Avon, Conn.-based Structured Finance Advisors (SFA), which has been an investor in the ABS and MBS sectors since 1993, is teaming up with two commercial mortgage veterans to set up a fund that will take advantage of the current lack of market liquidity in the sector, according to Joe Lorusso, president at the firm. The fund is starting out with $10 to $20 million in equity, with a bank that would leverage the equity about 3X, and is targeted toward $300,000 to $2 million loans that have a 65% current LTV. The average loan will be $1 million. These loans will be made out to cash-flowing, profitable businesses that have a pro-forma positive debt coverage ratio. SFA is teaming up with Fred Dupuy and Rich Sleight, who combined have 40 years of experience in commercial real estate. Currently, according to Lorusso, banks have exited the commercial mortgage loan business and SFA, with the help of Dupuy and Sleight, will extend loans to commercial mortgage businesses that are expanding or buying a facility. Lorusso said that SFA's role is to make sure that the criteria are met, to review the loan files and to do the monitoring. "There's opportunity in this end of the market to take advantage of," he said. The company's Web site is sfa-invest.com.

GMAC Financial last Tuesday tapped Thomas Marano as ResCap's chairman and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Marano takes over for ResCap's current CEO Jim Jones, who is leaving the company. Marano will remain a Cerberus Capital Management employee and will be dedicated to ResCap to fulfill this role. He will report to GMAC CEO Alvaro de Molina. Marano was appointed to the ResCap board as non-executive chairman in April 2008 just as he joined Cerberus as a managing director. Before this, Marano spent more than 25 years at Bear Stearns, most recently heading the global operations of mortgage trading and originations and serving on the company's board. Additional management changes announced at ResCap include that of Joshua Weintraub, Cerberus employee and executive committee member of the ResCap board, who will assume the role of ResCap vice chairman. Tony Renzi, chief operating officer of ResCap's U.S. Residential Funding Group, was named to the newly created position of ResCap chief operating officer. Jerry Lombardo, a Cerberus operations employee, will join the company and lead the management of the Treasury function as Treasury executive, succeeding Treasurer Bill Casey, who has left the company. As previously announced, Thomas Neary has joined ResCap from Wells Fargo as executive vice president and senior managing director of capital markets.

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