Keith F. Barket, the global head of Angelo, Gordon & Co.’s Manhattan-based real-estate group, came from a family of property investors and was quick to recognize the bargains that abounded in the wake of the early 1990s recession.
Keith, who died at age 49 of peritoneal mesothelioma, vaulted Angelo, Gordon & Company, one of the world’s largest hedge-fund firms, into the top league of private-equity real-estate investment. Angelo, Gordon & Company now has more than 50 professionals working in its real-estate department. During the past 17 years, the firm has invested more than $5 billion of equity in about 300 deals, and Keith built its major presence in China. A St. Louis native, he was known for his sanguine personality and down-to-earth manners in real-estate and private-equity circles. “You always knew where you stood with him,” said prominent hotelier Ian Schrager. “It’s a breath of fresh air in our business.” A graduate of Georgetown University, he got his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He met his wife, Laura, in Philadelphia not long after he graduated from Wharton. They were married in 1993 and had two children, Jack and Madeleine.
Keith joined Angelo Gordon in 1997 and did his first major deal one year later amid the market turbulence caused by the Russia debt crisis: the $60 million purchase of the Chelsea Market complex in Manhattan. The firm converted the buildings from manufacturing to office and retail. It has attracted tenants like Food Network and Oxygen Network, and today is valued at more than $850 million.
Keith was an avid tennis player, skier and all-around phenomenal athlete.
What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which cancerous cells are found in the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the body’s internal organs. There are two main types of mesothelioma: pleural which involves the sac that covers the pleural cavity around the lungs and peritoneal which involves the tissue that covers the abdominal area.
Keith died from peritoneal mesothelioma on December 22, 2010, a week after his diagnosis.
A foundation in honor of Keith F. Barket has been created to support cancer research. Please consider making a donation to the Keith F. Barket Mesothelioma Research Fund at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI).