Drew Fung and Thanh Bui 

Drew Fung, Thanh Bui and Janet Souk

Head of debt investment group; managing director; managing director and portfolio manager at Clarion Partners

Last year's rank: 51

Drew Fung and Thanh Bui 
By May 1, 2023 8:48 AM

You may recognize Drew Fung from Commercial Observer’s Lenders Magazine last year. 

A drawing of him in “Game of Thrones” garb was a social media hit. At the time, the TV series’ “winter is coming” theme was apt as lenders began to retrench and borrowers were feeling a distinct chill in the air — one that has since turned into a reason to wear a parka and mittens in May.

There are, however, still lenders transacting for the right deals. Case in point: Fung and his Clarion team. 

 In February, Clarion supplied a $415 million mezzanine loan as part of a package to refinance a portion of Blackstone’s industrial portfolio comprising 110 industrial properties. A month later, it teamed with Affinius Capital on a $248 million refinance for BentallGreenOak and Slate Property Group’s The Biltmore, a luxury multifamily tower in Midtown Manhattan.

In her work as a portfolio manager, Janet Souk relies on the Clarion Debt Investment team to originate and structure debt investments. 

The two funds on which Souk focuses closed $1.4 billion in transactions since 2019. That figure includes $110 million in structured debt originations in the past few months alone — two student housing loans in Boulder, Colo., a retail center loan in Austin and a multifamily loan in Manhattan.

“We were very happy with what we were able to achieve in 2022 in terms of Clarion’s lending activity across our wide range of capital sources, including our 40 Act fund which continues to be active in debt,” Fung said. 

Despite historic volatility in the debt capital markets and ongoing changes in property and geographic markets, “Clarion executed on loans in the multifamily, industrial, and retail sectors including build-to-rent, student housing, ground-up industrial construction and other alternative properties,“ Fung said.

“We believe our ability to identify these opportunities and underwrite them with confidence stems from a deep connection between our lending team and real time property-level information to which we have access from our directly owned portfolio of over 1,500 properties.”

 “Closing on debt investments with contractual interest payments has contributed to the dividend yield for investors,” Souk noted. —C.C.

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