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Sidley Austin taps Steven Kolyer to boost CRE CLO practice

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Sidley Austin LLP is tapping Steven Kolyer, a long-time legal specialist in commercial real estate and senior loan securitization, to expand its growing practice on advising CRE CLO transactions.

The New York law firm announced Wednesday it was naming Kolyer a partner in its Global Finance Group that includes structured finance, commercial mortgage-backed securities and collateralized loan obligations.

Kolyer joins Sidley after 27 years at New York-based Clifford Chance, where he worked with issuers, managers and arrangers of CLOs and CDOs in the corporate and real estate sectors.

Kevin Blauch, a partner and co-leader of Sidley’s global finance practice, said the firm directly targeted Kolyer as “one of the biggest names in the CRE and CRE CLO space” that will help bridge the firm’s CRE lending and securitization decisions.

“We have a very busy CMBS practice and a very busy leveraged finance practice,” said Blauch. “Steve’s practice fits right where those two join” in the burgeoning CRE CLO space.

CRE CLOs became an increasingly mainstream option for lenders in 2017 to finance short-term bridge loans to developers for commercial real estate projects, in particular rehabs that do not have current operational cash flow to support bonds as in traditional conduit and single-asset CMBS deals.

CRE CLOs, which contain both whole loans and pari passu participations, are considered an alternative to warehouse or repo lines.

In a release, Sidley noted that Kolyer played a “lead role” in many first-time structured finance assets involving CRE, commercial and consumer receivables, CDOs and specialty finance products. But in recent years he has concentrated on growing and developing the post-crisis market for CLOs and CRE CLOs - the “2.0/3.0” variety – working with originators (including bank and private-fund lenders), underwriters, placement agents and derivative specialists.

Kolyer is a 1981 graduate of Cornell Law School.

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