Three former executives of shopping center REIT Equity One, Inc. joined forces to launch a new real estate investment firm, Global Fund Investments, LLC, on Apr. 1. Based in Miami, Fla., the firm will focus on the development of shopping centers in in-fill locations, value-added redevelopment projects, land acquisitions and joint venture acquisitions of retail portfolios.

Former Equity One president Doron Valero (pictured at left) will head the new venture, and will be aided by partners Alan Merkur, who used to serve as Equity One's director of acquisitions, and Rafi Zitvar, who used to be the firm's director of capital markets.

Valero, Merkur and Zitvar are planning to acquire at least $250 million of retail properties before the end of 2007.