Boston—For Peter Donovan, the convergence of investment sales and real estate finance represents an exciting new frontier.

After a stint with one of the world’s largest commercial banks, the 54- year-old executive relishes the chance to act like an entrepreneur again, as a senior managing director for CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) here.

His background is in mortgage banking, but now Donovan is working on bringing new synergies to CBRE’s clients.

“This is a very powerful platform, combining investment sales and finance for multifamily,” he said. “There are all kinds of synergies and collaborations that can and are going on. Whether selling a property, financing it, or raising equity, we can do all of the above. That is, for us, the vision of the future.”

The entrepreneurial approach is a familiar one for Donovan, who was one of the original founders of Berkshire Mortgage Finance in the 1980s. He rose to be chairman and chief executive officer.

In 2004, Donovan and his partners sold the firm to Deutsche Bank. He served as CEO of Deutsche Bank Berkshire Mortgage until early 2006.

After leaving the bank, Donovan thought about going into nonprofit work as a way to “give back” after a successful career. But with one of his three children still living at home, he felt it was too early to make that move.

“I love building things, taking things and growing them,” he said. “That’s what I did at Berkshire.”

Donovan has more than 26 years of experience in the financial services and multi-housing industries. At CBRE, he is the multifamily practice leader for capital markets. He oversees both debt and equity originations and multi-housing investment sales throughout the United States.

The one-stop shopping the firm offers is popular with large apartment companies, and CBRE is working to make it available to smaller owners though its private client group, Donovan said.

“We will bring capital markets expertise they won’t see from local banks, so they may benefit more than institutional players,” Donovan said.

CBRE handled $22 billion in multifamily investment sales in 2006, as well as $6 billion in finance work on apartment deals through L.J. Melody, the mortgage firm it acquired 11 years ago.