Michael Lavipour and Jeffrey Fastov
Senior Managing Director of Credit Strategies; Managing Director of Credit Strategies at Affinius Capital
Last year's rank: 32
It was a busy year for the high-powered lending team of Michael Lavipour and Jeff Fastov, who not only originated $6.4 billion of new debt on 74 deals in 2022 but also managed a full plate as their former firm, Square Mile Capital, integrated into USAA Real Estate to create Affinius Capital this March.
“We’ve had to change our business cards, but operationally there’s no difference,” Fastov told CO. “Both investors and borrowers know the people personally and for a long time, so it’s just an opportunity to further strengthen the image of our business as one platform, which it truly always has been.”
The team’s platform completed $2.6 billion in ground-up construction financings in 2022 — more than double its previous high — most of which was concentrated on the multifamily sector and student housing. The sectors made up 40 percent of their new deal originations last year, with the industrial and life sciences sectors rounding out the major financing allocations.
As the investment sales market slowed amid rising interest rates during the second half of the year, Fastov and Lavipour pivoted away from acquisition financing on value-add assets and focused their heavy pipeline on development.
“We’re proud that we actively lent through the entirety of that time period,” Lavipour said. “We held terms with sponsors where others may not have, we took care of our clients, and we inherited a lot of new clients as their traditional financing sources fell by the wayside.”
Notable deals included $156 million in bridge financing for a four-property industrial portfolio in Texas; $420 million to refinance a 30-hotel portfolio, of which the Lavipour-Fastov team originated a $50 million mezzanine loan to MCR hotels; and $373 million ground-up construction financing for a life sciences campus in the Bay Area for Goldman Sachs, Beach Capital and Lane Partners. That last deal saw Lavipour and Fastov finance the vertical construction of phase one and then the amenities and parking construction for phase two while retaining the land from this second phase as collateral.
“We like construction financing,” Fastov said. “It plays to our strength because we’re so active in development on the equity side, and we think we’re good at business selection, underwriting and asset management after we make loans.”
“We deliver certainty to borrowers,” he added. “In terms of delivering results for investors, we’re very proactive in what we do, and that’s true in asset management.”—B.P.