GEORGE SMITH PARTNERS
With more than 25 years in business, George Smith Partners hasestablished a reputation as an ethical and innovative capitalbrokerage firm. Since its founding, the firm has closed morethan $58 billion in financing deals, serving both developers andinvestors to structure acquisition, construction, bridge and permanent loans. The firm also secures mezzanine loans, highlyleveraged participating loans and joint venture equity on behalfof its clients. Last year, the company closed its largest transaction to date, a $460 million loan, and even through 2020, thefirm has maintained strong transaction volumes, despite therecent market disruption. As a leader in the industry, GeorgeSmith Partners does more than just close deals. It publishes aweekly CRE resource called FinFacts, which is read by morethan 50,000 people. The firm is also deeply invested in mentoring young talent, operating a rotating analyst program todevelop future leaders. Often, these analysts become full-timeemployees with the firm.
GowerCrowd works with clients to raise equity and develop investor lists by leveraging the marketing power of the Internet andnew technologies to create a completely passive process for thesponsor. Using this method, all capital is raised online from interested investors, essentially reshaping the way that deals arefinanced and changing the capital formation. Led by AdamGower, who has 30 years and $1.5 billion of transactional experience, GowerCrowd clients have raised tens of millions of dollars.Gower has a Ph.D. in risk mitigation, and is known for creatingThe Investor Acquisition System, a capital formation program.When he isn’t innovating the capital raise, Gower mentors students beginning their commercial real estate careers and givesthem insight into crowdfunding and new technologies revolutionizing the industry.
MESA WEST CAPITAL
When founded by Jeff Friedman and Mark Zytko in 2005, MesaWest Captial was one of the first companies to focus exclusivelyon commercial real restate debt. The move has made the firm apioneer in the debt fund space and its success has earned it aname as one of the top 50 real estate debt fund managers in theUnited States. For the last decade, the firm has generated $500million in loans annually and has sourced and closed more than300 transactions totaling more than $19 billion. Mesa Westfunds non-recourse first mortgage loans for a variety of dealtypes, including core and core-plus, value-add and transitionalproperties with loan sizes ranging from $20 million up to $400million. This year, notable deals have included providing SaresRegis Group with $65 million first mortgage debt for the acquisition of The Preston, a 169-unit multifamily community in LosAngeles.
MOSAIC REAL ESTATE INVESTORS
Founded in 2015 by Ethan Penner and Vicky Schiff, Mosaic RealEstate Investors set out to become a leader in the debt fund space bystructuring deals that reduce the impact of economic down cycles—a strategy that has served clients well in this year. In that short fiveyears, the firm has accomplished its goal by carrying out in-depthinitial due diligence, structuring strong protective covenants, performing hands-on asset management, and working with experienced sponsors with successful track records. This has culminatedin more than $2 billion in originations. The success isn’t surprising.The firm’s leadership team has a collective $50 billion-plus andthree decades worth of real estate and lending experience. Theteam has leveraged that experience to close deals like a $68.75 million dollar loan for the construction of a new UC Merced studenthousing development totaling 270 units. The founders are continuing to evolve the company and raise the bar by embracing newopportunities. This, the firm says, ensures a bright future.
RED STAR MORTGAGE CORP.
As a non-bank lender, Red Star Mortgage Corp. provides financingsolutions for self-employed borrowers looking for alternative formsof financing. The firm is able to provide 30-year fixed-rate commercial mortgages—a rarity in the commercial mortgage industry—without the need obtain qualifying tax returns or cash flow analysis.Focusing on the small balance market, the firm funds loans from$250,000 to $7.5 million. It funds permanent private loans up to75% loan-to-value and fixed rates with flexible credit and underwriting standards on all property types, including retail, office, industrialand multifamily. By serving this niche market, Red Star has continued to see strong lending activity through the pandemic, particularlyhelping small businesses and investor owners with purchase, refinance and cash out opportunities. When the firm isn’t closing deals,it is mentoring young talent on strategic market tactics and participating in the local community’s Chamber of Commerce.
TURNBULL CAPITAL GROUP
Newport Beach-based, Turnbull Capital Group is a leader in theleisure and hospitality investment banking sector. Donald W. Wiseand Michael P. Branigan are at the helm of the firm, with a combined 55 years of experience and an impressive track record in theindustry. Wise established what today is CBRE Hotels in 1984 andfounded the leisure and hospitality investment banking lendingpractice at Johnson Capital in 2007, which is now at Walker &Dunlop. Branigan has been involved in more than $10 billion indebt and equity placements. Turnbull Capital Group has a team of
15 senior managing directors and has completed nearly $20 billionin preferred equity and debt placement along with several othercapital needs, like hospitality workouts, bankruptcies and notesales. Among its most notable deals, the firm has represented ajoint venture between the Platt Companies and MarriottInternational on the purchase of One Beverly Hills.