Cantor Fitzgerald, CIM Unveil New Mortgage Banking Venture

Cantor Fitzgerald and CIM Group disclosed today that they are joining forces in Cantor Commercial Real Estate (CCRE). The new enterprise is aiming for $5 billion in annualized loan production for starters.

A major new player has just entered the commercial real estate finance field. New York City’s Cantor Fitzgerald and Los Angeles-based CIM Group disclosed today that they are joining forces in Cantor Commercial Real Estate (CCRE). The new enterprise is initially aiming for $5 billion in annualized loan production

CCRE chief Anthony Orso

Timing is everything, executives emphasized today in unveiling the new venture. “CCRE believes the market is poised to become more active, as U.S. commercial property values begin to stabilize and as it is expected that borrowers will need to refinance about $1.4 trillion of commercial real estate debt maturing over the next 4 to 5 years,” Anthony Orso, Executive Managing Director of Cantor Fitzgerald and CEO of CCRE, noted in a prepared statement. “Current market conditions provide a significant opportunity to build a vibrant role for CCRE in the commercial real estate financing marketplace.”

CCRE will provide secured fixed-rate and floating-rate mortgages and mezzanine loans nationally, and the new firm’s activities will involve the securitizations of the loans as well. In terms of collateral, a variety of property types, particularly in major urban markets, will be considered for origination of competitively underwritten secured loans.

The partners contend that their collaboration will break new ground. “We have created an exciting new platform in the CMBS origination and structuring business, something that was traditionally kept in-house by Wall Street,” Howard W. Lutnick, Chairman and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, said. “It’s a defining moment in commercial real estate lending.”

And the real estate lending market is bouncing back as more lenders get back in the game. In the second quarter of 2010, commercial and multifamily loan originations increased 1 percent from the second quarter of 2009, according to a quarterly survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association. However, the quarter-over-quarter change was far more dramatic. From the first quarter to the second quarter of this year, originations skyrocketed 35 percent. CMBS conduits and insurance companies are leading the surge, having increased origination 106 percent and 57 percent, respectively.