Cushman & Wakefield Acquires 40% Stake in Greystone’s Agency Lending Business

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Global brokerage powerhouse Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) has acquired a 40 percent interest in leading multifamily financier Greystone’s agency lending and servicing business, vaulting them into contention with other advisory firms that have recently gained direct agency lending capabilities. 

C&W acquired the 40 percent stake in Greystone’s agency, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and servicing business lines for $500 million, bringing together the debt and sales platforms of both firms, C&W announced today. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. 

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Greystone’s network, and its position as one of the most active multifamily bridge loan providers and originators of Fannie Mae Delegated Underwriting and Servicing (DUS), Freddie Mac Optigo and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development debt products, will provide C&W and its existing clients with more optionality in financing existing rental stock or building new.

“Greystone’s mission has always been to provide an unparalleled client experience, and this deal truly manifests what we hope to achieve in solving for any need of a commercial property investor,” Greystone Founder and CEO Stephen Rosenberg said. “By combining our collective powers and areas of expertise, I believe there is no reason for an investor to search anywhere else for capital and advisory solutions.”

This move is also a continuation of C&W’s ongoing push to expand its multifamily capabilities. In early 2020, it acquired one of the country’s largest multifamily property management firms, Pinnacle Property Management Services.

“We’re excited to offer a new integrated capability to our investor clients with more direct access to Greystone’s balance sheet and capital solutions, including debt financing with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD,” C&W CEO of the Americas, Andrew McDonald, said. “Greystone’s passion and creativity in structuring deals and leveraging its balance sheet for clients are the reasons the firm stands out. This combination will demonstrate how global investors can benefit from two industry leaders providing premier investor services and a seamless, integrated client experience.”

Rosenberg pointed to this partnership’s initial focus on the multifamily market, but said the door is open to more possibilities within the broader commercial real estate market down the road. 

“We see sizable growth opportunities ahead in serving clients with capital and services in other commercial asset classes, and I couldn’t be more excited about the potential, and what the future brings,” Rosenberg said. 

Over the last few years, traditional commercial real estate advisory firms have been pushing to acquire multifamily agency lending capabilities through M&A activity, attempting to merge brokerage operations with direct lending to gain the best of both worlds. 

More recently, in June, Meridian Capital Group and Barings Multifamily Capital officially launched NewPoint Real Estate Capital, marrying Meridian’s advisory relationships and Barings’ multifamily and agency lending and asset management capabilities. Former Freddie Mac CEO David Brickman and Capital One’s former head of multifamily, underwriting and asset management, Jeff Lee, were tapped to lead NewPoint. 

Mack Burke can be reached at mburke@commercialobserver.com.