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Top 21 CRE and NPL Market Leaders to Follow in 2021

As a professional in the ever-changing CRE NPL market, it is vitally important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and shifts in the industry. While reports, newsletters, and news media can be beneficial, one of the best ways to stay plugged in is by following the leaders in the industry. This people-based focus helps you stay informed and understand the actual community, not just the numbers, behind the CRE and NPL market. These executives, bloggers, and CEOs are our top picks to follow

1. Trisha Connolly

Trisha Connolly joined Ackman-Ziff, the industry’s preeminent boutique real estate advisory firm, in March as a managing director. With over 15 years of experience in both Chicago and New York (recently at B6 Real Estate Advisors), she has a mastery of national CRE financing. Andrea Jang, COO of Akman Ziff said that Connolly “Not only [is] a force in the capital markets, but she is also an inspiration to women pursuing a career in commercial real estate finance.” Connolly’s specialties include loan restructuring, term financing, syndicated credit facility, and construction financing—and has an impressive average transaction size of $40 million – $65 million which she hopes to build on in her new role. Ms. Connolly is already an impressive force and absolutely someone to follow as her exciting career continues.

Connect with Trisha Connolly on LinkedIn

2. Ian Coutts

Ian Coutts serves as the Managing Director, National Note Sales at Edge Capital Markets, and is an expert generalist when it comes to CRE loans. His specialties include Non-Performing (NPLs), Performing, and Re-Performing loans, and he works within all geographic regions within the US, in all asset classes. He has worked with a variety of institutions, from private debt funds to banks to special services, which gives him insight and familiarity with multiple client-needs and workflows. In addition to his in-depth mastery of the loan workout process, his $1.3B of note sales & acquisitions make him a formidable asset and someone to follow.

Connect with Ian Coutts on LinkedIn

3. Elana Tsyganko

Elana Tsyganko is the Head of Real Estate Investment at Cooper Horowitz Inc. She is an expert in New York markets, and a key player in the region, with her focus on New York and the outer boroughs. She worked across all asset classes (from commercial to residential to hospitality and beyond) and many transactions and projects she has managed have been in excess of $100M. Her career began in residential rentals and moved through sales, property management, and now real estate investment, giving her a birds-eye-view across each section of the industry, which makes her even more successful in her transactions with many of the most respected names in commercial real estate.  

Connect with Elana Tsyganko on LinkedIn.

4. Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is the Founder and Principal at Lever Capital Partners, which has a capital base of over 1000 sources including pension fund advisors, CMBS lenders, banks, and more. He brings an interesting skillset to the table, with a current focus on programmatic transactions for established sponsors working within markets with which they are familiar to expand their presence. He is also an expert on large one-off deals, for example, his  $150MM hi-rise development and $125MM healthcare development deals, focusing on large institutional sponsors. With an innovative approach and impeccable track-record, Horowitz is certainly one of the most interesting leaders in the space.

Connect with Adam Horowitz on LinkedIn

5. Brock Cannon

Brock Cannon serves as the head of national loan sales with the Newmark Loan Sale Advisory Group. When it comes to debt sales, Cannon is one of the biggest names in the space. While based in New York, Cannon works on nationwide secondary debt transactions. He has become one of the top loan sale advisors in the nation, with loan sale experience including financing origination, restructuring, and modifications. As an expert in selling sub-debt, across the country, Cannon is a key influencer who continues to impress.  

Connect with Brock Cannon on LinkedIn.

6. Colin Mitchell

Colin Mitchell is Real Estate Associate at CCRE Advisors. As an auditor and advisor with a wide range of clients, he has a different perspective on the CRE and CPACE space. This unique expertise and in-depth experience with his client base as an auditor and advisor makes him someone to follow in 2021.

Connect with Colin Mitchell on LinkedIn

7. Ben Sabraw

Benjamin (Ben) Sabraw is the Managing Director of Business Development with SMS Financial, LLC. With over 19 years of experience and over a billion dollars in past transactions, he leads his firm’s whole loan purchasing activities. He has assisted financial institutions of all sizes increase their loan portfolio profitability, and his impressive track record has made him a trusted player in the whole loan arena.

Connect with Benjamin Sabraw on LinkedIn

8. Jonathan Schultz

Jonathan Schultz is a real estate and CRE-tech investor, and Co-Founder and Managing Principal at Onyx Equities. As a visionary in the space, Jon has helped Onyx become one of the Tri-State area’s leading real estate investment, management, and property service organizations. As a tech startup investor, and as a blogger and speaker, Schultz has made a name for himself as a thought leader and pioneer. The CRE space can be slow to adapt, and Shultz is someone to follow for the most innovative ideas in CRE tech. 

Connect with Jonathan Schultz on LinkedIn

9. Jason Bordenick

Jason Bordenick is a Managing Director and a Co-Portfolio Manager at Maxim Capital Group. In senior investment positions he has invested over four billion dollars in CRE debt and equity over his 14+ years of experience. His multiple senior roles at Seven Valleys Capital (SVC), NorthStar, and Natixis Real Estate Capital have given him key insights into the CRE debt space and proven his decisive and effective leadership skills. He is a leader, in every sense of the word, in the CRE debt market, and definitely worth following.

