$1B CRE Finance Company Makes Debut

Ladder Finance Capital L.L.C. has announced that it is up and ready to do business. Based in New York City, the new firm will specialize in commercial real estate finance–certainly a market in the midst of some upheaval. The company has approximately $1 billion in equity and debt capital to put to use. The leading investors in Ladder Finance are a pair of private equity firms, TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. and GI Partners. TowerBrook Capital is based in New York and London. GI Partners is based in Menlo Park, Calif. and London. Principals of the New York City-based Meridian Capital Group are also major investors in the newly formed company. Brian Harris, previously the managing director and head of global commercial real estate at UBS, is the company’s CEO. Brian Harris was one of the top executive at the former Dillon Hedge Fund and his responsibilities there were mainly in the commercial real estate lending rather than the sub-prime lending area. He is said to have worked to raise much of the money to launch the new company. Ladder will face the new challenges produced by the scarcity of liquidity in financing, and hopes to take advantage of specific opportunities that are emerging as a result of long-term structural changes perceived in the industry. Ladder will provide purchase origination and management of a portfolio of commercial real estate mortgages, including fixed–rate, floating-rate mortgages, as well as junior interests in mezzanine loans and commercial mortgage-backed securities. The members of the new team come to this enterprise awash with experience. Others on the team include Greta Guggenheim as president, Marc Fox as the CFOfficer and Pamela McCormack who is the general counsel & head of transaction management. Robert Perelman is the head of asset management. Alan Fishman, formerly the CEO at Washington Mutual, will serve as the new company’s chairman of the board, and his expertise will be highly appreciated. Alan Fishman is perhaps most talked about as of late for his recent personal financial coup, with a contract that made it possible for him to earn just under $20 million, for just 17 days of actual on-the-job work at WaMU, before the company went under.