Trez Capital Expands Bridge Lending Business With UBS Hire

Justin Driscoll has been tapped to focus on the Eastern and Southeastern regions of the U.S

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After a more than seven-year run at UBS, Justin Driscoll was drawn to tackle a new challenge as part of Trez Capital’s initiative to bolster its bridge-lending platform from coast to coast.

Driscoll recently started his new role as managing director of Trez’s real estate bridge financing program and is the company’s first hire focused on the Eastern and Southeastern regions of the U.S. The commercial real estate finance veteran, who previously was a senior originator at UBS, is hitting the ground running out of Trez’s Manhattan office in the Hippodrome Building on 1120 Avenue of the Americas with a goal of hitting $500 million in bridge loan volume by the end of 2021, and $1.5 billion by the end of 2022.

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“It is a really great opportunity to not just join an established firm in the lending space, but be part of a team that’s growing the business line and the bridge side of it,” said Driscoll, who is working under the direction of Darren Esser, Trez’s head of bridge lending and U.S. capital markets. “It’s been fun not just stepping in and doing loans, which I have loved doing in my career, but growing a business, hiring and really setting up our office.”

At UBS, Driscoll closed more than $1 billion of commercial real estate (CRE) loans for the firm’s commercial mortgage-backed securities balance sheet lending programs. Prior to UBS, the Long Island native served as vice president of investment solutions for the Partners Group. He began his CRE career in Lehman Brothers global commercial real estate group.

Working alongside Esser and the Trez Capital originations team, Driscoll said he wants to build on the firm’s long track record in the construction lending space. 

“The idea behind our bridge platform was really to bolt it alongside the construction platform to position ourselves to write good bridge loans to the market, but also have the opportunity to stay in front of our clients with the bridge products,” Driscoll said. “As clients are coming off their construction loans we’re able to provide them attractively priced bridge debt to ultimately stabilize a property or exit.”

In addition to leveraging Trez’s long-standing work in the multifamily sector, Driscoll also seeks transactions in recovery asset classes like hospitality and office. He sees particular opportunity in the area of affordable housing, which sponsors are building out in certain markets with big inbound migration patterns, such as the Southeast.

A member of the Mortgage Bankers Association, Driscoll earned a bachelor of science in finance and business economics from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. He later received his master’s in business from Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.

“We are thrilled to have another industry veteran join our rapidly growing executive team as we continue to expand our bridge lending program from coast to coast,” Esser said. “Justin has more than 20 years of experience in the origination, structuring and distribution of commercial real estate loans up and down the capital structure. His established industry relationships, aggressive sourcing strategies and successful track record will benefit our team, propelling Trez Capital’s growth in the bridge lending market.”

Andrew Coen can be reached at acoen@commercialobserver.com.