Walker & Dunlop Investment Partners Inc., Walker & Dunlop’s wholly owned alternative investment manager, has formed a $500 million joint venture with Pacific Life to make equity investments in industrial and multifamily assets across the U.S. The joint venture was announced one day after parent company Walker & Dunlop said it was combining its fund management, proprietary capital, high yield and seniors bridge lending groups into the Investment Management & Proprietary Capital Group.
Mitchell Resnick, a commercial real estate industry veteran who joined Walker & Dunlop in 2016 after leading Freddie Mac’s Multifamily Capital Markets department, was simultaneously named to lead the new group and serve as president of WDIP. At Freddie Mac, Resnick oversaw the growth of the GSE’s lending and securitization programs. Prior to joining Freddie Mac, he had spent 15 years at Goldman Sachs on the Mortgage Trading Desk.
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Walker & Dunlop officials said combining its fund management, proprietary capital, high yield and seniors bridge lending groups into one entity would allow the firm to more effectively help its clients navigate evolving market dynamics as alternative capital sources become increasingly more important to sponsors. The newly combined group will also enable the firm to provide a broad and diversified suite of equity and debt products for all property types. Last year, the combined groups invested nearly $200 million in equity and originated $3.3 billion in debt across the commercial real estate market. Walker & Dunlop expects there to be synergies among the business lines that will fuel future platform growth.
Sheri Thompson, executive vice president of affordable housing, investment management & proprietary capital, said in a prepared statement Resnick’s established relationships and experience will be an invaluable addition to the combined teams. She said having an industry veteran and longtime Walker & Dunlop executive at the helm will bolster collaboration and cross-selling throughout the platform as the firm matches the diverse investment needs of its investors with the capital needs of CRE owners.
Resnick said in a prepared statement he was excited to elevate Walker & Dunlop’s product offerings and continue building a versatile, skilled and diversified financial services company that is backed by a talented team of investment professionals, a strong brand and ongoing development of innovative technology.
Walker & Dunlop and its affiliates currently hold more than $15 billion in assets under management, far surpassing its goal of reaching $10 billion AUM by 2025.
Pacific Life JV details
As president of WDIP, Resnick noted that many CRE owners and operators are seeking attractive value-add opportunities in the industrial and multifamily sectors which are providing the most stability among property types. He said they continue to see a steady flow of opportunities as owners and operators pursue strategic capital to fill their capital stacks. Resnick stated the partnership with Pacific Life will enable WDIP to continue deploying capital in high-quality opportunities across the country.
The JV will focus on the robust middle market by investing $15 million to $50 million in equity per deal alongside sponsors with track records of successful value-add transactions. WDIP expects the joint venture to invest in up to 30 assets, with a total value of $1.5 billion.
In September 2021, Walker & Dunlop also launched a joint venture with Ivanhoé Cambridge to make preferred equity investments in multifamily, student housing and manufactured housing properties in top MSAs, particularly in Sun Belt states. The first two equity investments for that joint venture were made in Texas and Tennessee and totaled nearly $10 million. They were an older 240-unit multifamily property in San Antonio, Texas, and a recently delivered 267-unit multifamily community in the Farragut submarket of Knoxville, Tenn.