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PODCAST: Thomas Yoo On Loan Sales, Asian Investment And Who Has The 'Moment To Shine'

Armanino's Erin Lavelle, Willow's Thomas Yoo, Bear Real Estate Advisors' Matt Bear and Naftali's Glenn Grimaldi

On this episode of Bisnow Reports, we speak with Thomas Yoo, the CEO of Willow River Capital, a New York-based alternative investment management firm aimed at finding real estate debt and equity opportunities in the U.S. for Asian institutional investors.

He discusses the shifts in Asian investment into American real estate, managing different cultural approaches to business and the environment for loan sales.

He said most of the investors he represents are insurance companies, pension funds, credit unions and banks — most of whom are cash flow-sensitive.

“They’re looking for cash-on-cash yield, steady income. They're not necessarily looking for home runs — they're looking for consistent, reliable returns,” Yoo said. “And that's been the thesis for the last 10-plus years, but these are the rough times for real estate, and those expectations are being underperformed.”

Yoo said the environment is one that favors those who specialize in investments like nonperforming loans or value-add strategies.

“It's really the discount shoppers who have the capital,” he said on the show. “It's the cash-is-king kind of era, and this is their time to shine.”

Bisnow’s audio series, Bisnow Reports, examines every facet of the international commercial real estate industry — from the murky future of retail and office to real estate’s reckoning with diversity to the effects of climate change on the built world, and so much more. You can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music, or click below to listen in your browser.