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CGI Merchant Group partners with Alex Rodriguez and Adi Chugh

One of Miami’s most famous residents is partnering with a global investment firm to make waves in the hospitality industry.

Global investment management firm CGI Merchant Group, which focuses on real estate and private equity, entered a multimillion-dollar investment partnership with three-time Major League Baseball MVP and serial investor Alex Rodriguez and capital markets veteran and founder of Maverick CP, Adi Chugh.

Rodriguez and Chugh are among the starting lineup of high-profile and institutional investors backing the firm’s $650 million Hospitality Opportunity Fund (H-Fund) and its groundbreaking conscious endeavors. Rodriguez’s A-Rod Corp and Maverick CP (a real estate private equity and debt advisory firm headquartered in New York) joined forces earlier this year to expand their portfolios and build a large commercial real estate platform across various asset classes.

As part of the agreement, Rodriguez and Chugh will support CGI’s investment strategies, expanding the firm’s debt capital markets capabilities, and assisting in the acquisition of upcoming trophy investments for the H-Fund. In this new venture with CGI, Rodriguez and Chugh will also take an active role in advancing the firm’s co-investment platform and expanding its flexible and multi-use office portfolio.

“Continuing to earn the trust and partnership from sophisticated investors, such as Alex Rodriguez and Adi Chugh, is a testimony to our track record and contrarian approach. Their support will be crucial as we execute on key strategic initiatives for the firm,” said CGI Founder and CEO, Raoul Thomas (pictured above). “Alex and Adi will not only increase the depth of our business relationships but also broaden the social impact of our investments, which we hope will spur a more conscious approach to investing across the entire commercial real estate industry.”

The H-Fund will focus on acquiring and developing hotel properties throughout North American and Caribbean markets and target more than 20 hotels over the next three years. H-Fund assets will be hand-selected and repositioned to form a first-of-its-kind hospitality portfolio. The assets will be housed within the Hilton portfolio of brands, adding to the hospitality industry leader’s portfolio, consisting of more than 6,300 properties in 118 countries and territories worldwide.

“CGI’s visionary and conscious approach to business has the potential to transform the commercial real estate industry, bringing in untapped voices that can inject new energy and ideas to ignite vast opportunities,” said Rodriguez. “I’m proud to be involved with a company that is as focused on advancing the communities it calls home, as it is on financial returns.”

CGI Merchant Group currently holds assets across multiple alternative investment strategies, including value-add and opportunistic funds. These strategies have consistently delivered double-digit returns since inception, and in the process, allowed CGI to be prepared to execute in all economic cycles, such as the current one, that has heavily influenced its soon-to-be-announced hospitality concept.

“Simply put, CGI is an industry disrupter. As other commercial real estate funds are shedding assets, CGI is gaining ground, all while changing the definition of thoughtful investing,” said Chugh. “I am looking forward to working alongside CGI to blaze a new path of innovation in real estate investing.”

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.