Meet Meridian Capital's Boca Raton Power Brokers, Part 1
As America's most active debt broker, Bisnow partner Meridian Capital Group has set up offices all across the country, from New York to San Diego. But with record activity in South Florida, Meridian's Boca Raton team has had their work cut out for them and put their top-tier talents to the test in order to get their clients the best deals.
We sat down with two team members—vice presidents Aryeh Meiteles (left) and Matt Weiler (right)—to talk about recent deals, current market conditions as well as their backgrounds and roles at Meridian.
To learn more about our Bisnow client, click here.
Aryeh Meiteles, Vice President
Where were you born? Monsey, NY
Where did you grow up? I was raised in Monsey, NY, but I'm establishing firm roots in Boca Raton, as I grow my family and increase my involvement with the local community.
How long have you been at Meridian, and what brought you to work there? I’ll have been with Meridian for three years on April 8th. A very close friend suggested I work for the firm after I graduated from Baruch College with a Bachelor of Arts in Finance.
What would you say is your specialty or role at Meridian? While Meridian has long dominated the multifamily market, I have found myself especially successful in the retail space. I have been able to differentiate myself by possessing the knowledge to structure unique retail financing solutions, and my clients trust me to close their loans regardless of complexity.
What do you do for fun? I belong to a community basketball league at the local YMCA that competes once a week for bragging rights. The highlight of my week, however, is spending Sunday with my wife (pictured) and daughter.
How do you feel the market is faring as we enter Q2? South Florida has shown strong volume in 2016, and we expect this momentum to continue in Q2. Given the low cost of debt and equity capital, investors are still able to make solid returns in a market that has already experienced considerable appreciation. We're definitely seeing a shift in the financing landscape where bank and balance sheet financing is going to play a substantially larger role as a capital source for all property types.
Tell us about a recent deal? I worked on a triple-net leased deal we originally quoted in early December 2015. At that time CMBS spreads were 270 basis points, but the client didn’t execute the application until late January 2016. During this time, the pricing adjusted to market rates, but we were able to negotiate with the lender to lower the debt yield requirement in order to keep the proceeds where they needed to be and tighten their spread so the client didn’t take a big hit on pricing.
What did that deal reveal to you about the current state of the market? I can't emphasize enough how important it is for brokers to clearly convey to their clients that time is of the essence, even when refinancing an asset. Experienced brokers have the ability to get their clients to take advantage of low interest rates with the understanding that financial markets can take an adverse turn at any juncture.
Click here to contact Aryeh.
Matt Weiler, Vice President
Where were you born? Wilmington, DE
Where is your hometown? Wilmington, DE, but I like to consider Boca Raton, FL as my hometown since that’s where I live now.
How long have you been at Meridian, and what brought you to work there? In total, I’ve worked for Meridian for over seven years, but I took a break from 2010 to 2015 to work as a principal, acquiring and developing multifamily properties in Delaware.
What would you say is your specialty or role at Meridian? I focus on developing new client relationships, working with new and existing borrowers on transactions, monitoring commercial real estate finance market trends and participating in industry events.
What do you do for fun? I spend time with my wife and two-year-old daughter (pictured above), travel, play tennis and relax at the beach.
How do you feel the market is faring as we enter Q2? I’m bullish on the state of the market given the low interest rate environment and solid market fundamentals. Commercial real estate investors in South Florida remain optimistic, especially when compared to other available investments. The CMBS financing market is presenting some headwinds to securing non-recourse, full-leverage debt with interest-only payments, and we’re seeing clients respond by modifying their investment strategy and expectations.
Tell us about a recent deal and some of the challenges you're seeing in the market? A few weeks ago, I closed on a 57k SF Office Depot-anchored shopping center in Lake Worth, FL. The proceeds of the loan were being used to refinance the existing loan which was approaching maturity. The center had one vacant space which equated to 25% of the tenancy but the borrower had a letter of intent from a potential tenant to mitigate the risk. As the loan got closer to closing, the potential tenant rescinded on the deal and the lender became reluctant to close without replacing the lost income. Meridian stepped in and was able to save the deal by negotiating a holdback of a portion of the proceeds and having the borrower sign modest recourse that burnt off when they filled the vacant space. In the end, we closed the transaction, the existing loan matured and the borrower was able to satisfy his obligation.
What did that deal reveal to you about the current state of the market? No deal is done until it’s closed and, in the current market, there are many internal and external factors at play that can impact a loan. Having a seasoned and experienced advocate in the form of a mortgage broker can put a borrower in a much better position should something occur that derails a transaction. As brokers, we see a high volume of deals and work with a broad array of lenders so we know which lenders can navigate through challenges, and we are there to see the deal through closing.
Click here to contact Matt.