CBRE Acquires GE’s Interest in GEMSA, Rebrands as CBRE Loan Services


CBRE has acquired General Electric Capital Corporation’s interest in the loan servicing company GEMSA Loan Services and is re-launching the servicing company under its umbrella, the Los Angeles-based firm announced yesterday.

GE transferred its interest in GEMSA—which the two firms founded as a joint venture in 2001—to CBRE on Dec. 18, 2015, allowing CBRE to take over the business and operate it as CBRE Loan Services.

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The newly branded platform currently manages $120 billion of commercial real estate loans worldwide—roughly 5,200 loans in the U.S. and 500 in Europe. CBRE Loan Services recently began servicing loans in Australia, through the firm’s Sydney office, and intends to expand globally, a CBRE spokesman told Commercial Observer via email. Additionally, management will focus on expanding third-party loan servicing, growing the loan servicing platform’s institutional client base and brining in more regional and non-bank lenders.

GEMSA has offices across the U.S., as well as in London, Frankfurt and Madrid, none of which are closing. The firm’s headquarters will remain in Houston, the CBRE spokesman confirmed.

“At CBRE we understand the underlying real estate asset as much as we understand the loan,” Clarence Dixon, the global head of CBRE Loan Services, said in prepared remarks. “This combination enables us to provide our clients with truly innovative solutions to meet their complex commercial real estate finance needs. Launching CBRE Loan Services globally means our clients can receive the same high level of service and consistency anywhere in the world.”

CBRE has been servicing commercial real estate loans since 1978, both directly and through firms the company acquired. Through GEMSA, the firm serviced loans for life insurance companies, the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, pension funds and the commercial mortgage-backed securities industry.

In addition to launching the platform under its brand, CBRE announced that Chris Shamaly, the former general counsel of CBRE Capital Markets, is now the senior managing director of CBRE Loan Services in the Americas.

“Top-quality loan servicing is a core strength of CBRE and, through the new CBRE Loan Services, we will continue to provide the high level of service that our clients expect of us, while further growing the practice in the U.S.” Mr. Shamaly said in the press release.

GEMSA managers Chris Gaas, Steve Rapp and Dave Haley will transfer to CBRE and report to Mr. Shamaly.