Grant Frankel, Rob Turner and Ken Ziebelman
Managing Directors at Eastdil Secured
Last year's rank: 18
The three-headed adviser monster at Eastdil Secured was roaring in 2022, with roughly $17 billion of originations across all components of the lending universe.
Led by Grant Frankel, Rob Turner and Ken Ziebelman, Eastdil targeted borrowers and investors who were willing to take risks amid challenging liquidity conditions. “Whether it was life companies, banks, CMBS or debt funds, there was a period of the year where basically everything was firing at the same time,” said Frankel. “We closed some pretty sizable deals in the face of a really tough market.”
The team’s biggest wins included a $560 million bank balance sheet office loan on 110 North Wacker in Chicago; a $435 million construction loan for the Borden Complex, an industrial and studio development in Long Island City, Queens; and a $310 million loan on the Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a deal which Frankel defined as “sort of a bellwether transaction” for the team.
“It was tricky, as the capital markets weren’t in a very healthy place at that point in time, but we buckled down and put the stack together and were able to securitize a senior portion and [find] a mezzanine lender to fill the gap,” Frankel explained. “Ultimately, it was a successful execution for the borrower.”
If there’s a secret ingredient to the trio’s success, it’s continuity. Frankel, Turner and Ziebelman have worked together for 12 to 15 years, and have a debt team that exceeds 50 members. “There’s a lot of trust,” Turner said. “The vast majority of the senior members of the debt team have worked together forever, and we’ve spent a long time working together out of New York City with our colleagues in other markets.”
Another incentive that drives Eastdil’s useful collaboration is the fact that, unlike many lending offices, their firm does not compensate based on transaction volume or by commission.
“We don’t have to worry about how people are compensated on transactions, and that makes it easier to work together seamlessly as a whole firm,” Ziebelman said. “Everybody has the common goal of getting the best deal for the client and not worrying about how to divide up the deals. It’s just how we think about things.”
Last year Eastdil also launched a women’s affinity network called FLEET (Female Leadership, Empowerment & Engagement Team), and formed a Community Service Council that aims to provide community service opportunities to employees in each of the firm’s office locations. —B.P.