Berkadia Acquires Phoenix-Based Keystone

Ernie Katai of Berkadia
Ernie Katai of Berkadia

Berkadia Commercial Mortgage acquired Keystone Commercial Capital, a provider of bridge and mezzanine loans and joint venture equity headquartered in Phoenix, earlier this week.

Keystone services more than $2 billion in commercial real estate loans and sources capital from a diverse pool of lenders, including life companies, banks and CMBS originators. Berkadia, the third-largest the third-largest multifamily loan servicer nationally, services more than $229 billion in loans. The amount the company paid was not disclosed.

Head of production at Berkadia Ernie Katai said the buy was strategic for long-term growth—and Berkadia is quite ambitious in that area.

“Our five year plan, which has been embraced by our owners Leucadia and Berkshire Hathaway, is to double our size,” he told Mortgage Observer via email.

“With Keystone, we get an organization that fits perfectly into our life company and agency platform and gives us a mortgage banking presence in critical markets.”

He also said that the growth would continue, and Berkadia is seeking additional companies to acquire—both mortgage banking and investment sales firms.

Keystone partners Jon Krieger, Ryan Nelson, Gene Kim and as well as the origination and support staff at Keystone will have the option to remain with Berkadia, according to a statement from the firm.

The transaction will add three Berkadia offices, in Boston, San Diego and Phoenix. Keystone Managing Partner Charlie Williams will continue to oversee operations in all three offices from Phoenix, the statement said.

“We look forward to helping grow Berkadia’s already strong life company pipeline, building on the company’s outstanding agency relationships and integrating our operations to help both current and prospective clients,” said Mr. Williams in the statement.

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