Minneapolis-based Lutheran Brotherhood has been making commercial loans to borrowers every year for the past 30 years, and has become somewhat of a pioneer in the strategic portfolio management of commercial/multifamily loans - utilizing both private and public investment vehicles to accomplish its goals.

"We have been successful because of quick decision-making skills and a very experienced staff," said Gary Kallsen, vice president of mortgage loans and real estate at the company, which boasts $25 billion in assets. "We are consistent in the dollars available, and we know what we want in the marketplace. If we see that product, we act quickly with an internal approval process. And those that work with us would attest that we try hard to give a decision in 48 hours."

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