Kara McShane Named Wells Fargo’s Next CRE Chief

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Kara McShane, a Wells Fargo veteran who leads its structured lending business, will become the bank’s new head of commercial real estate early next year, the San Francisco institution announced today.

SEE ALSO: Why Do CMBS Deals Come in Bunches?

McShane will assume the new job on February 14, according to a spokeswoman for the bank. She steps into the shoes of Mark Myers, the current CRE lending chief who announced last week that he will retire in February.

“It is a great honor to be offered this opportunity to lead our CRE platform,” McShane said in a statement. “I am confident we will continue to build on our successes to date, and look forward to working closely with the team to further solidify our industry-leading position and to working in lockstep with our customers to help them thrive and grow.”

McShane started early in institutional real estate with a college internship at CBRE; after her graduation from Duke University she worked at Sanford Bernstein & Co. She later left Columbia University‘s business school with an MBA and held real estate capital markets positions at Morgan Stanley before taking a job with Wells Fargo nine years ago.

McShane will report in her new role to Perry Pelos, Wells Fargo’s head of wholesale banking.

“Kara is an exceptional leader who has made a significant impact on our CRE business since joining our company nine years ago,” Pelos said in prepared remarks. “She brings extraordinary vision, energy, experience and industry relationships that make her ideally suited for this role.”

McShane and her Wells Fargo colleague Doug Mazer — who leads the bank’s real estate capital markets group — landed in the top spot on Commercial Observer’s 2018 Power 50 List of the most influential executives in the world of commercial real estate finance, honoring their work during the 2017 calendar year. McShane was the first woman to snag the annual list’s top spot.

Last year, her team at the bank was responsible for 89 CMBS transactions valued at a combined $70.8 billion. It was the lead or co-lead bank for deals worth $51.6 billion.

“Kara brings to her role a very special interpersonal skill, both within her own organization as well as in dealings with clients and partners like myself,” Nelson Hioe, a founder of Raith Capital Partners, told Commercial Observer for a 2016 profile of McShane. Hioe also praised McShane’s fortitude and dedication to the industry even during the depths of her bout with breast cancer, with which she was diagnosed in 2014.

“It … was a very clear reflection of who she is as a person — dedicated to people and making sure that the folks in her orbit are doing alright,” Hioe said.