Meet the matchmakers of real estate finance

Business adviser analysing figures

Filling a gap that has emerged since the financial crisis, debt advisers aim to find the best deal from a growing pool of lenders. Guy Montague-Jones and Frances Ivens profile some of the market’s leading players

Before the crash, there were fewer advisory firms because there was only a limited pool of lenders. Property investors and developers would typically bank with a few ‘relationship lenders’ and had little need or incentive to look any further.

Today, the market is very different. The retreat of banks and the rise of non-bank lenders have made the market far more complex for borrowers to navigate. Debt advisory specialists, which are able to keep on top of the terms offered by the plethora of active lenders, have sprung up to help borrowers find the best deals.

Ranging from small boutique firms to big agencies, they specialise in different areas, from broking loans for SMEs to providing strategic advice to big corporates.

We take a look at a cross section of some of the key players and what sets them all apart.

Riaz Azadi

Eastdil Secured

Key contacts: Riaz Azadi (pictured) and Rob Weinberg, managing directors

Eastdil is one of the pioneers of real estate debt advice and a force to be reckoned. The real estate investment banking firm is known for running highly competitive auctions and has sight of a large volume of deals, which gives it good insight into market pricing and lender appetite.

The debt advisory team at the firm prices and closes more than $1bn of loans a week globally, according to Riaz Azadi, managing director at Eastdil. He says the firm provides clients with “real-time pricing and thoughtful structuring insights delivering flawless execution”.

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