Connect with Jason Bordenick on LinkedIn

10. Matthew Prosseda

Matthew Prosseda is a leader in The Kafian Group’s Management Advisory, Process/ Profit Improvement and Strategy practice, brings objectivity to help bankers improve outcomes for stakeholders. For 35 years, Prosseda has been a community banker and has worked in operations, sales, and management. Based on this community experience, and his term as president and CEO of a high-performing Pennsylfanian community bank, he has a wonderful, people-focused approach to finance. 

Connect with Matthew Prosseda on LinkedIn

11. Minjia Yan

Minjia Yan is an associate of Millennium Commercial Properties, a development and brokerage firm in Las Vegas. However, she is also the founder of CREative Media, a social media content creation agency that specializes in CRE. This makes her a key mouthpiece in the market and the face of a new generation of CRE professionals. 

Connect with Minjia Yan on LinkedIn

12. Cathy Cunningham

Cathy Canningham is a Finance Editor in Commercial Observer, making her a particularly insightful and vocal influencer in the space. She leads CRE finance coverage for Commercial Observer, which puts her at the center of CRE news nationwide. Her reporting extends past print and web and into live interviews in Commercial Observer’s ‘Power Briefing’ webinar series. She is a key voice in the CRE finance space, and one of the most “plugged-in” influencers on this list.

Connect with Cathy Canningham on LinkedIn

13. Gary Bechtel

Gary Bechtel is the CEO of Red Oak Capital Holding, LLC. Bechtel is another expert in all aspects of the CRE finance industry across his 34-year career. He has been involved in origination, underwriting, structuring, placement, closing and disposition of over $10 Billion in transactions. He has worked with myriad sources, from life companies to commercial banks, mezzanine and equity funds, and he has assisted in construction loans from $1M to $250M. His expertise and established career make him a top-notch real estate executive to follow in 2021.

Connect with Gary Bechtel on LinkedIn

14. Kristin Rick

Kristin Rick is Senior Vice President, Originations at Pender Capital. Rick is a seasoned executive with over 14 years of experience in every facet of business development, commercial real estate finance to investment and marketing experience. She has served as a wide variety of roles at CommerceWest Bank and Strong Capital Management in addition to her Originations Vice President roles at Farmers & Merchant bank and Pender Capital. She is a key commercial real estate player and an inspirational leader in business development and originations.

Connect with Kristin Rick on LinkedIn

15. Brad Lyons

Brad Lyons is the Managing Director of Stabilis. He not only brings a wide range of expertise across all real estate sectors (hospitals, restaurants, auto dealerships, gas stations, and more) but also expertise with specialty finance, including receivables and equipment financing, energy assets, and beyond. He’s a seasoned executive and has been active in capitalizing the acquisition of dozens of assets, and worked with development projects nationwide, certainly making him someone to follow in the real estate structured finance space.

Connect with Brad Lyons on LinkedIn

16. Shahid Jafri

Shahid Jafri is the Founder of Jafri Capital. Before founding Jafri Capital, he helped close over a billion dollars in real estate investments and specialized in equity and debt placement. 

As a relatively new face in the market with impressive transactions to date, Jafri is poised for even more success and brings a fresh look at CRE debt structures.

Connect with Shahid Jafri on LinkedIn

17. Kenneth Karkmolinski

Kenneth Karmolinksi is the CEO/Managing Director at Divergent Capital. His background spans a diverse range of real estate and finance areas over 25 years. The combination of his experience in real estate finance & sales, and securities, venture capital, insurance, and receivable financing, make him a real estate influencer with an especially keen financial mind.

Connect with  Kenneth Karmolinski on LinkedIn and Twitter.

18. Kurt Altvater

Kurt Altvater is a Senior Vice President at CBRE. He brings the wisdom of 30 years in the space combined with the expertise that comes from over $20 billion in loan sales. He is a force in the West and throughout the US, with his main focus on selling and marketing commercial mortgage loans on the secondary market. His track record and history in the industry make him a must-follow in 2021.

Connect with Kurt Altvater on LinkedIn

19. Peter Beauchamp

Peter Beauchamp is a Senior Vice President at Kidder Matthews. As an expert strategist, it’s no wonder that he is regularly referred by leading institutions and attorneys. He uses a masterful understanding of capital markets to optimize value on real estate and CRE debt. A natural leader, his teams not only develop and execute sale marketing plans, but also consult on behalf of institutions in the western region.

Connect with Peter Beauchamp on LinkedIn.

20. Rick George

Rick George is a Senior Hospitality Broker at Avison Young. George is a 25-year veteran of the hospitality business, and a leader in national hospitality asset transactions. He has focused on single asset and portfolio transactions since opening the Chicago office for Keith Thompson and Hotel Assets Group, and he is an expert on every element of the hospitality real estate process, not only in the financial end (valuation, acquisition, financing) but also in other areas including branding and land development. 

Connect with Rick George on LinkedIn.

21. Scott Tami

Scott Tami is a Real Estate Capital Advisor at Estreich & Co. From Alexandria, VA, Tami has over 14 years of industry experience under his belt. Tami joins Estreich after spending nine years at URS Capital, where he focused on originating debt and equity financing solutions nationwide for middle market commercial real estate.

Connect with Scott Tami on LinkedIn.

Wrapping it all up

Remember, knowing all the numbers, facts, and figures is only one element of success in the CRE financing industry—personal connections and being plugged in to the community is just as important. With centuries of combined experience and some of the most innovative minds in the field, we hope that you found this list helpful. 

For a better, safer, and faster way to sell your NPLs, try Metechi today. 

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