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M&T Realty Appoints Michael Edelman as CEO

Commercial real estate finance veteran promoted from president role at off-balance-sheet lending arm of M&T Bank 

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M&T Realty Capital Corporation (M&T RCC), the off-balance-sheet lending arm of M&T Bank (MTB), named commercial real estate finance veteran Michael Edelman as its new CEO to help drive the firm’s growth in capital markets, Commercial Observer can first report.

Edelman, who was appointed M&T RCC’s president in February 2022, took over from Michael Berman in the CEO role this month, the company announced Tuesday. Berman, who had been CEO since April 2019, will transition to the role of executive adviser and remain part of the firm’s board. 

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“This is an opportunity to take this platform that my predecessor, Michael Berman, has put on solid ground with some strategic alliances in conjunction with our bank and our bank partners to take it to the next level,” Edelman told CO. “It comes at a great time in which the winds of commercial real estate are starting to blow towards the more favorable side compared to last year, which was a little bit disappointing, given where the rates were.”

Edelman has more than 25 years of commercial mortgage banking experience that included stints as senior vice president of originations at Capital One and as a senior vice president at Freddie Mac. He joined M&T RCC in 2016 as an agency product manager and was promoted to group vice president in February 2020.

M&T RCC is one of the biggest lenders of agency-backed debt in addition to offering loans from life companies and debt funds. Edelman said one of his chief goals is to expand the number of debt fund offerings for higher-leveraged deals that are more in demand now in a higher interest rate environment. 

“There are a lot of debt funds out there looking to get into some of these higher leverage deals since the market has viewed the commercial real estate value fluctuation as an opportunity for new lenders to get in there, and we’re bringing some of those partners to the table,” Edelman said. “More players are in the market on that high-leverage space and will bring those to bear.”

In addition to expanding M&T RCC’s capital markets reach, Edelman also aims to increase the fee income for M&T Bank on loans it originates.

Based in New York City, Edelman will also be spending considerable time in M&T RCC’s other big hub in Baltimore while reporting to Tim Gallagher, M&T Bank’s head of CRE. He said the focus will remain largely on multifamily loans in 2024 with a goal to expand more into the senior housing sector after originating more than $500 million of agency deals last year as many properties rebounded from occupancy struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We leverage off the bank clients to drive that, and we think that’s going to be an expanding area going forward because I think that is a market that the banks have pulled back on,” Edelman said. “The fact that those properties have rebounded and are starting to do well, we can bring capital to those properties, whereas the last couple of years it’s been tough to borrow against those.”

Aside from moving Edelman to CEO, M&T RCC also promoted Mark Gould and Joe Pizzutelli as co-heads of M&T RCC national production. Kevin Collins was also elevated as M&T RCC life company platform manager. 

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