UNITED STATES - CB Richard Ellis Investors has hired two people to create a new mergers and acquisitions team within its company.

The real estate manager has enticed Deborah Smith and June Yu away from Lehman Brothers to become senior managing directors involved in a variety of mergers and acquisitions transactions.

Smith was a senior vice president in Lehman’s real estate mergers and acquisitions division while Yu was a senior vice president in the global real estate investment banking arm.

It is expected transactions will be focused on the acquisition or recapitalization of undervalued real estate investment and development companies as well as the creation of large joint ventures or the purchase of significant portfolios.

The firm’s Strategic Partners US and overseas commingled funds will be the source of capital for the mergers and acquisitions group.

CBRE Investors is currently raising capital for its CB Richard Ellis Strategic Partners US Value Fund V which is split into two separate funds - one for value added deals and the other for opportunistic transactions.

CBRE is also looking to complete some deals for its third generation CB Richard Ellis Strategic Partners Europe and UK commingled funds, including a pipeline bid to buy a real estate company in France.

Vance Maddocks is chief executive officer of CBRE Investors, said development of the M&A team is part of its development to deliverlarge-scale real estate portfolios both in the US and overseas.

Earlier deals included the initial public offerings of Digital Realty Trust in the United States and New City Residential Investment Corp, one of the first J-REITs in Japan.