Josh Zegen, Brian Shatz and Adam Tantleff

From left: Adam Tantleff, Brian Shatz and Josh Zegen.


Josh Zegen, Brian Shatz and Adam Tantleff

Managing principal and co-founder; managing principal and co-founder; managing principal at Madison Realty Capital

Last year's rank: 72

Josh Zegen, Brian Shatz and Adam Tantleff
By May 10, 2024 9:00 AM

For two decades, Madison Realty Capital has specialized in providing bespoke financing solutions for commercial real estate lenders and borrowers alike. 

The firm can originate whole loans, provide lender financing — A notes, B notes, loan-on-loan financing — and it can even buy performing and nonperforming loans from other lenders. This flexibility allowed Madison to transcend a brutal interest rate environment and finish 2023 with a deal volume of $3 billion and assets under management of $12 billion. 

“2023 was obviously a year where you had a lot of people on the sidelines, and we took it as an opportunity to step up,” said Josh Zegen, who leads the firm alongside Brian Shatz and Adam Tantleff. “We had a lot of capital, a diversified investor base that’s global in nature, and we were able to lean in and deploy capital into places where others didn’t allocate [capital].” 

Few deals better illustrated this flexibility than the firm’s $585 million origination for the Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley, a $2 billion hotel, residence and retail development in Scottsdale, Ariz.  

“It fell into a category of deals, where the property was 60 percent complete, residences were $300 million condos that were 100 percent sold, but the borrower’s loan matured and they needed more money to finish,” explained Zegen. “It played into our expertise: collaborative pieces, construction completion, and very few can provide a whole loan of $585 million coming from one source.” 

Speaking of sources, Madison’s deep investor base, which it has cultivated since 2004, includes private institutions, pension funds, endowments, foundations, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds. 

“You have debt funds that have a U.S.-centric investor base, but the problem is the U.S. has been full from a capital raise perspective for quite a while now,” Zegen said. “So we have investors in all regions — areas where we went into 10 years ago, and invested time and energy and that we’ve found great success with. 

“Going global takes time commitment. It takes years of going there and being there,” he added.