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CCRE is led by an experienced team of real estate professionals, the majority of whom have worked together in the past. CCRE's Senior Managers have extensive track records originating, underwriting, structuring, managing and securitizing commercial real estate loans in various economic cycles.

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Cantor CRE Seeking Originators for CMBS

September 1, 2010

By Bonnie Sinnock

Cantor Commercial RealEstate, a new financing business aiming to originate what it describes as "competitively underwritten" loans for securitization, has been expanding across the country in major metropolitan areas and last month was looking to bring more origination staff on board.

The company had a staff of about 30 at press time and was expecting to double that in the next few months, executive managing director Anthony Orso told this publication.

It had offices set up in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta and planed to add more "shortly" in Dallas, Chicago, Washington and possibly Miami. The company has been looking for seasoned players familiar with CMBS product to join its team.

Property types being originated are "for the most part" office, retail, apartments and hotels. Orso said the company has entered the business because it believes commercial real estate values have stabilized across the country in most real estate sectors and are sustainable. In addition, there is a "fair amount of investor appetite," he said.

The company, formed by Cantor Fitzgerald and CIM Group, is underwriting using what Orso described as early 2000s standards from years such as 2002 and 2003. Within 12 months, it aims to have originated about $5 billion in volume and expects to have enough volume for securitization by the end of this year or early next year.

Although new commercial mortgage-backed securities volumes had as of 2009 dwindled to a mere $3 billion as opposed to $230 billion at the market's peak in 2007, with about $1.4 trillion in commercial real estate debt maturing in the next four to five years, Orso believes the CMBS market is in comeback mode as what some are referring to as CMBS version 2.0.

This will be a market he sees as differing from CMBS 1.0 primarily due to "better underwriting standards and a more balanced approach between buyers of senior bonds and buyers of subordinate bonds." In addition to hiring origination professionals the company has a team of CMBS "All Stars" it plans to add to.

Orso and CCRE's two other founding management partners, Steve Kantor and Michael Lehman, worked together for close to a decade at Credit Suisse managing a real estate lending and distribution platform before joining Cantor Fitzgerald.

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