Real Estate News | Commercial Real Estate
JEMB Realty Sees Fresh Opportunities in Starting Debt Investment Arm
By Alex Finkelstein | February 24, 2009 12:18 PM ET
(NEW YORK, NY) -- JEMB Realty Corp. sees gold in debt. The 19-year-old, Manhattan-based firm has started a debt investment division called Basis Investment Group. Rivals are expected to set up similar platforms, industry sources tell Real Estate Channel.
"This is an ideal time to extend the reach of JEMB to launch a debt investment arm," says Tammy K. Heyman, the new group's leader.
"Achieving 'equity-like' returns, while only taking debt level risk is a great value proposition for us. While the opportunities are vast, our focus will be on identifying those investments at the right 'basis' that will generate solid returns and preserve our client's capital."
That may turn out to be a formidable task since investor confidence in the capital markets is at a record low level, industry sources tell Real Estate Channel.
That isn't discouraging Heyman, however.
She says Basis Investment Group will acquire and originate high-yield performing and distressed whole loans, mezzanine loans, B notes, gap equity and select CMBS investments for clients.
In addition to debt investment, Basis Investment Group will provide origination, lending and underwriting support to third parties on a separate account basis.
Heyman, a commercial real estate finance industry professional for 20 years, previously directed Boston-based CW Capital's fixed and floating rate Capital Markets Lending Division.
She spent five years at CW Capital, where she created a national capital markets lending platform, developed and branded the business and managed 80 professionals across eight offices.
Under her direction, the team originated more than 500 loans totaling over $6 billion in fixed, floating and mezzanine lending collateralized by commercial real estate assets across the country.
Previous to CW Capital, she was a Senior Vice President of CII, a GMACCM subsidiary now known as Capmark. Heyman holds a BA in Economics from Cornell University and an MBA with a concentration in Real Estate Finance from Georgia State University
"We needed someone who had the experience of running a business, the understanding of today's challenging investment climate and the ability to see and create opportunities where others could not," said Joseph Jerome, president of JEMB Realty. Jerome and Morris Bailey founded JEMB in 1990.
Basis Investment Group, as the latest venture in the JEMB family of Companies "reflects JEMB's ability and agility to identify opportunities in a changing marketplace," says Bailey.
"Our track record and formidable resources, combined with the proven leadership of Tammy Heyman make Basis Investment Group an immediate impact player in this market, where investor confidence is low and capital is scarce."
JEMB Realty Corp. is a real estate owner, developer and manager that acquires, upgrades and repositions commercial, retail and residential property in existing and emerging city business districts. With its subsidiary BUSAC Real Estate in Montreal, Quebec, JEMB owns and operates over 7.2 million square feet of commercial space in North America.