George Smith Partners and Manatt Join Forces to Provide an Integrated Advisory Platform for CMBS Borrowers
Interdisciplinary approach helps clients determine and execute optimal workout strategies with master servicers and special servicers
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – (July 9, 2009) – Leading national commercial real estate investment banking firm George Smith Partners (GSP) and national law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP (Manatt), have joined forces to offer an integrated legal and financial advisory platform to advise and assist borrowers with securitized commercial real estate loans (CMBS) in restructuring their debt.
For George Smith Partners, the new initiative will be led by Gary M. Tenzer, Co-Founding Principal and Senior Director, and David Rifkind, Principal and Managing Director.
“This new collaboration with Manatt is a proactive effort on behalf of both firms to meet a fundamental need in the commercial real estate industry,” said Tenzer. “In 2009 alone, the wall of maturity on more than $15 billion in securitized loans with major international investment banks is rapidly approaching with no apparent refinancing opportunities; in 2010 and 2011 the maturities grow to $45 billion and $65 billion, respectively. By combining the real estate finance knowledge and experience of George Smith Partners with Manatt’s securitization and workout expertise, we are offering a unique interdisciplinary approach to providing complete workout solutions for borrowers facing CMBS defaults.”
Both Manatt and GSP offer teams of CMBS industry veterans who possess the understanding and deep experience to help borrowers work successfully with both master servicers and special servicers who administer their loans.
According to Clayton B. Gantz, a partner at Manatt and Co-Chair of the Distressed Asset Group, “Through this joint initiative we are uniquely positioned to offer clients a full-service team that has strong property underwriting skills, extensive knowledge of the securitization process and real-world experience with assisting borrowers in restructuring their CMBS debt. As more borrowers are faced with the need to restructure their debt, we believe this advisory group will become the go-to resource to develop and implement achievable workouts. The key will be to craft a workout that addresses the challenges of the underlying property, the economic motivations of the players and the contractual limits on the servicer’s discretion. Manatt and George Smith Partners have created a platform with the right tools to create the optimal workout strategy for the client.”
The GSP/Manatt advisory platform offers extensive capabilities across two key disciplines: legal and finance. George Smith Partners will assemble both market and property-specific data to formulate a workout plan in consultation with the client, followed by preparation of a compelling written business plan case in support of that plan.
The legal team from Manatt will review the loan documents to determine the loan terms and current legal status of the loan. Manatt will also obtain and analyze the securitization documents in order to understand the workout constraints on the servicer, with the goal of incorporating all of this diligence into the final workout proposal.
Finally, Manatt and GSP will work side by side during workout negotiations with the servicer and negotiate final workout documents on behalf of the client.
All viable options will be explored with the servicer as part of the workout process, including note modification, refinancing, or outright note purchase.
The GSP/Manatt joint advisory group is an innovative approach to meet a growing need in the commercial real estate industry. Through an integrated legal and financial platform, the joint advisory group is well-positioned to assist struggling borrowers in successfully navigating the often complex world of securitized commercial real estate loans.
About Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, provides legal and consulting services to a global client base from offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Sacramento, California; New York City and Albany, New York; and Washington, D.C. Manatt includes Manatt Health Solutions, a health care policy and strategic business advisory group, and ManattJones Global Strategies, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary that develops and implements strategies to expand client businesses and facilitate their effective competition in global markets. For more information, visit www.manatt.com, www.manatthealthsolutions.com, and www.manattjones.com.
About George Smith Partners
Founded in 1992, George Smith Partners is a leading national real estate investment banking firm that specializes in arranging financing for commercial and residential properties, including acquisition, construction, bridge and permanent loans, as well as mezzanine loans, highly leveraged participating loans and joint venture equity. George Smith Partners’ Lender Services, Asset Sales and Advisory Group offers clients full service solutions to manage both performing and non-performing loans including consulting, asset restructures, asset sales and discounted pay-off negotiations. George Smith Partners also provides litigation support, serving as a financial advisor and expert witness in diverse real estate litigation matters. The firm’s Principals and Senior Associates offer extensive expertise in the legal matters affecting real estate financing, real estate bankruptcy and mortgage brokerage issues. Information about George Smith Partners is located on the company Web site, www.gspartners.com.