Berkadia Acquires LIHTC Advisors Brokerage

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkadia, Berkshire Hathaway’s joint venture with Jefferies Financial Group, has acquired LIHTC Advisors, an Idaho-based brokerage firm dedicated to providing full-service solutions for apartment investors and focusing on Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and other affordable housing properties.

Leading this team will be Jeff Irish and Brandon Grisham, former principals with LIHTC Advisors who, prior to joining Berkadia, have been involved in the sale of over $2 billion of affordable housing assets throughout the country.

The addition of LIHTC Advisors will broaden Berkadia Affordable’s market presence and support long-term strategic growth under the leadership of David Leopold, SVP and Head of Berkadia Affordable.

Irish and Grisham have been in the affordable housing brokerage business for a combined 19 years representing both general and limited partners. In 2019, they closed 53 transactions—and expect to exceed that in 2020.

“This is a huge step forward in Berkadia’s goal of expanding our affordable housing team, another investment in this critical space,” said Berkadia CEO Justin Wheeler. “Jeff, Brandon and their team bring a long and successful record of providing excellent advisory and client service—what Berkadia is known for in this asset class and in our industry.”

This investment advances Berkadia’s strategic growth initiative in the affordable business. David Leopold joined as SVP and Head of Berkadia Affordable in 2019. Leopold leads the strategy of Berkadia Affordable’s Mortgage Banking, Investment Sales and recently integrated Tax Credit Syndication teams, which together deliver comprehensive capital and advisory services to support the growth of Berkadia’s affordable housing clients.

“We are thrilled to be adding such skilled affordable experts to further our goal to be the largest and most respected provider of capital and advisory services for affordable housing in the country,” said Leopold. “Jeff, Brandon and their entire team bring our suite of services and market presence to a new level, partnering with our clients to maximize the value and impact of their investments.”

“Joining the Berkadia team was an easy choice—our values of hard work, integrity and passion align with theirs, along with the promise to deliver exceptional client service,” said Grisham. Joining Irish and Grisham on the move is a team of brokers and technical experts dedicated to providing best in class analysis, marketing and sales execution.

In 2019, Berkadia’s loan origination volume was $27 billion, while its investment sales platform totaled $9 billion.

About Berkadia

Founded in 2009 as a 50/50 joint venture between Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National Corporation (now known as Jefferies Financial Group), Berkadia is a third-party commercial mortgage servicer, as well as an approved lender for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD/FHA.

The company is among the top Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae multifamily lenders.

Berkadia owes its origins to GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corporation, which was acquired in 2009 by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Five Mile Capital Partners LLC, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners. Christened Capmark Financial, the company had $10 billion of originations in 2008 and a servicing portfolio of more than $360 billion before running into bankruptcy in October 2009.

In a deal approved by the bankruptcy court, Capmark sold its mortgage loan and servicing to the newly formed Berkadia in a deal worth $515 million.

The deal brought Berkshire into the heart of the commercial loan serving business, and the company has one of the largest commercial real estate servicing portfolios.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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