Faisal Ashraf, chief executive officer andfounder of Lotus Capital, had one singlemission when starting the lending firmin 2016 and that was to intermediatecapital on behalf of clients. Beforelaunching the company, Faisal was nostranger to holding leadership roles.
With 16 years in the industry under his
belt, he has held the position of deputy
head of real estate finance in Europe
and large loan banking group in New
York for Credit Suisse. And before founding his own firm, he was
managing director and head of capital markets for Cantor
Commercial Real Estate. While at Cantor, Faisal structured and
closed over $35 billion in debt and equity related products. Today,
Faisal is structuring loans between $50 and $300 million on projects
ranging from hotel to office to multifamily across the US. Expanding
Lotus Capital and its offerings is Faisal’s top priority, and is why two
years ago he launched a loan sale and distribution business aimed
at lenders and investors who want to de-risk and leverage their posi-
tions in whole loans, A-notes and mezzanine debt. Notable transac-
tions Faisal has arranged include a $100 million loan to build the
first phase of SLS project in Hallandale Beach and a $107 million
financing for Tahoe Beach Club via ACORE Capital.
Brian Barrow became CEO ofParamount Specialty Finance when itwas founded in October of 2015. Barrowteamed up with Joel Waxman to foundthe firm. Through his lead, Paramounthas deployed a programmatic, institutional solution to net leased developersacross the entire country, providing upto 100% loan to cost loans for build tosuit, blend and extend and sale leaseback opportunities. The under $10 million net leased lending space has always been very fragmented witha variety of lenders and equity sources almost entirely on the local
Lenders may be excused from feeling particularlystressed right now. In typical times they have oftenhad to make difficult decisions but now they must alsofactor in an uncertain economy that is being driven bythe virus.
The men and women on the following pages—ourchoices for this year’s lender influencers—wereselected based on the criteria we always use for influencers: their proficiency in assessing and underwritingCRE deals. We don’t look at numbers or rankings, butinstead look for financial savvy and industry knowledge. If anyone can steer a deal through right now, itwill be this group.
GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum presents