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CRE Finance Council Forums

CRE Finance Council Forums are market constituencies that drive the global commercial real estate finance industry. Our Forums include GSE/Multifamily Lenders, High Yield and Distressed Realty Assets, Investment-Grade Bondholders, B-Piece Investors, Issuers, Portfolio Lenders, and Servicers. Each of these Forums interacts and addresses issues critical to their business sector and works to achieve solutions that serve a common purpose.

As these Forums collaborate, CRE Finance Council’s objectives are to represent all Forum participants, manage disparate and converging views, advocate a consensus of positions to policy and lawmakers, educate members, develop best practices, and work toward the betterment of the entire commercial real estate finance market.

Contact Kathleen Olin or call (202) 448-0863 for Forum related questions.

Forum Related News

News

CREFC Portfolio Lenders Forum

March 21, 2022

Meet our leadership team:

Insurance Company Lenders Sub-Forum

CHAIR CHAIR-ELECT PAST-CHAIR
 
Michael Cale
Co-Head
Debt Investments
Allianz
Stefanie Stewart
SVP –
Real Estate Finance
Voya Investment
Management

Eric Becher
Managing Director
/Portfolio
Manager - Debt
New York Life


Bank Lenders Sub-Forum

CHAIR CHAIR-ELECT PAST-CHAIR
 
Lissette
Rivera-Pauley

Credit Products
Team Manager -
Income Property
Finance, Senior Vice
President
Regions Bank
Jonathan Salzinger
Director,Real Estate
Corporate Banking
Bank of America

Sylvia O’Neill
Associate General Counsel
and SVP
Bank of America

 

Together, Michael, Stefanie, Eric, Lissette, Jonathan and Sylvia form the “Leadership Working Group” for CREFC’s Portfolio Lenders Forum. Importantly this group sets the agendas and priorities for the Forum, as well as represents their constituencies on CREFC’s Policy Committee.

Portfolio Lender Forum conversations at CREFC’s January conference covered an array of topics from business operations to market focus. Internal to many lenders’ businesses, they are discussing how best to hire and train personnel to move up the ladder, how best to manage office space and potential hybrid flexibility and when people are in the office, and how to make the most of it to collaborate.

Externally, lenders are seeing much competition, especially with private equity firms acquiring insurance firms. Lenders are focused on maintaining strong credit quality and developing heightened ESG lending and reporting.

Looking ahead at opportunities and challenges, the leaders acknowledge that the debt business is more complicated than ever, especially with many new entrants. This can create good potential, but also fuels personnel turnover. Lenders are also keeping an eye on developing regulations and market practices surrounding ESG.

Additionally, these recent policy issues are of interest for Portfolio Lenders:

Seeking Forum Leaders for the Upcoming Term. Forum leaders are currently considering nominations for the next incoming chair to join their leadership slate and formulating the agenda for the forum session at CREFC's Annual Conference in June.

Contact

Kathleen Olin
Managing Director, Industry Initiatives
202.448.0863
kolin@crefc.org
The information provided herein is general in nature and for educational purposes only. CRE Finance Council makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, validity, usefulness, or suitability of the information provided. The information should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal, financial, tax, accounting, investment, commercial or other advice, and CRE Finance Council disclaims all liability for any such reliance. © 2022 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
2022 Update on CREFC's Portfolio Lenders Forum
March 21, 2022
The Portfolio Lender Forum covers an array of topics from business operations to market focus. Meet our Forum leaders and become involved.

News

CREFC GSE/Multifamily Lenders Forum

February 22, 2022

Meet our leadership team:

CHAIR CHAIR-ELECT PAST-CHAIR
 
Bill Fecteau
Executive Director,
Capital Markets
PGIM Real Estate
Emily Schultz
Managing Director,
Head of Fannie Mae
Originations
Berkadia

Michael Case
VP - MF Capital
Markets, Loan Pricing
Freddie Mac

Together, Bill, Emily and Michael form the “Leadership Working Group” for CREFC’s GSE/Multifamily Lenders Forum. Importantly this group sets the agendas and priorities for the Forum, as well as represents their constituencies on CREFC’s Policy Committee.

