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We’ve said this before, but this was one of the hardest years to rank Power Finance.

It’s been an unconventional and difficult year for most, to say the least, with the lending landscape changing, and the availability of financing ebbing and flowing at every turn. Not since the beginning of COVID has our wee niche of the commercial real estate market quite been so unsettled.

With that in mind, we considered many factors outside of lenders’ origination numbers this year — which, for the most part, were down across the board. Additionally, the past 12 months warranted caution and prudence as a host of different factors pulled at commercial real estate, most notably the rising rate environment. Instead, we took a deeper look at how some of the firms pivoted and innovated to continue to serve their borrowers and clients during a turbulent time; how they troubleshooted problems; how they diversified their businesses in advance of this crisis to prepare them for survival; how they helped borrowers with creative solutions when all seemed lost; and how they rolled with the punches of the market, from switching from CMBS to balance sheet executions, to bringing in JV equity partners to fill diminishing capital stacks.

The CRE finance industry has been pretty unfairly treated in some (non-CO) headlines of late, with Global Financial Crisis references being thrown around like confetti at a wedding. It’s a far more disciplined industry today on both the lending and borrowing side, and this current crisis doesn’t have a bad guy to chase.

Nobody — and we mean nobody — on this list had an easy year. You all deserve a two-week all-inclusive vacation in the Bahamas, and we’re impressed with each and every one of you. It was a year of even earlier starts and later nights at the office, a year of both defense and offense, a year of hand-wringing — and it’s not over yet. In fact, the worst may still be to come. But, we’re confident we have the top 50 most powerful, savvy, valuable players in commercial real estate finance on this list, and there’s nothing this world can throw at them that they can’t handle like bosses.

41 +10
43 -7

Justin Wheeler


44 +3

John Adams

New York Community Bank

45 +5

Chris Niederpruem

First Citizens