Stars to Watch: Jake Roberts

Jake Roberts, 31, Vice President, Capital Markets, Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp.
One of the hallmarks of a financing guru is the ability to find a way to make a deal work—no matter what roadblocks get in your way.

Jake Roberts, 31
Vice President, Capital Markets
Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp.

One of the hallmarks of a financing guru is the ability to find a way to make a deal work—no matter what roadblocks get in your way. In July 2011, Jake Roberts had one of those deals: A client needed financing for a project involving nine properties in Manhattan, and its preferred lender’s terms just were not good enough. Working through his New York City connections, Roberts was able to get the rates on a 10-year fixed loan down to 5.5 percent—40 points lower than the previous lender— with a debt service coverage of 1.15 times.

Roberts has amassed an impressive list of achievements, given his age. During his undergraduate years at Texas A&M University, he worked as an intern for a pension fund advisor, where he learned the industry’s ins and outs as an analyst. After graduation, he took a job with Holliday Fenoglio Fowler L.P. in Los Angeles, remaining there for two years before moving to Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp.

The top originator of the $1.5 billion arranged by Marcus & Millichap in 2011, he earned a prestigious 2012 National Achievement Award for his accomplishments as a loan originator, his fifth such award. Having joined the firm in April 2004 as a loan originator in the West Los Angeles office, he was promoted to senior associate status in June 2007 and made senior-director level in July 2007. In January 2008, he was elevated to associate vice president of capital markets, and in July 2010, was named vice president. Roberts became a member of the firm’s prestigious Seven-Figure Club in August 2007, and including 2011 has earned eight consecutive sales-recognition awards.

“When I was getting into the business,” Roberts said, “a guy told me that if you can add value for your clients, if you can make them money or if you can save them money, you’ll be successful.”

Memorable Achievements: In addition to last year’s financial juggling, Roberts cites his first deal with Marcus & Millichap in 2004 as one of his most memorable. The deal required providing preferred equity to a client that owed on $1 billion worth of assets. “People told them they couldn’t get preferred equity,” he said, “but we found a way around the $15 million shortfall we were facing.”

Goals: “I’m not a guy driven by money. My goal is to continue to honor my faith and my values—to have integrity and to continue to add value for my clients. To have a business spurred 100 percent by repeat clients and referrals is the best kind of business you can have.”

What Others Say About Him: “We were impressed with his business acumen and his forthrightness. He has considerable ability,” said Stuart Falkin, principal of Falkin-Platnick Realty Group.

Greatest Challenges: In 2004, Roberts had to prove himself to a client, as the capital side of Marcus & Millichap hadn’t yet been established. “The client wasn’t sure about using the new guys at M&M, and we were able to make up a $15 million shortfall on the acquisition, even when other people told them they couldn’t get preferred equity.”

Secrets to Success: “I’m very strong in my faith, and I believe God has blessed me. In the end, my team and I work together to bring a team approach to the clients.”

Best Advice Received: When he was getting into the business, someone told him, “If you can add value for people by making them money or by saving them money, and you do it with integrity, you’ll be successful.”

Advice to Others: “Always have integrity and be above reproach. Always add value for clients. Don’t be afraid to work hard, and don’t be afraid to be told, ‘No.’ ” —Nicholas Ziegler