Finance  ·  Players

CBRE Adds Meridian’s Judah Hammer to Its National Debt Business Team

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Judah Hammer, who spent almost 19 years at Meridian Capital Group, has departed for CBRE (CBRE), Commercial Observer has learned.

Hammer began his new role at CBRE in early June as executive vice president for national debt origination in commercial real estate finance. He joined Meridian in 2005 out of the brokerage’s New York City headquarters and negotiated more 1,400 loans with 80 lenders for over $10 billion in financing during his nearly two decades at the company. 

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“After nearly 20 years in the business, partnering with a brand and a platform that stands out to both lending and client relationships was extremely important,” Hammer said. “After spending my career brokering loans to lenders all over the country, transitioning to a shop that adds a new dimension was extremely important.”

Another big attraction to CBRE, Hammer said, was its national reach as a “top-tier agency lender and servicer.” Hammer added he also hopes to merge his past relationships with portfolio lenders, credit unions, debt funds, insurance companies and commercial mortgage-backed securities players with CBRE’s agency-lending business “to create a one-stop shop where clients can feel that we are touching every part of the market.” 

While he expects challenging months ahead in 2024 due to a “lack of clarity” with interest rates, Hammer said there are still selective lending opportunities he hopes to facilitate. 

“The broker/adviser’s job is to pair the right sponsors with the proper lending relationship based on the lender’s appetite and borrower’s needs at any given point of the cycle,” Hammer said. “Many assets will change hands in the coming months, which should spark an incredible amount of activity for those who are properly situated.” 

Hammer’s exit from Meridian comes nearly two months after the brokerage’s founding CEO, Ralph Herzka, was replaced by Brian Brooks, a former Fannie Mae general counsel. Meridian also lost the brokerage duo of Adam Hakim and James Murad in April to Ripco.

Meridian has faced scrutiny since November 2023, when both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac halted any deals facilitated by the brokerage with agency lenders in their networks after financial disclosure information for a loan was called into question.

Meridian did not immediately return a request for comment.

Andrew Coen can be reached at acoen@commercialobserver.com