od I hate these lists,” said one investment shop pro when asked to weigh in on what constituted “important” and who, exactly, might qualify for a list of the 50 Most Important People in Commercial Real Estate Finance.
In compiling the list—which is subjective and represents our view—we talked to many different people in the industry, consulted lists of top producers and paid close attention to our own monthly charts of banks that are most active. We kept our focus on the New York tristate region, though not everyone on the list has his or her base here.
Geography was only one of several logistical challenges. For instance, who’s more important—brokers or lenders? And with CMBS on the rebound and expected to hit somewhere around the $70 billion mark for 2013, how do conduits stack up?
“Brokers control the deals and the bankers control the money—and the money makes the deal happen,” one executive, himself a broker, told us. But then: “I feel like the brokers have the upper hand in the moment.”
For the most part, we came out on the side of the lenders who ultimately control the purse strings and pull the trigger to make a deal happen. The bulk of the names in the top 10 slots, in fact, are lenders—with only Ralph Herzka from Meridian Capital Group representing the brokers in this tier.
Among the groups absent are developers and attorneys, both of whom factor into our sister publication The Commercial Observer’s annual Power 100 list. But there is some overlap. Of the dozens of names on this, our inaugural list, many have a level of influence that, at least for now, places them on both lists.
Hopefully readers will agree with one top banker, who told us that lists like this one “are interesting and important” to the industry and that people like them in general. But of course, he’s on it.