Berkadia’s Joint Venture Equity & Structured Capital group, consisting of Senior Managing Director Chinmay Bhatt and Managing Directors Noam Franklin and Cody Kirkpatrick, sits down to discuss the milestones their team has achieved in the last year and a half as well as opportunities that lie ahead.
Lessons Learned From $1.2 billion in Transactions Closed
Berkadia acquired Central Park Capital Partners, led by Chinmay Bhatt, Noam Franklin and Cody Kirkpatrick in March of 2019, launching Berkadia’s Joint Venture Equity & Structured Capital group. Drawing on their diverse foreign and domestic capital relationships with high-net worth investors, private equity, pension funds, insurance companies and family offices, the team is unique in the industry for its exclusive focus on the equity and structured side of the capital stack.
Over the last 18 months, the team has capitalized over 30 deals on over $1.2 billion in property transactions, both independently and working hand in hand with Berkadia’s debt originators and investment sales teams. We sat down with Noam, Chinmay and Cody to discuss the lessons behind their success and why they’re optimistic about what the future holds.
It’s certainly been an eventful 18 months since you joined Berkadia but that hasn’t slowed the team down. What has been key to your success, especially in light of the pandemic?
Noam: We’ve always been unique for our singular focus on the equity and structured side of the capital stack, everything from JV equity, senior equity, preferred equity/mezzanine debt, ground leases, stretch senior A/B notes to co-GP/entity-level investments. Coupled with that, we’ve dedicated ourselves to cultivating deep relationships with our clients, recognizing that especially for our foreign clients, feeling comfortable and confident in a partner to source the right opportunities in the U.S. is a process that takes time.
Our relationships with our clients and our rigorous focus has never been more important than in today’s challenging environment. The commercial real estate market continues to evolve, and it is imperative that we maintain the confidence and trust of our clients in finding them capital partners to achieve their long-term goals. Even with the challenges and restrictions of the pandemic, we’ve been able to successfully structure a variety of deals for our clients in recent months and we’re very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together with Berkadia.
What has been different about being a part of the Berkadia team?
Chinmay: The power of partnership across Berkadia’s platform has really super charged our success. Creative capital solutions continue to play a pivotal role in helping clients fill financing gaps in the midst of the pandemic, and we’ve been able to work closely with our colleagues across the organization to supply our clients with a diverse roster of capital sources. We’ve structured deals everywhere from Southern California to Texas to NYC to Florida and beyond, working alongside Berkadia’s mortgage bankers and investment sales advisors.
Our collaboration and integration with the mortgage banking and investment sales teams has allowed us to help provide clients with a broad and diverse range of capital, custom tailored for each unique engagement.
What are you looking forward to in the year, and years, ahead?
Cody: Certainly we, like people across the globe, anxiously await the end of the pandemic and a restoration of health and wellbeing. When it comes to our business, we remain optimistic about opportunities in the multifamily market. At the outset of the pandemic, we saw an initial pause, but activity has continued to pick up through the third quarter and into the fourth, particularly as clients start to look beyond Gateway markets for fundamentally sound opportunities.
We’re particularly excited about the Sunbelt region, where we think the accelerating trend of people migrating from the larger coastal markets will have a significant impact on demand, as many people decide to leave crowded urban centers for more suburban environments, aided by remote work arrangements being more the norm. Our domestic and foreign capital sources are keen to move forward with opportunities in the Southeast and Southwest, with markets like Phoenix, Austin, Atlanta and Raleigh as areas of focus. While price discounts might be expected elsewhere in the country, we expect these markets will only get stronger.