Tom Traynor and James Millon

Tom Traynor (left) and James Millon.


Tom Traynor and James Millon

Vice Chairmen at CBRE

Last year's rank: 29

Tom Traynor and James Millon
By July 14, 2020 9:00 AM

Tom Traynor and James Millon’s list of 2019 originations reads like a ‘who’s who’ of real estate heavy hitters. The duo were recently promoted to vice chairmen at CBRE, and for good reason.

Last year, they racked up more than $7 billion in transactions (compared with $2.9 billion in 2018).

Notable transactions include the $1.025 billion refinance for 28 Liberty on behalf of Fosun International; $540 million in acquisition financing for Deerfield Management’s purchase of 345 Park Avenue South; and $314 million in financing for Advance Real Estate’s acquisition and recapitalization of a Mexico industrial portfolio.

Then, there’s the $900 million loan arranged for Blackstone’s $1.24 billion acquisition of Space Center RE and the $450 million loan for the same borrower’s acquisition of a 47-property industrial portfolio from TA Realty.

“We did a lot of repeat business not only with clients, but with our internal partners at CBRE,” Millon said. “We had senior-level mandates with CBRE all across the globe. So you triangulate all these factors and the momentum really started to build.”

“The irony is the year started off slowly because of the dislocation in the capital markets, but you could sense the pipeline growing,” Traynor said. “The fall of 2019 was probably the most exciting for us; not only were we closing lots of important deals, but we had three major pitches where we went head-to-head against every debt competitor in the market.”

Those major pitches — for 655 New York Avenue in DC, St. John’s Terminal and KKR’s AIP Logistics portfolio— turned into deal flow, with the deals closing this year. “It was a huge validation for us,” Millon said. “And 2020 was building up to be an even better year; the first quarter alone would have been 80 percent of last year’s originations.”

Then, of course, COVID-19 hit. But Millon and Traynor continued to launch deals and — more importantly —help their clients through the crisis, pulling from their experience as former Deutsche Bank bankers.

“In times of stress and crisis we’re able to help our clients because we’ve been there,” Millon said. “We’ve restructured deals, we’ve done workouts, we know how to syndicate and we’re solution-oriented. These are the times people need us more than ever.”

“Having been through the Russian crisis, 9/11, the dot-com crisis and Great Recession, we know the mindset of a lending institution protecting capital and what they’re willing to do during the bad times,” Traynor added.

As for recent deals launched, Millon and Traynor are in the market with a $400 million financing request for CIM’s 1440 Broadway, a $251 million loan for Waterbridge Capital and Continental Equities’ 801 South Broadway in L.A and a $688 million financing for MLP Ventures and Deerfield Management’s 1.7-million-square-foot life-science portfolio in Pennsylvania.—C.C.

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