Warren de Haan

Warren de Haan.

Warren de Haan

Co-Founder and Head of Originations at ACORE Capital

Warren de Haan
By November 9, 2020 9:00 AM

What’s been the biggest market lesson learned during COVID?

Strong relationships are key to navigating challenging times together. You can’t discount the power of maintaining clear, consistent communication with business partners, especially during periods defined by extreme volatility and uncertainty.

Are you bullish on New York City? If so, why?

New York City remains the financial capital of the world, and it’s a place where people and businesses will want to be over the long term. Currently, however, we’ve been very selective in our origination activity in the market as we continue to monitor the near and medium-term impact of the pandemic.

What’s key to New York’s rebound and recovery?

A strong government that’s genuinely committed to working in good faith to address the city’s most pressing issues – many of which existed pre-COVID. This includes examining taxes, housing, cost of living and infrastructure issues, among others.

How are you winning the deals for which you’re competing most aggressively today?

At the end of the day, it’s always about relationships and trust. People want certainty, and in today’s environment, that’s hard to come by. We’ve built our business on doing what we say we’re going to do, and that hasn’t changed today nor will it change tomorrow.

How has your loan portfolio fared through the pandemic? Any surprises during asset management in the early days?

There have been no major surprises. When COVID-19 cases began to rise, we knew there were going to be some issues we’d need to address, which we did … and quite effectively, I might add. We are grateful that we invested heavily in building out our asset management team and systems when we started ACORE five years ago. Overall, we remain pleased with how we’ve constructed our loan portfolio, which has proved resilient.

Which closed deal, post-COVID, are you most proud of?

I love all my kids equally. We’ve steadily ramped back up our origination activity and are deploying capital across the country on a range of assets.

What strengths do traditional lenders and non-traditional lenders bring to the market today? Who’s emerging stronger post-COVID?

Speed of execution is, and will always be, a competitive advantage for most non-bank lenders. There’s been lots written and discussed about investors’ plan to capitalize on the disruption by investing opportunistically. If someone brings us a deal that meets our investment criteria, we’re ready to move quickly and with precision.

How has your underwriting changed post-COVID? Is there more of an emphasis on underwriting or asset management today?

Over the past 25 years, my partners and I have navigated different economic and real estate cycles, and underwriting protocol needs to be fluid to account for changing behavioral patterns and market movements. Asset management, however, has been a major focal point since the onset of the pandemic given how quickly things escalated.

Do you feel urban living is dissipating as a result of COVID-19? Why or why not?

For the near term, yes, but I don’t think people’s desire to live in big cities will diminish over the long term. This economic crisis is different from the [2008-09 financial crisis], because it involves a virus, and cities are naturally not conducive to social distancing. Once there’s a safe and effective vaccine, I think you’ll see people once again migrate back to urban hubs.

“When I’m not doing deals while working from home, you’ll find me…”  (please complete this sentence.)

“…spending time with my family engaging in outdoor activities.”


Lightning Round:

Favorite TV show you binged during quarantine?

“The Last Dance” on Netflix

Have you eaten inside a restaurant post-COVID?


Any new hobbies taken up during COVID?


Where is your COVID hideaway?

Lake house in Connecticut.

Number of haircuts in past six months family trim or professional?

I am the family barber!

Home office or actual office?


Have you been on a plane post-COVID?

No planes, just RVs.

Best book you read during COVID?

“Red Notice” by Bill Browder

Which will rebound first: retail or hospitality?


Favorite post-COVID secondary market from a lending perspective?


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