Cohen & Co. has formed a new venture with FundCore Finance Group to create a commercial real estate (CRE) conduit lender. The conduit will start originating loans in this quarter.

The venture's primary focus will be writing five- to 10-year CRE fixed-rate loans ranging from $5 million to $75 million. The loans will be targeted for securitization including all major property types.

The firms will originate deals nationally via production offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. However, the trading and securitization activities will be managed from the New York office.

“The joint venture with FundCore Finance Group is a natural extension of our extensive securitization expertise and commercial real estate platform and will allow us to use this expertise to assist our clients,” said Christopher Ricciardi, president and CEO of Cohen's broker-dealer subsidiaries. 

“We believe that the venture with Cohen & Company will combine the talent and expertise of both platforms to produce quality loans that will be well received by the market place,” said Steve Ball, FundCore finance group president and chief investment officer.

FundCore Finance Group is a CRE lending platform mostly focused on the origination of new loans secured by stabilized properties located in the U.S. It was formed in August 2009 by a select group of senior executives that formerly ran Merrill Lynch Mortgage Lending and the co-founders of Black Creek Group.

While at Merrill, the team originated and securitized roughly 2000 loans worth almost $44 billion in the U.S. and Canada.

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