Walker & Dunlop Acquires AKS Capital Partners

The commercial real estate finance firm will ramp up its New York City presence by adding a 15-member capital markets team.
Founding team members of AKS Capital Partners. Clockwise from left: Aaron Appel, Keith Kurland, Adam Schwartz, Jonathan Schwartz. Image courtesy of Walker & Dunlop

Walker & Dunlop is raising its profile in the nation’s most active office market by snapping up New York City-based capital markets advisory shop AKS Capital Partners.

Through the deal, the Bethesda, Md.-based finance heavyweight has acquired a 15-person team led by Partners Aaron Appel, Keith Kurland, Jonathan Schwartz and Adam Schwartz. They will join Walker & Dunlop as senior managing directors and co-heads of the New York Capital Markets Practice.

Founded last summer, AKS comprises professionals with a $50 billion track record of originations for commercial real estate owner-operators, chiefly institutional clients. Walker & Dunlop’s newly acquired team will source and structure financing for all commercial real estate asset classes nationwide.

The acquisition will augment Walker & Dunlop’s client base while ramping up the company’s presence in New York City and strengthening its debt brokerage capabilities beyond multifamily assets, according to a statement. New York Stock Exchange-listed Walker & Dunlop has a nationwide headcount of more than 800 professionals across 39 offices.

Big financing deals

The Crown Building. Image courtesy of Bjoertvedt via Wikimedia Commons

Highlights of AKS’s Manhattan activities include a $749 million refinancing package for a revamp of 355 Madison Ave. and an $807 million debt refinancing for the Crown Building, a mixed-use property at 57th St. and Fifth Ave. Founding team members Appel, Kurland, Schwartz and Schwartz previously worked at JLL, where they were annually named the highest-producing debt and equity advisers.

In one of their last deals at JLL, Appel, Kurland and Jonathan Schwartz in April 2019 helped secure a $664 million construction loan for 9 DeKalb Ave., a supertall luxury and affordable residential tower in downtown Brooklyn.