Dustin Stolly and Jordan Roeschlaub
Vice Chairmen and Co-Heads of Debt and Structured Finance at Newmark
Last year's rank: 10
When COVID-19 hit, Dustin Stolly and Jordan Roeschlaub rolled up their sleeves and got to work. Their team put in 18-hour days to guide their clients through the uncharted waters that suddenly surrounded them.
The past year had many defining hallmarks, and being the year of the adviser is undoubtedly one of them. In an upturned market, where lenders’ presence and appetite changed on a day-to-day basis, borrowers leaned extra heavily on savvy intermediaries to steer the ship, and get deals done.
“We mobilized our team immediately, dragging a ton of deals we had in process over the finish line,” Roeschlaub said. “We were in front of everyone from 5.30 a.m. to midnight.”
“We tenaciously stayed on top of things so we were at the forefront of information, tracking which lenders were in and out of the market at the time,” Stolly said. “We were in the market all day, every day and had a pulse on everything.”
And it paid off. During COVID, the team closed $13.8 billion of financings, $3 billion of equity raises, and $1.7 billion of loan sales.
When transaction activity within the team’s core debt placement business slowed, the team swiftly repositioned its business activities to better serve clients, keenly aware that its role as a capital adviser and intermediary was more important than ever during this time of uncertainty and dislocation.
Recognizing that many of their lending partners were starved for liquidity, Stolly and Roeschlaub focused on helping them dispose of loans on their books and resolve credit problems. In March 2020, they were the first to go to market with a book of mezzanine loan sales for an institutional client, along with a $300 million distressed hospitality loan pool that turned out to be the first of more than a dozen loan sale assignments over the year.
And as market activity slowed in their native New York, they worked with clients transacting in other parts of the country, expanding their national footprint on the way. They saw their clients allocate capital to certain alternative COVID-resilient asset classes, and educated themselves on these sectors.
Notable transactions included a $155 million recapitalization of Thor Equities’ 280 Richards Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn; the resolution of the $232 million in distressed senior and mezzanine loans on RedSky Capital’s retail portfolio in Brooklyn’s East Williamsburg neighborhood; the $650 million refinance of Sotheby’s New York headquarters; a preferred equity recapitalization of a $2.2 billion hospitality portfolio for AJ Capital Partners; and a $1.67 billion financing of a self-storage portfolio for Blackstone. The team also spent significant time syndicating A-notes for lenders, helping clients establish lines of credit or warehouse lines, and placing acquisition facilities for several clients who were raising capital in 2020.
Last year, Newmark embarked on a new strategy intended to significantly enhance its inclusion and diversity practices, too, through a program called IDEA: Inclusion, Diversity, Equality and Access — designed to influence every aspect of the firm’s talent attraction, hiring and retention strategies, and to apply it to company practices and with the partners with whom it engages.—C.C.