Insignia Financial Group
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Insignia Financial Group was a Delaware corporation, headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, engaged in the aggregation, management, and disposition of multifamily apartment complexes. Founded by Andrew L. Farkas with an initial capitalization of $5.5 million provided by an investor syndicate organized by Farkas, Insignia consummated the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of U.S. Shelter Corporation, a multifamily real estate syndicator, on December 31, 1990. Insignia was taken public in 1991 by a syndicate led by Lehman Brothers and Dillon, Read & Co. Its stock was listed on the NYSE under the symbol IFG.
Under Farkas' leadership, Insignia grew to be the largest owner and operator of multifamily housing in the free world. Insignia was known for innovation; it grew and prospered by creatively adapting sophisticated mergers, acquisitions, and secularization techniques to its industry. Insignia acquired portfolios of general partnership interests in tax shelters owning often distressed multifamily and commercial property from the original syndicators, and employed a variety of techniques to extract value from these often moribund tax shelters. Insignia consummated 39 separate acquisitions of general partnership interest portfolios and, later in its history, commercial real estate operations. Insignia was among the first companies to use tender offers to increase its ownership of limited partnerships owning multifamily property. Insignia refinanced substantial portions of its multifamily portfolio in bulk though the first two non cross collateralized real estate mortgage investment conduits, sponsored by Lehman Brothers, in 1992 and 1993.
Insignia sold its multifamily business to Apartment Investment and Management Company for $1.4 billion in 1999. The remainder of Insignia was sold for approximately $120 million to C.B. Richard Ellis in 2003.