DALLAS, June 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Civitas Capital Group, a Dallas-based alternative investment manager offering niche opportunities in U.S. real estate, today announced that commercial real estate finance and investment management executive Marisa Lizak has joined the firm as Managing Director, Investments.

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In this role, Lizak will focus on managing the credit strategy of the firm and expanding the firm’s equity and debt investor base across the Civitas lodging platform, as well as growing Civitas’ credit business across the firm’s other target asset classes, including multifamily and niche opportunistic investments.

Lizak will take an active role in the capital raising process for the firm’s lodging-focused investment vehicles, including engagement with institutional LPs, consultants, and other counterparties. She will also play a large part in overseeing deal underwriting and structuring, portfolio performance, and credit risk management in addition to assisting in the execution of capital markets initiatives.

“Marisa’s hiring continues Civitas’ commitment to institutional-quality investment management,” says Heather Jones, Chief Operating Officer for Civitas. “She brings with her a broad and deep analytical knowledge of the sector, enabling Civitas to accelerate our growth strategy.”

“I’m excited to join the Civitas team,” Lizak says. “Our collective deep transactional experience and shared passion for hospitality uniquely positions us to provide investors with interesting investment opportunities while cultivating a sense of partnership.”

Lizak joins Civitas after a career that spans more than two decades in which she has led the investment strategy, underwriting, structuring, fundraising, investor relations, and portfolio/asset management of highly complex, transitional CRE assets, across all asset types (with a focus on hospitality), geographic markets, and positions within the capital stack, and through various points in the real estate cycle.

With over a decade on the lending side, Lizak has underwritten, structured, and closed more than $10B of debt–related transactions for leading financial institutions, most notably as SVP & Head of Underwriting at Starwood Property Trust. Having worked with both balance sheet and CMBS lenders, her experience covers the full debt stack of senior, mezzanine, and preferred equity on a floating and fixed rate basis for bridge, construction, and permanent financing.

Lizak most recently held leadership positions as COO of Global Hospitality Investment Group, an early-stage private equity real estate firm focused on hotel assets located in major cities worldwide, and as CIO of Axle Companies, a Korean Family Office, where Lizak oversaw an investment portfolio with primary assets in hotel real estate and focused on optimizing existing and sourcing new investment opportunities.

Prior to joining Axle, Lizak was Director of Capital Markets & Investment Management at Ethika Investments, LLC, where she implemented strategic thought leadership for debt and equity capital markets activities as well as executed capital raising, IR, and investment strategy initiatives related to the company’s private equity real estate funds (value-add/opportunistic and credit).

Lizak holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.

Civitas Capital Group is a nimble alternative investment manager offering compelling, niche opportunities in U.S. real estate. Civitas exists to create opportunities that enrich our communities, investors, and employees alike. Driven by relentless creativity, Civitas digs deeper to uncover opportunities that others miss. Follow Civitas Capital Group on LinkedIn. Learn more at


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SOURCE Civitas Capital Group