Andrea Balkan, Nailah Flake-Brown and John Lee
#33

Andrea Balkan, Nailah Flake and John Lee

Managing Partner, Real Estate; Managing Partner, Real Estate; Managing Director, Real Estate at Brookfield Real Estate Finance

Last year's rank: 31

Andrea Balkan, Nailah Flake-Brown and John Lee
By April 30, 2023 8:59 AM

Brookfield organized $3.2 billion of commercial real estate finance originations for the year ending March 30, 2023, powered by a number of vehicles.

The firm closed deals across the globe in various asset classes, from whole loan transactions to mezzanine loans to CMBS investments. Much like the previous 12 months, when Brookfield executed $6.3 billion of volume, lending activity stretched across the U.S. while also growing in the U.K. and Western Europe. 

Brookfield closed its sixth flagship closed-ended fund in December 2021 with $4 billion of investor commitments. The fund is backed by a diversified group of institutional investors, and Brookfield is eyeing a number of potential opportunities, including ground-up construction deals.

“We have a very large fund and a lot of dry power,” Andrea Balkan said. “We think there is going to be a lot of activity over the next 12 months.”

Industrial and multifamily deals are now a big focus at Brookfield along with alternative asset classes like medical office, self-storage and film studios. The office sector comprises about 15 percent of the new fund’s portfolio, a big pivot from previous Brookfield funds.  

“We focused heavily on residential and all its various forms and industrial and we continue to reduce our office composition,”  Balkan said. “We remain disciplined on our core business and core standards seeking higher quality assets.” 

One of Brookfield’s biggest deals the past year involved providing Vanbarton Group with a $272.5 million loan in the third quarter of 2022 for its conversion of 160 Water Street in Lower Manhattan from a 24-story office tower into a 30-story, 588-unit residential building. The property previously housed  the headquarters of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.

“We thought Vanbarton had a great vision to transform this asset,” Nailah Flake said. 

Meanwhile, diversity, equity and inclusion efforts have been a big focus at Brookfield the past few years throughout the company, including an internship program focused on attracting diverse candidates. Brookfield also runs a number of employee engagement groups, including a Black professionals network, an Asian professionals network, a women’s network and a Pride network. —A.C. 

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