Monday, September 26, 2011

Ranieri Real Estate Partners and WL Ross to Acquire Deutsche Bank Berkshire Mortgage

NEW YORK, NY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ranieri Real Estate Partners LP (RREP), a real estate financial services company, and private equity funds affiliated with WL Ross & Co. LLC (WL Ross) have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Deutsche Bank Berkshire Mortgage (the company or DBBM), a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, the firms announced today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

DBBM originates multi-family loans for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). It is the second largest originator of Fannie Mae loans and services a $28 billion multi-family loan portfolio.

The company was founded in 1988 and became a unit of Deutsche Bank in 2004. It has 160 employees and operates out of three primary offices: Bethesda, Boston and Irvine, and has additional offices in Dallas, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Seattle. Jeff Day will remain as CEO and the current management team and staff are expected to remain with the company.

Jon Vaccaro (top left photo), co-founder and CEO of Ranieri Real Estate Partners LP, said, “The DBBM team has built a top-tier company with a solid business model and proven track record of providing needed liquidity to the multi-family housing industry.

“We are very pleased to partner with WL Ross, Jeff Day and the DBBM team at this important time. We expect the fundamentals of the multi-family market to continue to improve and the shifting preference toward renting over home ownership to fuel significant new demand, making DBBM a strong platform for future growth."

James B. Lockhart III (lower right photo)Vice Chairman of WL Ross, added, “We believe that multi-family is a fundamentally important and growing sector of the housing market. We have long been interested in this sector, and we are confident that we have identified the right vehicle and point in the real estate cycle to pursue an investment. We look forward to working with Ranieri Real Estate Partners to build on DBBM's strong performance.”

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the year, and the company will be renamed following the closing. Completion of the transaction is not contingent on financing but is subject to approval by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA as well as other customary closing conditions.

For Ranieri Real Estate Partners LP:
Owen Blicksilver PR, Inc.
Kristin Celauro, (732) 291-5456
For WL Ross & Co. LLC:
Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., (212) 826-2111
James B. Lockhart III, (212) 826-2037

CalPERS Announces 2011 Educational Forum

 SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is pleased to announce its annual Educational Forum in Long Beach, October 24 – 26. Workshops, exhibits, leadership training and two dynamic keynote speakers will round out the three-day learning and networking event for public agency employer representatives.

“CalPERS staff looks forward to meeting with employer representatives at exhibits and workshops,” said Anne Stausboll (top right photo), CalPERS Chief Executive Officer. “The Forum offers an excellent opportunity to strengthen our partnership in managing health and pension benefits.”

This year’s offerings include updates on popular topics such as Social Security and payroll reporting, actuarial basics, reportable compensation and membership eligibility. In the exhibit hall, participants can meet one-on-one with an actuary, and visit booths to learn more about CalPERS customer contact center, retirement estimates, supplemental retirement plans, and electronic fund transfers.

 The Leadership Policy Series provides up-to-date information on a variety of topics including public pension reform and health care benefits, and will also offer an opportunity to ask questions of CalPERS Chief Actuary.

Dennis Snow (middle left photo), former Walt Disney Executive, will discuss proven techniques to create customer service excellence in any organization during his keynote address on the first day of the Forum.

 Former North Dakota Congressman Earl Pomeroy (lower right photo), a leading expert on retirement and health issues, will deliver the luncheon address on day two.

External Affairs Branch
(916) 795-3991
Robert Udall Glazier, Deputy Executive Officer
Brad Pacheco, Chief, Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Amy Norris, Information Officer

Batson-Cook Realty in Atlanta moving through REO inventory


Atlanta, GA (Sept. 26, 2011) - Batson-Cook Realty, an Atlanta-based real estate brokerage and property management company, has facilitated the purchase of almost 1,300 residential lots in the first two quarters of 2011.

The team of Andy Ulsh (top right photo) and Norm Richie (top left photo) has helped investors acquire more than 130 assets from six different banks and has assisted with the purchase of nearly 1,300 residential lots in the greater Atlanta metro area, with more than 700 more lots under contract or in negotiations to purchase between now and the end of the year.

“There is movement despite the reports,” said Ulsh. “It is indicative of where we are in the current real estate market.”

The partnership illustrates the current stage of the recovery. Improved balance sheets have allowed banks to liquidate distressed assets. However, due to a stagnant economic recovery consumers are not in a position to buy. A marketplace has been created for investors to pick up the assets at a wholesale price, which they will turn around and sell to the end user as the market picks up.

