has been expanding PJT since taking it public in October of 2015, adding Jacques Brand and Amish Barot from Deutsche Bank AG in the past year to focus on deals in industries like real estate, lodging and gaming. The CEO said Tuesday that he’s creating a commercial property business with “true critical mass” to meet client demand.

“There is an environmental change in real estate,” Taubman said on a conference call discussing first-quarter results. “There is a preference for direct investment, and we repositioned our footprint and made a partner hire in real estate to capitalize on that.”

Taubman also said he is in talks to add more partners this year to build on his firm’s expertise in large scale mergers and acquisitions. PJT shares have gained 17 percent this year as of 11:41 a.m. in New York.

Haley Salas, a representative for PJT at Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher, declined to comment. A representative for Savills Studley didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment. Baker and Hobbs didn’t immediately return messages through their LinkedIn accounts.

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