NEW YORK — Eastern Union Funding, a top-10 debt brokerage – known for its role as a trusted advisor and innovator in the commercial mortgage marketplace – is in high gear. Among other unique loan products, Eastern Union launched an equity division in May. Months later, through the combined force of an elite brokerage team and a seemingly insatiable appetite for equity, trusted service, and a competitive fee structure, the firm put 93 loans in process - a record number for July production.
The company closed over a quarter billion in total loans in July, strengthening its pace to break $3 billion in 2015, and continuing its growth trajectory which in 2014 measured in at 253% over a three year period. Among the loans put in process were deals sized at $31.6 million, $23 million and $22 million, respectively located in Maryland, the Bronx, and New Jersey.
Also of significance was a $4.1 million loan for the acquisition of a 124-unit multifamily in upstate New York. This deal further demonstrates the soaring number of loan applications Eastern is fielding since launching its equity program, as it was propelled by the interest of investors on the division’s database.
The deal was one of several acquisitions driven forward by the equity division. In the final hours of the month, plans were hatched with an overseas investor from Israel for an equity partnership on the purchase of a cash-flowing stabilized property in Arizona—an $11 million deal being run by Charles Fishof, senior relationship manager, Equity Division. Fishof also arranged the upstate New York deal.
The soaring production is occurring as the company concurrently caps its fees, opens and plans new offices, hires 100 originators, and rolls out previously unheard of loan products in response to demand from borrowers.
“There are a lot of positive moving parts within the company right now, and it’s nice to see all of them come together at the same time that our core business tightens,” said Eastern Union president Ira Zlotowitz. “Each of these initiatives began on the origination front, and that’s exactly where the uptick is most pronounced.”
In other news, Eastern Union Funding, a top-ten mortgage brokerage headquartered in Brooklyn and one of the fastest growing in the nation—known for forward-thinking disruption of the industry’s antiquated fee structure—is opening an office in Manhattan. Located at 641 Lexington Ave., the office will be headed by Eastern Union’s newest finance veteran and syndication expert, David Bensoussan, to focus on large loans and new initiatives as the company continues its reign as mover and shaker.
Bensoussan joins Eastern Union at a time when the company seeks to streamline its business under a strengthened corporate model and pricing structure. Eastern Union recently triggered an industry-wide discussion on exorbitant brokerage costs, by capping its fees—now at $135,000 for all stabilized deals. This announcement came shortly after the launch of a new Equity Division—an initiative well received by clients and high net-worth investors alike.
“We are excited to welcome David Bensoussan to our elite team. His expertise will amplify the strategic impact of Eastern in the area of large loans,” said Zlotowitz. “We’re thrilled that David will be helming our new office and anchoring our presence in Manhattan. He is at home in this fast-paced setting, and his team is poised for growth.”
Bensoussan, who has closed over $1 billion in commercial real estate debt, consisting mostly of deals in the $50 million - $175 million range, is a perfect fit to lead the company’s Capital Markets Division. A former mortgage broker-turned syndicator and a household name on Wall Street with a strong history in the real estate finance market, Bensoussan spent the past four years procuring investments in New York City for sovereign wealth funds and family offices.