Commercial Observer has released its list of the top 50 most important figures of commercial real estate for 2017 including David Schonbraun, Dan Thomas, Richard Smith and Andrew Farkas, among others. With a few notable exceptions, this list is composed of the same players who populated the 2016 list. Among that number, there has of course, been a fair amount of shuffling in the pecking order as fortunes have risen, and fallen. The very top of the list is dominated by Top 50 List veterans. The top three spots are all held by men who were in the top ten in the previous year.
The number one spot on the list has gone to Raymond Qiao, the Chief Lending Officer at The Bank of China. Last year, Raymond Qiao was ranked number three. This year The Bank of China has originated $4.5 Billion in commercial real estate loans. They have kept their lending in gateway markets, focusing on transactions backed by income producing properties. They have been more conservative in the construction market, opting to focus on infill development in densely populated areas.
The number two spot on the list has gone to Alan Wiener, Group Head of Wells Fargo Family Capital. Last year, Alan Wiener was ranked number one on this list. This year the company originated $15 billion in debt which is similar to their 2015 number. The company started the year with two major deals, a $2.6 billion loan for Starwood Capital Group’s acquisition of a national multifamily portfolio, and the origination of a $500 million credit facility to Yes! Communities. The rest of Wells Fargo’s business was mostly in refinancing for low income senior housing. In the future, potential tax reform could affect the affordable housing market, but Wells Fargo will remain committed to financing all types of housing.
The number three spot on the list has gone to Matt Borstein and Ed Adler, Head of Global Commercial Real Estate, and Head of U.S Origination at Deutsche Bank. Last year Borstein and Adler were ranked number nine in the Top 50 List. Despite massive restructuring, and allegations that Deutsche Bank misled investors in residential mortgage-backed securities in 2006-2007, the company had a year full of impressive billion dollar deals. They made a jump back into construction lending, after staying away for 18 months. This return included a $650 million deal for Extel Development.