Larry Kravetz and Steven Caldwell

Larry Kravetz and Steven Caldwell

Head of CMBS Finance; Head of Large Loan Originations at Barclays

Last year's rank: 15

Larry Kravetz and Steven Caldwell
By May 3, 2021 8:59 AM

Only four letters separate one of our honorees from a celebrity. And it’s pretty safe to say that both Lenny Kravitz and Larry Kravetz are rock stars.

Despite a global pandemic battering the industry, the bank racked up a cool $7.7 billion in originations, remaining active across conduit and SASB CMBS loans, balance sheet loans, acquisition facilities and warehouse lines. Barclays was a steady hand during the COVID-19 crisis, while several other lenders abandoned ship. 

“Because we’re a relatively small and concentrated CMBS platform, and not part of a broader real estate behemoth, we have to be focused, coordinated and strategic about what we’re offering our clients.” Kravetz said. 

And that razor-sharp focus was plain to see.

Barclays was one of the first lenders to resume activity during the pandemic, restarting originations in May and bringing much-needed liquidity to the market. 

“There were a few canaries out there,” Kravetz said. “But once we had a data point for new issuance, and we saw the secondary markets starting to come back once the government announced that they were going to provide a backstop, we restarted lending.” 

In addition to conduit loans, Barclays was among the most active SASB lenders when the market restarted, taking the lead left, right or sole lead in six of the first 13 SASB deals.  

In June 2020, it teamed up with Goldman Sachs to provide a $900 million loan to fund Blackstone’s Hollywood Media Portfolio acquisition. In September, it closed a $483 million CMBS financing for Sotheby’s New York headquarters — an aggressive loan at the time, made to a single tenant rated below investment grade in an industry that was in question due to COVID’s impact; and, in December, a $740 million loan to KKR for the acquisition of an industrial portfolio. Securitized in the KIND 2021-KDIP SASB in mid-January, the AAAs achieved the lowest spread (L+55bp) of any SASB floater in the CMBS 2.0 era. 

On the balance sheet side, the bank co-originated a $550 million loan for Related Companies and Jamestown on the Innovation and Design Building in Boston. The life sciences transaction represented one of the first large, syndicated balance sheet loans as that market reemerged in late 2020.  

And, with some balance sheet lenders exiting during COVID, Barclays stepped in to provide clients with floating-rate loans that would lead to smaller-than-typical SASB floaters in the $100 million to $250 million range.

“We have a strong culture, up and down, and everyone on the team really does a good job of being client-focused and creative about solutions,” Caldwell said. “This has led to new product creation; it has led to us doing acquisition lines and our mini-SASB shelf. We’re always seeking ways to be even more relevant as advisers to clients.”

“The industry itself didn’t feel as damaged or under siege,” Kravetz said. “We were reminded this time around that health is the most important thing, but I do think the maturation of the industry also came through in the way special servicers and B-piece owners treated borrowers who had distress. The industry handled something that was completely unprecedented in a much more mature way.”—C.C.

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