Conversations at CREFC’s January conference focused initially on great multifamily fundamentals and how well they have performed during COVID. While the crisis isn’t over, multifamily is expected to do quite well for the foreseeable future—with an abundance of equity that needs to be deployed, and an abundance of debt available to lever.

Affordable housing market demand/trends are also top of mind with the need for the agencies to serve the mission goals with more affordable and workforce housing, especially in high-cost areas. Finding affordable projects—with lower availability in recent years coupled with migration—is key.

Recent market volatility caused by the imminent Fed tightening cycle and the Russia-Ukraine crisis has reduced demand for duration products such as ACMBS. The near-term challenge for Fannie and Freddie will be to adjust credit spreads to be competitive. The good news is that while Jan-Feb 2022 ACMBS issuance is lower than 2021, issuance is still higher than pre-COVID levels.

Looking ahead, for opportunities, the leaders have discussed ESG with green and social bonds. Challenges for the year include managing the FHFA’s cap and goals for affordability, and whether they will produce enough for lenders to serve their non-mission driven clients.

Additionally, these recent policy issues are of interest for GSE/Multifamily Lenders:

Forum leaders are currently considering nominations for the next incoming chair to join their leadership slate and formulating the agenda for the forum session at CREFC's Annual Conference in June.

To join the GSE/Multifamily Lenders Forum, please register here. For any forum related questions, please contact Kathleen Olin.

Contact

Kathleen Olin
Managing Director, Industry Initiatives
202.448.0863
kolin@crefc.org
The information provided herein is general in nature and for educational purposes only. CRE Finance Council makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, validity, usefulness, or suitability of the information provided. The information should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal, financial, tax, accounting, investment, commercial or other advice, and CRE Finance Council disclaims all liability for any such reliance. © 2022 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
2022 Update on CREFC's GSE/Multifamily Lenders Forum
March 14, 2022
Learn of the lending opportunities and challenges from CREFC's GSE/Multifamily Lenders Forum. Meet our Forum Leaders and recent policy issues of interest to GSE/Multifamily Lenders.

News

CREFC B-Piece Investors Forum

March 7, 2022

Meet our leadership team:

CHAIR CHAIR-ELECT PAST-CHAIR
 
Zach Freedman
Managing Director,
Eightfold Real
Estate Capital, L.P.
Lyndsay Stephenson
Managing Director
Prime Finance

Rene J. Theriault
Managing Director, Real Estate
KKR - Kohlberg Kravis Roberts

Together, Zach, Lyndsay and Rene form the “Leadership Working Group” for CREFC’s B-Piece Investors Forum. Importantly this group sets the agendas and priorities for the Forum, as well as represents their constituencies on CREFC’s Policy Committee.

Key B-Piece Investors Focus Areas

- Maintaining discipline on new issue credit as harder-hit property types make their way back into CMBS

- Working to get loans corrected and returned to master servicers and other directing certificate holder responsibilities

- Rethinking loan structures—cash flow sweeps and other protections that are in place when a credit event happens aren’t working as designed

Looking ahead, leaders are optimistic that fixed-rate volume will improve relative to 2021 and would welcome more transactions. The forum would like to continue the push towards better use technology, including use of AI, to improve the speed of reporting from borrowers to servicers and trustees to investors. Challenges for this sector are the uncertain economy and the staying power of the post-COVID recovery in hotels and retail and the still unfolding effect on office.

Forum leaders are currently considering nominations for the next incoming chair to join their leadership slate and formulating the agenda for CREFCs Annual Conference in June.

To join the B-Piece Investors Forum, please register here. For any forum related questions, please contact Kathleen Olin.


Contact

Kathleen Olin
Managing Director, Industry Initiatives
202.448.0863
kolin@crefc.org
The information provided herein is general in nature and for educational purposes only. CRE Finance Council makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, validity, usefulness, or suitability of the information provided. The information should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal, financial, tax, accounting, investment, commercial or other advice, and CRE Finance Council disclaims all liability for any such reliance. © 2022 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
2022 Update on CREFC's B-Piece Investors Forum
March 7, 2022
Meet the “Leadership Working Group” for CREFC’s B-Piece Investors Forum. This group sets the agendas and priorities for the Forum, as well as represents their constituencies on CREFC’s Policy Committee.

