Grandbridge Real Estate Capital continues to expand its multifamily operations, both in terms of people and products.
The Charlotte-based firm, a subsidiary of BB&T Bank, recently acquired two mortgage banking firms and hired two top producers while broadening its Freddie Mac license.
“BB&T is a very healthy bank, and it has taken a pretty entrepreneurial approach, to come in and buy companies that complement what it already has, as opposed to hunkering down during the recession,” said Jeff Patton, a senior vice president in charge of agency lending at Grandbridge.
The acquisition of Dallas-based Quantum First Capital (QFC) continues Grandbridge’s Texas expansion, following its purchase of Houston-based Live Oak Capital (which brought Hal Holliday and John Fenoglio to the firm) in late 2008. QFC was almost exclusively focused on the multifamily industry as a correspondent to agency lender Green Park Financial.
“They are prolific producers who can greatly expand our market presence in Texas and nationally,” says John Davis, Grandbridge’s national production manager. Stuart Wernick, founder and president of QFC, will come on as a senior vice president, and his team of four originators and three analysts will join Grandbridge’s small office in Dallas.
The acquisition of Louisville, Ky.-based BFG Realty Advisors brings three more producers and three analysts to Grandbridge, as well as a $400 million loan-servicing portfolio. The purchase of BFG, mortgage bankers who sourced debt mostly through insurance companies, allows Grandbridge to re-enter the Kentucky market, which it exited last year. Grandbridge did not disclose the acquisition price of either deal.
Additionally, the company hired two top producers in the Washington, D.C., market—Paul Aanonsen and Jack Bauer, who had been with Prudential Mortgage Capital. In all, Grandbridge now has about 90 commercial real estate originators throughout the country. “We’re looking to expand our multifamily production base, and we’ve accomplished that with Paul and Jack in D.C. and with Stuart Wernick’s team in Dallas,” says Davis.
The company also amplified its Freddie Mac Seller/Servicer license. In the past, Grandbridge could only originate Freddie Mac loans mostly in the Southeast—in Alabama and Virginia as well as parts of the Carolinas and Florida. The company also had a Freddie Mac license in Wisconsin. But in September, the company expanded its Freddie Mac license to include Minnesota, Ohio, Missouri, and new regions of South Carolina and Florida.
Last year, the company originated about $400 million in Freddie Mac business, a figure it hopes to double with the expanded license. In all, 22 of Grandbridge’s 26 offices offer Freddie Mac.
Grandbridge was formed in October 2007, when BB&T Corp. acquired Collateral Real Estate Finance and combined it with its mortgage banking firm, Laureate Capital. The firm has steadily scaled the ranks to become a Top Ten multifamily lender—it originated more than $1.8 billion in debt for the multifamily industry last year, making it the industry’s eighth largest lender, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.