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Category ArchiveJeffrey DiModica

The 50 Most Important Figures of Commercial Real Estate Finance

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With even the industry’s top lenders battling it out for every deal—bank against debt fund, CMBS shop against life insurer—never has there been a more competitive year in American commercial real estate finance than 2017

“We were doing head-to-head combat every day,” as UBS’ Chris LaBianca, this year’s No. 31 honoree, put it. That made it trickier than ever before for our survey of the battlefield to rank the most exemplary victors—especially given our desire to take a broader nationwide perspective this time around.

This fresh outlook widened the field like never before. As a result, a painstaking dive into the companies behind the big-number deals—as well as due consideration to fearsome feats of entrepreneurship among some of the field’s newest entrants—went into crowning our champions of real estate deal-making. Volumes were up nearly across the board, creating a dog-eat-dog environment where firms had to sprint ahead merely to stay in place among our ranks.

In that context, the performance of some of our dynamic newbies rings all the more impressive. Lotus Capital, Faisal Ashraf’s year-old startup, expanded its debt-advisory reach to three continents and launched a new loan sale distribution platform, landing with a splash for its first year on the list in the No. 41 spot.

KKR’s debt business is off to the races, already going blow for blow with stalwarts like Blackstone and TPG. And CBRE’s Tom Traynor and James Millon turned in a stellar debut performance we couldn’t ignore, arranging $5.1 billion in debt in just their first eight months on the job.

In the world of securitized mortgages, the era of risk retention opened more space between the haves and the have-nots, pushing the most aggressive CMBS shops into some of our top spots. Fueled by eye-popping single-asset deals, those firms claimed 2017’s most exciting trophy asset financings all to themselves.

And the formidable Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae each surpassed their own high-water marks, producing record volumes that affirmed their places at the forefront of America’s multifamily market. Their wake propelled some of our honorees’ impressive leaps this year, like Walker & Dunlop’s jump to the No. 19 slot, vaulting 30 places from last year.

Finally, we made sure to tip our hats to the market’s envelope-pushers, outfits like Bank of the Ozarks (No. 17), who has charged boldly but astutely into the forbidding territory of construction lending, and Starwood (No.4) whose multicylinder approach continues to impress.

It’s that brand of dynamism—shared in different ways by all our honorees—that writes the stories that fill our pages all year long.

Source: commercial

So Long, NYC: Real Estate Execs Flee Big Apple for These Five Cities

Leave it to Jonathan Kalikow, the president of Gamma Real Estate, to tell it like it is.

“In New York City, it’s ridiculously expensive,” the veteran investor said in an interview last month. Pick your poison: property values, legal expenses and most of all taxes—all can conspire to make the cost of real estate deals in the Big Apple as inflated as the price of a pack of cigarettes at a Wall Street newsstand.

Not so long ago, that tab was just the cost of doing business. But with flagging infrastructure investment dinging New York’s livability, ever-improving communications technology rendering geography less relevant and hoards of under-30s flocking to regions with more affordable housing rents, New York might want to reconsider resting on its laurels.

The squeeze tightened considerably last month when Donald Trump signed the Republican tax overhaul into law. The new code, finalized just before Christmas, caps deductions for state and local taxes at $10,000—previously, such deductions were unlimited. It’s a move that stands to hit New Yorkers and Californians especially hard—and most of all those with significant real estate holdings. Residents in the two states alone receive about a third of the deductions the Internal Revenue Service hands out for state and local taxes. In Westchester County, N.Y., more than 73 percent of residents pay more than $10,000 in property taxes—to say nothing of New York State’s top-line income tax bracket of 8.82 percent on income over $1 million.

At a time when New York’s streets and development market have never been more crowded and expensive, some savvy market players are striking out across the country in search of greener pastures—and better deals. Here are five cities that real estate pros told Commercial Observer they are eyeing.


Source: commercial