Ex-Freddie Mac CEO Brickman to Lead New Agency Lending Platform

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Former Freddie Mac Chief Executive Officer David Brickman, who stepped down from his post this month, is taking the helm of a new agency-lending platform backed by mortgage brokerage Meridian Capital Group and investment firm Barings.

“We have a significant opportunity to create one of the leading lenders in the multifamily commercial real estate space,” Brickman said in an interview. “The combination of low interest rates and what is hopefully going to be a degree of recovery and stabilization in 2021 with the vaccine and additional stimulus should result in a strong year with more than $300 billion in total origination.”

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s multifamily loan purchases have been capped at $70 billion each for this year.

The new platform -- yet to be named -- is acquiring the assets and liabilities of Barings Multifamily Capital LLC, pending approvals from federal government-sponsored enterprises. It’s expected to benefit from Meridian’s origination efforts, the firm’s president, Yoni Goodman, said in the interview. In 2020, Meridian originated almost $40 billion in commercial real estate loans, more than $25 billion of which was multifamily debt, he said, noting that more than a third of that was executed through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The two housing giants play a crucial role in the housing market, buying mortgages from lenders and then packaging the loans into securities with guarantees that are sold to investors. The U.S. took them over during the 2008 financial crisis, and Congress and two successive administrations have failed to agree on a plan for ending government control.

Brickman, who had been at Freddie Mac since 1999, notified its board of his planned departure in November. In addition to his role as CEO of the lending platform, he’ll become executive chairman of Meridian and a senior adviser to Stone Point Capital, a private equity firm that has acquired minority stake in New York-based Meridian. Proceeds will be used to fuel the firm’s expansion into new areas such as agency lending and developing its existing businesses which include mortgage brokerage, investment sales and retail leasing, Goodman said.

Securities backed by multifamily mortgages have largely held up during the pandemic, unlike other commercial mortgages such as those for retailers and hotels, Manus Clancy, a senior managing director at data provider Trepp LLC, said in a recent interview. Owners of multifamily buildings aren’t expected to face similar levels of distress, Clancy said.

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