Walker & Dunlop Announces First Women-Led Lending Team

Alison Williams has been promoted to lead the team, which is focused on small-balance originations

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Walker & Dunlop promoted Alison Williams to lead its small-balance lending business, creating the company’s first lending team led entirely by women.

Williams will head up the small-balance team, which sources debt for smaller multifamily transactions, with Angelica Dichoco serving as chief underwriter, Stephanie Pratt as closing manager and Melissa Jahnke as head of operations, according to Walker & Dunlop. The team was put in place Tuesday.

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“The talent of these leaders will enable us to continue growing market share in the multifamily segment,” Steve Theobald, Walker & Dunlop’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. “This marks the first time in our history that we have an all-women leadership team within the company.” 

Williams moves up from her role as chief production officer, in which she has helped originate loans of $15 million or less on multifamily properties nationally since stepping into the post in 2021. 

During her seven years at Walker & Dunlop, Williams also specialized in structured finance for all property types as a senior director in the firm’s capital markets group. She helped Tucson Urban score a $40 million commercial mortgage-backed securities loan for the AC Hotel by Marriott Tucson Downtown in Tucson, Ariz. in 2019.

The reorganization of Walker & Dunlop’s small-balance lending group comes as the firm announced plans to grow that business to more than $5 billion in annual debt originations by 2025. And it’s already jumped on a handful of acquisition deals in the tech space to streamline processes and meet that goal.

Walker & Dunlop bought the automated underwriting software Enodo in 2019, financial technology company TapCap in 2021 and real estate technology firm Geophy in 2022. The firm is “investing heavily” in acquiring “cutting-edge technology to reduce costs,” Williams said at the time of the TapCap acquisition. 

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.