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First Capital Hires New Chief Financial Officer and Moves Forward with Strategic Transaction


First Capital Real Estate Trust Incorporated, a publicly registered non-traded real estate investment trust, has hired Stephen Johnson as the company’s chief financial officer.  Johnson will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the finance function, including capital market activities, financial reporting, accounting, tax and internal audit.

“We are thrilled to add Stephen to our executive team,” said Suneet Singal, chief executive officer of First Capital. “Stephen is a highly accomplished executive with significant financial expertise, including as a chief financial officer. We are excited about his ability to help advance our business objectives and drive our performance.”

Johnson, who has more than 15 years of finance and investment management experience, joined First Capital from DRW Holdings LLC, a proprietary trading firm, where he served as head of equity volatility trading Asia.

Prior to joining DRW, Johnson served as a senior portfolio manager at Ronin Trading LLC, a proprietary derivative trading firm, from February 2014 until March 2015 and at Marquette Partners L.P., a proprietary derivative trading firm, between January 2012 and February 2014.

From April 2007 to January 2013, Johnson served as the chief financial officer and managing partner at derivative trading firm Hun Management LLC. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Michigan State University and an MBA in finance from the University of Chicago. He holds FINRA Series 24, 7, and 63 licenses and is a CFA Level II candidate.

First Capital recently announced that it is moving forward with its strategic transaction with Presidential Realty Corporation (OTC: PDNLA/PDNLB), a multifamily REIT.

First Capital, through its operating partnership, will transfer 66 percent of its 92 percent ownership interest in Township Nine Owner LLC to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Presidential OP. Township Nine indirectly owns a 63-acre mixed-use development project located in downtown Sacramento, California that is anticipated to include high-rise residential, office, hotel and retail properties.

Presidential OP agreed to issue approximately 32.6 million OP units to First Capital in exchange for the T9 ownership interest. That issuance of the units is subject to a hold-back requirement until certain conditions are met, including an appraisal of the ownership interest and a work out of the mortgage debt secured by the underlying property, which is currently in default.


The potential transaction also provides that Serge Kasarda and Richard Shea, both veterans of BlackRock, will be elected by the Presidential board of directors to fill the two vacancies on the board, subject to board approval. Kasarda is expected to be appointed to lead a new Presidential management team. The Presidential board also approved a business strategy to seek investments in the healthcare industry.

Kasarda is the founder and chief executive officer of Seventieth Street Asset Management, which he founded in 2008. He previously served as a director at BlackRock where he was hired to start the West Coast joint venture equity group. He later transferred to the real estate high yield debt group to develop equity hybrid loan structures and acquire B notes, mezzanine debt and preferred equity.

Shea, a partner at New York-based fund manager Advocate Capital Management, spent nearly 19 years at BlackRock as a managing director and global head of real estate capital markets.

First Capital Real Estate Trust Incorporated is a public non-traded REIT based in New York City and founded in 2012. First Capital’s portfolio consists of 27 assets including land development, multifamily development, gas station development, hotels and medical offices. The company has not filed quarterly or year-end financials with the SEC since August 2015.