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Carl Gaines

MO's Top 50

The 50 Most Important People in Commercial Real Estate Finance

51 Photos

Power and influence take center stage once again with our second annual Top 50 list. This is our subjective take on who reigned supreme since March 2013, when our last list came out. Our team pored over the submissions that were sent in and reached out to request some that weren’t. Some choices seemed obvious, but we did our best to weigh each one carefully. We again left off our lawyer and developer friends. Both of these are covered in our sister publication Commercial Observer’s Power 100 list. There are many familiar faces, but there are also some new names this year, like Chase’s Chad Tredway, Blackstone’s Michael Nash and Natixis’s Greg Murphy. Then some on the list for the second year simply switched firms or banks, such as Ken Cohen, who moved from UBS to Bank of America. Check out all the changes and ups and downs in the pages that follow. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Workforce January 2014

Work Force

Blackstone Mortgage Trust has named Paul Quinlan chief financial officer, replacing Geoffrey Jervis, who resigned to pursue other opportunities. 

Mr. Quinlan, who most recently worked as head of financial planning and business development at Blackstone, will also now serve as CFO for the firm’s real estate debt strategies division. Read More

Mortgage Observer

2013 Year in Review

Timeline_deBlasio

IT WAS A WEIRD YEAR — with material to piece together a blockbuster science-fiction flick and a compelling political drama. Those done, there would be enough left over for a sitcom and to bring a popular children’s book to the big screen. Green eggs and ham, anyone? But despite government shutdowns, the country’s largest municipal bankruptcy, exploding meteorites and a contentious New York mayoral election that has left some in the business community wary, commercial real estate seems poised for a star turn in 2014. Looking back, here’s how last year unfolded. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Q&A: Prudential Mortgage Capital Co. President and CEO David Durning

David Durning

Roughly a year after taking the helm as president and CEO of Prudential Mortgage Capital Company and nearing the end of a very busy year in terms of deal volume, Mr. Durning catches up Mortgage Observer on his transition and outlook for the future.

Mortgage Observer: You were named David Twardock’s successor about a year ago now. How has that transition been going?

David Durning: The transition has gone well. It’s been busy, fun, active. The organization that we had, Dave had been building for a while, and given Dave’s style, my fingerprints were on it as well, as were others, and so I have a terrific team. So in that sense, we haven’t missed a beat in anything that we’re doing. For me, the interesting part of the challenge and the opportunity that something like this provides is to tell the PMCC story both externally and internally along the way.

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Mortgage Observer

Experts: Commercial Real Estate Has Returned to 2007

2007_InDepth

It is hard to believe that it was just a few years ago—specifically in 2007—when a perfect storm of positive events was taking place in the financial and real estate markets. The S&P 500 reached record highs, CMBS transactions grew to nearly $770 billion, the Blackstone Group completed its $39 billion purchase of Equity Office Properties Trust and then sold eight buildings in the Equity Office portfolio to Harry Macklowe for $7 billion, foreign investors were purchasing commercial real estate at record levels and everyone was purchasing residential condominiums. In short, happy days were here again.

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Mortgage Observer

Commercial Property Markets in a World of Rising Rates

Sam Chandan.

More than three months after the summer’s initial spike in Treasury yields, commercial real estate investors are breathing a little easier. Third-quarter 2013 data show a modest impact on cap rates and borrowing costs from higher interest rates; neither increased in lock step with their baseline costs of capital. In actively contested segments of the market, including most institutional markets, cap rates were flat or increased only slightly during the quarter. In the extreme, cap rates for the most coveted assets inched lower. 

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Mortgage Observer

Getting Along: Some Tips for Brokers and Lawyers

Joshua Stein.

Overheard in a broker’s office: “The lawyer is trying to blow the deal. There was an agreement, then the lawyer started raising all these problems. I don’t get half of them. Now I don’t know where this deal is going, except maybe in the ditch. I think the lawyer’s just running up fees.”

Overheard in a lawyer’s office: “The broker is just trying to get their commission as soon as they can. And it’s so much money! It makes our legal fees look like nothing. The brokers seem to think closing a real estate deal requires about as much thought as buying a loaf of bread.”

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Mortgage Observer

New York City Hotels Are Booming, But Beware Overexposure

Illustration by Lauren Draper.

With more than 52 million visitors to the Big Apple in 2012, one thing seems certain: By all accounts, the hospitality industry is thriving in New York City. Hundreds of new hotels, with nearly 20,000 rooms, have joined the inventory over the past few years. Despite this, according to some industry leaders, there is reason to feel uneasy about the outlook for continued growth in this asset class.

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Mortgage Observer

Sam Chandan Takes the Pulse of the Banks

Sam Chandan.

Banks’ reengagement with commercial real estate investors showed no signs of slowing in the third quarter of 2013. For well-established borrowers in Manhattan, financing constraints may seem like a historical footnote. The same cannot be said for every corner of the industry, though conditions are improving. A preliminary tally of mortgages originated through mid-September points to more banks lending in more places against a widening spectrum of income-producing properties. Delinquency and default rates are declining, as fresh mortgages dilute the shrinking pool of banks’ legacy debt. Financial dislocations still present obstacles for many credit-worthy borrowers removed from the confines of prime markets. But the data shows that debt, alongside equity, is increasingly predisposed to straying from its safe havens.

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Mortgage Observer

Joshua Stein On the Best Ways to Sell Real Estate

Joshua Stein.

Commercial real estate changes hands in all kinds of ways. At one theoretical extreme, a smart seller might already know and identify the one perfect buyer and makes a deal with that buyer. At the opposite extreme, the seller hires a broker and fully exposes the property to the market, all possible buyers or perhaps a selected group of them. Or the seller might bring in some form of auctioneer to advertise the availability of the property far and wide. Then there would be an auction, either “open outcry” or online or some combination, then a closing.

What works best?

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Mortgage Observer

EB-5 Funding On Rise, Long Arm of Law Watchful

Applications for the EB-5 program are on the rise.

It started with Gary Barnett’s Gem Tower and Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards. When credit tightened in 2009, some of the most respected New York developers had begun turning to foreign money to finance their construction projects via the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ EB-5 program. The federal program is designed to provide permanent residency to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in job-creating projects. Of late, with the banking sector increasingly willing to finance projects but with the loan-to-cost of their loans languishing in the 60 percent to 65 percent range, EB-5 funding—for which interest rates are usually in the one-digit range—is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to costlier mezzanine financing, sources told Mortgage Observer.

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