View from the Top: Freddie, Fannie, Marriages and Mergers

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By: Ely Razin, CEO of CrediFi

Consolidation in the agency-lending space is picking up speed. The arranged marriage of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (NYSE: JLL) and HFF, Inc. (NYSE: HF) combines two more of the agency powerhouses. This comes not long after the announced matchup of two other public firms with agency licenses, BB&T Corporation (NYSE: BBT) and SunTrust Inc. (NYSE: STI).

JLL’s announced acquisition of HFF has already had much ink spilled on it, and yet more will follow.  At CrediFi, we wanted to share a few fact and data-driven thoughts as to the impact of this on financing markets.

Both JLL and HFF are substantial players in the multifamily finance world, in addition to their brokerage activities both in and outside the multifamily sector. To be clear, the vast majority of both firms’ financing transactions as principals (not their brokerage activity) are in loans to multifamily properties that then get securitized onward through the agencies, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. HFF puts its loans through Freddie as its favored outlet, while JLL sells its loans to both Fannie and Freddie.

Two corners of the US look to be the most impacted by this consolidation – Texas and California.  The state of Texas is likely to be the one most impacted – HFF and JLL each have about 25% of their recent origination activity in Texas. 

It’s not only Texas – California may be dreaming of benefits from this matchup as well, as both have about 12% of their lending activities in California, particularly in greater Los Angeles. Other important geographies for HFF include Colorado, while JLL has placed sizable numbers of recent loans in Florida.

Main MSAs due to be impacted include Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Austin. Alongside these, the metro areas around Atlanta, LA, Miami, Minneapolis, and Washington DC seem set to be affected, as one or both of the players have strong footprints in these cities.

With the strong position that BB&T and SunTrust have in the Southeast, it seems that several southern markets are going to experience stronger competitive dynamics. This will not only impact the players named here, but Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE: WFC) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) as well.  Both of these players have strong positions in various markets in the US South and in California.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Freddie and Fannie are keeping up their pace of funding this year. In the “capped” lending space, they are deploying $35 Billion each in new lending. The faster all of the consolidating firms can get their mergers approved, the sooner they can continue driving benefits from their valuable licenses as approved lenders.

Ely Razin is CEO of CrediFi, the leading source of data and analytics for commercial real estate finance. He writes about the juncture of finance and real estate, and can be reached at ceo@credifi.com.

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Mary Kovac Goldberg (Parrino)

Head of Customer Success

Mary has over 25 years of experience in sales and customer engagement, including more than a decade at Thomson Reuters. She is the former head of client services at Complinet, a global compliance and risk software company that was acquired by Thomson Reuters, and led account management for over 15 years at NYSE/Sector’s outsourcing services division. Mary has an MBA in information systems from Pace University and a bachelor’s of science in computer science from Hofstra University.  

David Libman

Head of Product

David Libman, a fintech and investment professional with 20 years’ experience in fields including finance, technology, new business development and real estate investments, is head of product at CrediFi. Previously, David was a vice president at New York-based iCapital Network, a financial technology platform for alternative investments, and director of acquisitions at Fieldstone Properties, a private real estate investment firm focused on investment-grade multifamily property. David is also the founder and former CEO of Globerex, the first real estate equity online marketplace.  

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Alex Veksler

Head of Content

Alex Veksler has 16 years of finance, data analysis and project management experience. He is a former vice president at Morgan Stanley, where he worked on product control of equity and fixed-income derivatives products as well as various projects involving finance and technology, such as revamping risk attribution and balance-sheet systems for profits and losses. Alex has previously worked at hedge funds, most recently as a director at Exigent Capital. He has a bachelor’s in computer science from Yeshiva University and an MBA from New York University.

Ely Razin

CEO

Ely Razin founded CrediFi in 2014 with Battery Ventures. A rare combination of seasoned corporate executive and technology entrepreneur, Ely previously served as global head of board governance for Thomson Reuters Accelus and head of business law for Thomson Reuters, after the software company he founded was acquired in 2004. The company, Expert Ease Software, developed AI-based software that automatically summarizes key deal terms for transactions in fields including capital markets, M&A and real estate. Ely began his career as a corporate and securities lawyer, and holds an LLB and MBA from York University.

Amichai Levy

VP R&D

Amichai Levy is the former VP of R&D at Israeli high-tech firm Payoneer, where he developed its signature cross-border payment platform and integrated it with existing bank technology. In his prior role at Ness Technologies, Amichai was a key player in developing an electronic case filing system for Israel’s courts. He has over 20 years of experience in software engineering.

David Fajgman

Head of Finance

David Fajgman brings over 14 years of financial and managerial experience to CrediFi. Prior to joining the CrediFi team, he served as finance director of Bioness Neuromodulation Ltd., which develops and manufactures medical devices involved in neurological rehabilitation. He has previously worked in multiple finance roles at Thomson Reuters and as an accounting and consulting manager at Ernst & Young, where he was responsible for a wide range of clients, including companies listed on the Nasdaq and privately held high-tech companies. David is an Israel-licensed certified public accountant and has a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting.

Liat Bar David

Head of Human Resources

Liat Bar David has over nine years of human resources experience, primarily focused on the high-tech industry. She is a former HR business partner at semiconductor solutions provider Broadcom, where she was responsible for onboarding processes, benefits, policies, training and development, performance management and employee retention. Liat holds a bachelor’s in communication and human services and a master’s in human resources and services, both from the University of Haifa.