Jeffrey Fastov and Michael Lavipour 

Michael Lavipour (left) and Jeffrey Fastov.


Michael Lavipour and Jeffrey Fastov

Head of Lending; Head of Credit Strategies at Affinius Capital

Last year's rank: 28

Jeffrey Fastov and Michael Lavipour 
By April 22, 2024 8:50 AM

Diversification was the name of the game for Affinius Capital in 2023. 

With $4.7 billion in deal volume across 43 originations, the real estate investment firm found itself active amid several different strategies in 2023, including transitional lending, bridge takeouts, ground-up construction financing, note purchases, fixed-rate life insurance company financing and stabilized subordinated debt. 

“One of the things we have going for us is our diversity of products. We’re not a one-trick pony — we have access to bridge finance capital, development finance capital and core lending products,” said Michael Lavipour. “And that allowed us to be more active than most.” 

One deal that epitomizes Affinius’ crafty approach to bridge lending is the firm’s $129 million construction financing takeout on a 363-unit, Class A, multifamily property in Los Angeles. After multiple construction delays and cost overruns, Affinus swooped in and provided enough liquidity to allow the sponsor to pay off its preferred equity investor, clear the outstanding liens and invoices weighing the deal down, and finish construction in a timely manner on a desirable Class A asset. 

To Lavipour, the deal embodied Affinius’ place in a market that had written loans when interest rates were at near zero and now found sponsors refinancing amid 5 percent headwinds. 

“They all need to refinance, and now there’s a takeout lender market in the debt fund space that can take out the loans written by banks in that earlier period of time,” he explained. “What we’re effectively doing is picking up from where the bank originated construction loans earlier. With construction risk taken out of them, and with multifamily and industrial, there’s only low lease-up risk.”  

This type of diversification across lending and funding models is reflective of the lateral structure that Lavipour, Jeffrey Fastov and company employ across its fund, one that allows it to truly understand the asset management side of the business together with the different financing platforms. 

“I think this is going to sound crazy, but people actually work together at Affinius. It’s not a culture of, ‘I did this, so I deserve that,’ ” said Lavipour. “Our origination team shares clients with our capital markets team and works seamlessly together.”

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