Batson-Cook Realty, a wholly owned subsidiary of Batson-Cook Development Co., has leveraged its relationships with banks, investors, and builders to remain at the fore of the current real estate cycle.

Since the downturn began, the team led by Andy Ulsh has provided consulting and due diligence for approximately 52 banked owned properties and has served as a third party manager and done sales and leasing for 15 bank owned properties including office complexes, retail centers, car dealerships and general commercial buildings.

Further Batson-Cook Realty has sold more than 20 bank-owned subdivisions over the last 18 months.

“We are uniquely qualified to help these banks through this inventory,” said Richie. “Few companies are able to offer the types of services at the same level. That makes us attractive to these banks which need guidance in managing and disposing of these assets.”

Batson-Cook Realty also provides property management and sales and leasing services for several in-house Batson-Cook Development Co. projects including Cleveland Town Center (lower right photo) in Cleveland, Tenn.; Augusta Riverfront Center (lower left photo) in Augusta, Ga., and a mixed-use joint venture project in downtown Athens, Ga.

Batson-Cook Realty, LLC is a commercial real estate brokerage and property management company.

 A wholly owned subsidiary of Batson-Cook Development and a subsidiary of Kajima USA, Batson-Cook Realty, LLC is based in Atlanta and focuses primarily on the brokerage of residential and commercial land and lots, owner and tenant retail and office representation, property management, and real estate analysis and consulting.

To learn more about Batson-Cook Realty, visit

Thornton Kennedy
Batson-Cook Realty
(404) 210-0363

Lenders Find Benefits to Selling Notes When Faced with Non-Performing Loans


 ATLANTA (Sept. 26, 2011) – When faced with non-performing loans, lenders often prefer to sell the note rather than go through the foreclosure process for a variety of practical and financial reasons.

 That was one of the insights provided in this week’s “Commercial Real Estate Show,” which examines the pressing legal issues facing the commercial real estate sector.

 Selling a note often is a quicker process than foreclosure for a lender, and it also enables a lender to avoid paying insurance and real estate taxes on a foreclosed property, said Charlie A. Brake (top right photo) a partner with the Hartman Simons law firm.

 Also, “I’ve had some lenders that I work with feel that they actually get a better price by selling the note … because they feel like once they foreclose and take it back, the property is tainted,” Brake added.

 Lenders looking to move a note will want to reduce their risks, but prospective buyers should push a lender to make as many representations and warranties as possible when negotiating an agreement, said Sonny G. Morris (middle left photo), a partner with the Morris, Manning & Martin law firm.

 As for the borrower, a note sale generally does not mean a better deal, said John F. Isbell (lower right photo), a partner with the Thompson Hine law firm. “Generally, the individual or entity buying the paper is looking to maximize their return just the same as the original lender,” he said.

Morris noted that while large investors such as equity funds account for the majority of note purchasers, smaller investors often are attractive to lenders because of their operating expertise.

 For instance, with hotels, smaller investors “can do much better than a fund investor because they actually know how to operate the hotel,” Morris said. “Or, if they were a specialist in operating marinas, they would have the upper hand.”

 The show, which also discussed loan workouts, short sales and bankruptcies, is available for download.  The show airs Saturday in Atlanta on Biz 1190 at 10am ET and on Talk 920 Sunday at 9am ET.

 The next “Commercial Real Estate Show” airs October 1 and will provide an overview of the U.S. restaurant industry.

America’s “Commercial Real Estate Show” is an entertaining and enlightening national talk radio show about commercial real estate. New shows air every Saturday morning at 10AM EST available worldwide at the show website, as well as on several AM stations including Atlanta stations biz 1190 Saturday at 10 am and talk 920 Sunday at 9am. Show podcasts are available on-demand at any time worldwide on iTunes and on the show website. 

 The “Commercial Real Estate Show” has quickly gained a national and international audience. Each show starts with a national commercial real estate market update related to the show topic by well-known national experts. Then the show host Michael Bull and a panel of industry expert guests share information, insight and best practices related to each show’s main topic.

 The show host is 30-year commercial real estate veteran Michael Bull (bottom left photo), CCIM, the president and founder of regional commercial brokerage firm Bull Realty, Inc headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.


Christin Clay
Wilbert News Strategies
1720 Peachtree St, Suite 1040
Atlanta, GA 30309
p 404-965-5025 | m 404-405-2354
Twitter: @christinclay10

Tony Wilbert
Wilbert News Strategies