REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY,REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
Lessen | January 17, 2023
Lessen, the leading tech-enabled outsourced property services platform, recently announced the strategic acquisition of facilities maintenance technology leader SMS Assist.
By combining the complementary strengths of both organizations, Lessen will continue to address real estate's pain points, offering its clients a scalable, tech-enabled enterprise solution for residential and commercial services. As a result, the companies will serve around 250,000 residential and commercial properties nationwide, enabling approximately 2.5 million repair and maintenance orders annually, in addition to expanding their property services.
The transaction is completed with stock and cash, with Lessen raising roughly $500 million in combined new debt and equity. SMS Assist stockholders exchanged a portion of SMS stock for Lessen stock, resulting in a combined company valuation of over $2 billion. Debt and equity investors, including Värde Partners, Monroe Capital, and Koch Real Estate Investments, assisted with this transaction. Invitation Homes and American Homes 4 Rent are among the clients who invested in the deal with Lessen.
Following the conclusion of the transaction, Lessen's Jay McKee will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of the newly-merged company. He states, "Lessen recognized early on the opportunity to provide an enterprise-level solution that solved the real estate industry's long-tenured property services pain points." He added, "This deal demonstrates the increasing demand within the underpenetrated, $330 billion addressable North American property services market for a unified, extensible delivery platform that provides transparency, efficiency and data-driven insights for the entire real estate ecosystem including investors, owners, managers and service providers.
(Source – Business Wire)
The new, unified technology platform will allow various service providers—from painters, contractors, and plumbers to electricians and more—to work as one on a national scale, which was previously impossible. The quality of this work will be supervised and inspected by Lessen's in-house project managers. This integrated solution will assist owners in overcoming skilled labor shortages while lessening administrative burden, enhancing project efficiency, and providing real-time project updates.
Lessen is the only end-to-end tech-enabled solution for outsourced real estate property services that delivers consistency, quality, and speed at scale, focusing on single-family and multifamily rental renovations, turns, and maintenance. Through automation and real-time analytics, the firm's technology suite is disrupting and modernizing a project management space that is still reliant on traditional organizational and communication models. The company's professional field project managers provide on-the-ground service, utilizing a network of verified service professionals in over 40 markets across the country, all powered by its proprietary technology platform.
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT, MORTGAGE AND LENDING
Gantry | January 23, 2023
Gantry, the largest independent commercial mortgage banking firm in the United States, recently informed that it produced $4.93 billion in commercial mortgages in 2022.
Meanwhile, even in 2021, Gantry had produced about $5.15 billion despite economic instability. It has broken records in the last three decades, completing the second-best production of commercial mortgage banking operations.
Jeff Wilcox, Principal of Gantry, said, "Last year was a tale of two halves, where after record setting Q1 and Q2 production totals, the market slowed for price discovery during the second half of the year. Despite the challenges, we have an experienced team that has successfully navigated cycle shifts in the past and operates proactively from that perspective."
(Source - Business Wire)
With $17.5 billion in national-level business in 2022, Gantry has no failed or missed transactions in asset types. This performance led to active interactions with clients as the originator and service provider, an actual rating at the time of placement, and a consultative role in choosing the best financial plan for the client's unique investment objectives. In addition, it examines every investment keenly for variations in performance, maturities, and tenant rollover at the annual assessments.
In 2022, Gantry provided 476 loans, including every type of commercial asset class. Around 85% of Gantry's 2022 production was financed by life insurers, regional banks, and credit unions, with each type of lender performing better for various borrowers. In terms of asset classes, Gantry continues to secure office, retail, and lender-preferred industrial and multifamily loan deals. In addition, Gantry successfully funded specialty assets, such as healthcare and self-storage, through various correspondent or associate lenders.
Gantry, a San Francisco-based private mortgage bank, has many correspondent lenders that use its production, closing, and servicing services. The company, founded in 1991, has approximately 100 employees in regional offices in the western US and New York and over 45 production teams that generated nearly $5 billion in the past year. The $17.5 billion nationwide servicing platform covers over 2,000 loans in 43 states. It is one of the few non-banking, non-insurance chartered companies with a Primary Servicer rating from Standard & Poor's.
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
Conning and PEARLMARK | November 11, 2022
Conning, a leading global investment management firm, and Pearlmark Real Estate, L.L.C. (“Pearlmark”), a specialist investment manager of commercial real estate debt and equity strategies, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement for Conning & Company to acquire a majority stake in Pearlmark. Pearlmark will continue to operate autonomously with its investment team led by Stephen Quazzo and Doug Lyons.
“Partnering with Pearlmark is the latest example of our strategy to add best-in-class capabilities to meet the evolving needs of our clients, Pearlmark has extensive real estate knowledge and significant experience successfully working with insurance companies and other institutional clients to help them achieve their real estate investment objectives.”
-Woody Bradford, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board of Conning
We are excited to collaborate with Conning while continuing to work with our industry partners and clients in providing real estate capital solutions, Conning’s investment and client-oriented culture is a perfect fit for our business, and they are the ideal strategic partner to help us strengthen and grow our platform,said Stephen Quazzo, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Pearlmark.
Founded in 1996, Pearlmark is focused on U.S. mid-cap real estate investments in both equity and debt. This holistic perspective enhances Pearlmark’s approach to sourcing, underwriting, and managing its investments, which drives value for investors. Pearlmark is headquartered in Chicago with additional offices in Denver, Nashville, and New York City.
The transaction is expected to close by early 2023, subject to customary approvals and closing conditions. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP served as a legal advisor to Conning. CenterCap Group, LLC served as financial advisor and Drane & Freyer Limited served as legal advisor to Pearlmark.
Conning is a leading investment management firm with more than $180 billion in global assets under management as of September 30, 2022. With a long history of serving the insurance industry, Conning supports institutional investors, including insurers and pension plans, with investment solutions, risk modeling software, and industry research. Founded in 1912, Conning has investment centers in Asia, Europe and North America. As of September 30, 2022, represents the combined global assets under management for the affiliated firms under Conning Holdings Limited (CHL) and Cathay Securities Investment Trust Co., Ltd. (SITE). SITE is a separate entity under Cathay Financial Holdings Co., Ltd which is the ultimate controlling parent of all Conning entities. The CHL CEO sits on the Board of SITE and helps oversee the business.
Pearlmark is a Chicago-based investment firm that targets domestic core, value-add, and opportunistic real estate opportunities via commingled funds, separate accounts, and joint venture structures. Since 1996, Pearlmark has sponsored more than a dozen real estate equity and debt investment programs and completed 565 real estate equity and debt transactions on behalf of investors, representing $5.3 billion in equity capital commitments and over $13.8 billion in gross investment value. Pearlmark is dedicated to creating value for its investors and offers a range of investment opportunities nationwide across various property types (office, industrial, multifamily).