News

CREFC High Yield & Distressed Realty Assets (HYDRA) Forum

February 28, 2022

Meet our leadership team:

High Yield Investments Sub-Forum

CHAIR CHAIR-ELECT PAST-CHAIR
 
Thanh Bui
Managing Director
Clarion Partners
Samir Tejpaul
Principal
 
Square Mile Capital Investments
Management

Abbe Franchot Borok
Managing Director,
Head of US Debt
BentallGreenOak


Distressed Realty Assets Sub-Forum

CHAIR CHAIR-ELECT PAST-CHAIR
 
Niral Shah
Credit Products
Managing Director,
Head of Servicing Operations
Rialto
Andrea Helm
Senior Vice President
Midland Loan Services

Merrick "Rick" Gross
Shareholder
Carlton Fields

 

Together, Thanh, Samir, Abbe, Niral, Andrea and Rick form the “Leadership Working Group” for CREFC’s High Yield & Distressed Realty Assets Forum. Importantly this group sets the agendas and priorities for the Forum, as well as represents their constituencies on CREFC’s Policy Committee.

Key HYDRA Focus Areas

Increased competition

- Barbelling of portfolios with multifamily and industrial given challenges in other asset classes;

- Interesting and at times challenging lending structures such as ground leases and their impact on various financings;

- The scarcity of distressed opportunities during the pandemic, which can be attributed in part to stimulus funds and recovering asset and thus loan performance;

- Additionally, talent attraction and retention is a top concern. While pipelines remain strong, gaining traction on all the opportunities requires staff to meet the increased goals.

Looking ahead, leaders acknowledge that debt funds have hit their stride. To the good, growth opportunities remain plentiful for alternative lenders given the significant uptick in demand for bridge loans as the pandemic recedes. Challenges for high yield include the aforementioned talent retention, plus the challenges faced in developing ESG metrics and how to hold funds accountable. On the distressed side, managers are focusing on surveillance in order to protect credit, but see opportunities from the debt/equity side to provide capital when needed.

Forum leaders, including Thanh, Andrea, Niral and Samir who are part of the planning committee, are looking forward to exploring some of these topics further at CREFC’s March 31 HYDRA and Servicing Conference in New York City. Please click here to learn more.

To join the HYDRA Forum, please register here. For any forum related questions, please contact Kathleen Olin.

Contact

Kathleen Olin
Managing Director, Industry Initiatives
202.448.0863
kolin@crefc.org
The information provided herein is general in nature and for educational purposes only. CRE Finance Council makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, validity, usefulness, or suitability of the information provided. The information should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal, financial, tax, accounting, investment, commercial or other advice, and CRE Finance Council disclaims all liability for any such reliance. © 2022 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
2022 Update on High Yield & Distressed Realty Assets (HYDRA) Forum
February 28, 2022
Meet the “Leadership Working Group” for CREFC’s High Yield & Distressed Realty Assets Forum. Learn of this group's agenda and priorities for the Forum, as well as key HYDRA focus areas.

News

CREFC Investment-Grade Bondholders Forum

February 22, 2022

Meet our leadership team:

CHAIR CHAIR-ELECT PAST-CHAIR
 
Manish Rajguru
Portfolio
Manager-CMBS
OFS Capital
Jane Rivers
Vice President,
Credit Analyst
TRowe Price

Meena Pursnani
Director
Metlife Investment
Management

Together, Manish, Jane and Meena form the “Leadership Working Group” for the IG Bondholders Forum and set agendas and priorities for the Forum, as well as represent the constituency on CREFC’s Policy Committee.

Current issues include:

ESG. CREFC is well along in establishing a set of disclosures focused on environmental factors. This includes 51 data points relative to climate perils, energy consumption/production/efficiency, and greenhouse gas emissions. ESG is a top issue for the forum as investors explore ESG allocations, and what ESG labeled investments can offer for performance, spreads or yields. Lack of federal laws or standards remains a concern as energy laws vary in local jurisdictions (such as NYC Local Law 97).

