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Wendy Silverstein forms new debt workout firm

Real estate diversity advocate and debt specialist Wendy Silverstein has formed a new advisory firm with fellow Citibank alumni, Ed Alder.

Silver Eagle Advisory Group will specialize in workout and restructuring services for clients grappling with the effects on the coronavirus pandemic on their assets.

“Since beginning my career in real estate in 1990, I have had the opportunity to identify solutions for and lead teams and clients through some of the most complex and sophisticated bankruptcy and workout challenges and scenarios,” said Silverstein.

WENDY SILVERSTEIN

“I am looking forward to using my decades of experience and deep network of relationships to help my clients secure the best possible outcomes for their business in the face of a very challenging environment.”

The new company is partnering with Meridian Capital Group, one of the nation’s biggest mortgage intermediaries, led by Ralph Herzka, to provide a pathway to restructurings and workouts.

“Wendy and Ed are true pioneers in the area of debt restructuring, and I can’t think of more capable advisors to help clients navigate the unique challenges of today’s commercial real estate markets,” said Herzka.

“As the nation’s largest commercial mortgage intermediary, Meridian is ideally positioned to partner with Silver Eagle in providing best in class advice across a range of services, from complex corporate debt restructurings to single asset loan workouts.”

According to Fitch, delinquency rates for commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) rose from 1.46 to 3.59 percent in June as short-term payment plans instituted at the start of the pandemic begin to run out.

Experts have warn that, unless borrowers and lenders to work together on longer-term arrangements, the specter of a mass distressed selloff could become a reality.

Meridian and Silver Eagle said they will work with real estate operating companies, individual owners and borrowers as well as lenders on everything from corporate debt restructuring for operating companies to single-asset loan workouts.

“Given the current climate, clients require more guidance than ever in navigating various issues that have arisen, especially in hard hit sectors like retail, hospitality, and office,” said the partners in a statement.

“Meridian Capital Group and Silver Eagle will provide workout advisory services across all property types nationally on single assets, portfolios, property level restructurings, corporate and bond restructurings and everywhere in between.”

RALPH HERZKA

Silverstein and Adler first worked together as workout executives with Citibank from 1990 until ’98 when she joined Vornado and he went to Deutsche Bank in Tokyo.

At Vornado, Silverstein established and oversaw the Capital Markets division, and was responsible for more than $30 billion dollars in financing, mezzanine lending and acquisitions. In 2015, she retired from Vornado and went on to become CEO of the distressed New York REIT, which she successfully liquidated before being named chief investment officer of ARK, the private equity fund of WeWork. 

After leaving Citi in 1998, Adler ran his own distressed debt advisory and acquisition business before joining Deutsche to launch its Asian lending business. He returned to Citigroup in 2005 as its global head of mortgage origination to spearhead the bank’s expansion in the commercial mortgage business and then return to Deutsche Bank in 2011 as head of US Mortgage Originations.

Adler commented, “Throughout all of my experiences around the world, I have always been drawn to the creativity and problem solving associated with distressed situations. With the extraordinary combination of our collective experience and proven track record as partners, Wendy and I feel we are ideally suited to help each of our clients successfully navigate their unique challenges, and this partnership with Meridian will only benefit our clients further and add to the services we can provide.”

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