CPE’s 2018 Financier of the Year

CPE's Financier of the Year is awarded in two categories—first place and honorable mention—winners were chosen by a confidential vote of their peers among our volunteer advisory board of industry leaders.

FIRST PLACE:

Joe Thornton Jr.
President, HFF Inc. & Executive Managing Director, HFF LP

Joe Thornton
Joe Thornton

Money Manager: Thornton has more than 30 years of experience in commercial real estate, including investment advisory, debt, equity placement and loan servicing. He became a director and a vice chairman of Dallas-based HFF Inc. in 2006, and in 2014 he assumed the role of president of HFF Inc. and managing member of HFF LP and HFF Securities, the operating partnerships. Thornton joined HFF L.P.’s predecessor firm, Holliday Fenoglio Inc., in March 1992 and has held several senior positions with the firm, including board member and principal. Before HFF, he was a senior vice president of The Joyner Mortgage Co. and a senior accountant with the Audit Division of Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co.

HFF at a Glance: In the past year, the company expanded, with new offices in Seattle, Phoenix and London (its first international location), and changed headquarters from Pittsburgh to Dallas for a total of 26 offices and more than 398 transaction professionals in the U.S. and London.

Banner Year: HFF tallied a record $96 billion in transactions last year, a 17.1 percent increase over 2016. Total deals increased 7.1 percent to 2,357, also a record.

Landmark Deals: HFF professionals arranged a slew of high-profile sales last year, including the $640 million sale of 5 Bryant Park, a 35-story, 681,575-square-foot Class A office tower with frontage on New York City’s Bryant Park; the £248 million (roughly $326 million) sale of Cannon Bridge House, a landmark London office asset totaling 286,595 square feet across two buildings; and the $415 million sale of Washington Harbour, a 562,105-square-foot, world-renowned mixed-use property on the Potomac River in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown submarket.

Finance Highlights: HFF arranged $150 million in financing for The Wrigley Building, an iconic Class A office and retail property totaling 478,920 square feet in Chicago; the $250 million capitalization for the development of Ameswell Mountain View, a fully entitled, mixed-use project comprising a 255-room upscale independent hotel and a 216,700-square-foot, Class A, LEED Platinum office building in Mountain View, Calif.; and $126 million in financing for the development of Main Street, the amenity space within The Village, the 300-acre “city within a city” in Dallas. — Sibley Fleming


HONORABLE MENTION:

Angela Mago
Head, KeyBank Real Estate Capital

Angela Mago
Angela Mago

Leader of Lenders: Mago has been involved in real estate and healthcare finance for all of her 30 years at the bank. In January 2016, she was named co-head of the corporate bank for KeyCorp, in addition to her role as head of real estate capital. She was named head of real estate capital in 2014 and has direct responsibility for a $29 billion real estate portfolio, as well as a large commercial mortgage origination and third-party loan servicing operation.

Record-Breaking Year: In 2018, KeyBank Real Estate Capital was the No. 1 FHA 232 Lean Lender. According to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, KeyBank ended the fiscal year as the leading FHA healthcare lender by volume, having provided $812.7 million through the 232 Lean program—the largest single-year volume in the program’s history. (The bank finished No. 3 and No. 2 in FHA lending in 2017 and 2016, respectively.) Earlier in the year, KeyBank closed the largest single-asset HUD deal with a $127 million FHA 232/223(f) loan secured by Upper East Nursing Rehabilitation in New York City. The corporate bank, which Mago co-heads with Randy Paine, had a record year in 2017, generating more than $2.3 billion in revenue. — Therese Fitzgerald

Jeff Friedman
Co-Founder, Mesa West Capital

Jeff Friedman
Jeff Friedman

Capital Dealer: Prior to co-founding Mesa West with Mark Zytkco in 2004, Friedman spent three years at Maguire Partners as a principal in charge of capital market activities, which included restructuring of the firm’s debt, the buyout of partners and the firm’s eventual $800 million IPO. He got his start in real estate originating large loans as a vice president of Nomura Asset Capital Corp. and later as a director at Credit Suisse First Boston in New York. Previously, he was a corporate lawyer, working initially in Tokyo for an affiliate of Sidley & Austin and then in New York for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

More Firepower: Mesa West is a privately held Los Angeles-based portfolio lender with a capital base of more than $4 billon. The company prides itself on offering “flexible and reliable” capital for acquisitions, refinancings and recapitalizations for the major property types. In 2018, Mesa West was sold to Morgan Stanley; it is now wholly owned by the investment bank. Meanwhile, the company originated more than $3 billion of loans—the most volume since its inception. It also opened a San Francisco office. Its other bases are in New York City and Chicago. — Therese Fitzgerald