LIBOR to SOFR transition. Pricing fixed-rate conduit investments remains a question as the industry explores both SOFR swaps and treasuries.

Topics at the January conference also included innovations or metamorphosis in CMBS, SASB and CLOs and what it means for relative value. Generally investors are looking for opportunities with a desire to see more risk in the product—where they can put their credit experience to work to uncover relative value of additional yield that works for the IG community.

Looking ahead this year IG investors anticipate opportunities will come from innovation in the market, perhaps from 5 year fixed rate or more risk to analyze. Challenges certainly will be ESG standardization and how local laws will affect real estate.

To join the IG Bondholders Forum, please register here. For any forum related questions, please contact Kathleen Olin.

Submit Nominations for Forum Chair-Elects
CREFC is seeking nominations for Chair-Elect for each of our industry sector Forums to serve during the June 2021 – June 2022 term. Please submit nominations through the survey link. You may submit multiple nominations by taking the survey multiple times. If you cannot access the survey, please email your nomination to your forum leader or Kathleen Olin. Please submit nominations no later than February 28, 2022.

Contact

Kathleen Olin
Managing Director, Industry Initiatives
202.448.0863
kolin@crefc.org
CREFC Investment-Grade Bondholders Forum.
The information provided herein is general in nature and for educational purposes only. CRE Finance Council makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, validity, usefulness, or suitability of the information provided. The information should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal, financial, tax, accounting, investment, commercial or other advice, and CRE Finance Council disclaims all liability for any such reliance. © 2022 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
2022 Update on CREFC's Investment-Grade Bondholders Forum
February 22, 2022
Looking ahead this year IG investors anticipate opportunities will come from innovation in the market, perhaps from 5 year fixed rate or more risk to analyze. Challenges certainly will be ESG standardization and how local laws will affect real estate

News

CREFC Servicers Forum

February 14, 2022

Meet our leadership team:

CHAIR CHAIR-ELECT PAST-CHAIR
 
Richard Carlson
Managing Director,
Credit Ratings
DBRS Morningstar
Carl McLaughlin
Vice President –
Loan Servicing
Freddie Mac Multifamily

Stacy Ackermann
Partner and Chair of Finance
K&L Gates

Together, Rich, Carl and Stacy form the “Leadership Working Group” for the Servicers Forum and set agendas and priorities for the forum, as well as represent the constituency on CREFC’s Policy Committee.

Current issues include:

- ESG and what it means for servicers. CREFC is well along in establishing a set of disclosures focused on the environmental side of the equation. This includes 51 data points relative to climate perils, energy consumption/production/efficiency, and greenhouse gas emissions.

- LIBOR to SOFR transition. Implementation weighs heavily on the servicing community as we have been exploring how to implement the changes into day-to-day servicing operations for legacy loans and new issuance. This means deciphering myriad transition language variants within loan documents and discussing how to implement those changes with borrowers and what management of that entails, as well as encouraging consistency in new loan documentation and addressing licensing for the use of CME Term SOFR.

Topics at the January conference also included workout hot topics—a broad category that included loan document go-dark provisions (how and when to trigger them), how eviction and foreclosure moratoriums acted as a government sanctioned delay of game, specially serviced office and hospitality, plus intercreditor agreement challenges with mezzanine holders. Forum leaders, including Rich and Stacy who are part of the planning committee, are looking forward to exploring some of these topics further at the upcoming HYDRA & Servicing Conference March 31. Please click here to learn more.

To join the Servicers Forum, please register here. For any forum related questions, please contact Kathleen Olin


Contact

Kathleen Olin
Managing Director, Industry Initiatives
202.448.0863
kolin@crefc.org
The information provided herein is general in nature and for educational purposes only. CRE Finance Council makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, validity, usefulness, or suitability of the information provided. The information should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal, financial, tax, accounting, investment, commercial or other advice, and CRE Finance Council disclaims all liability for any such reliance. © 2022 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
2022 Update on CREFC's Servicers Forum
February 14, 2022
Leaders of CREFC'S Servicers Forum review the impact of ESG for servicers, and LIBOR to SOFR transition. Meet our Forum leaders and remain informed on the practices and methods shaping CRE.

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