The Real Deal New York

Meridian Capital launching investment sales division

Eastern principals David Schechtman, Lipa Lieberman joining new office

April 21, 2015 11:32AM
By Mark Maurer

Meridian Capital

From left: Ralph Herzka, David Schechtman, Lipa Lieberman and a Meridian T-shirt (credit: Ross Fox)

UPDATED, 4:38 p.m., April 21: Meridian Capital Group, one of the city’s top large-loan brokerages, is expected to announce plans today to launch Meridian Investment Sales, a new division of the firm specializing in brokering building sales, The Real Deal has learned.

Three former Eastern Consolidated brokers – principals David Schechtman and Lipa Lieberman and associate director Abie Kassin – are among those joining the team, sources said. None currently appears on Eastern’s website.

Meridian also tapped Yoni Goodman, formerly of Goldman Sachs, to help lead the effort, sources said. Goodman handled real estate banking and financing at Goldman before joining Meridian late last year.

The investment sales arm, which will focus on the multifamily, office and retail sectors, will likely occupy a separate office than the New York headquarters at 1 Battery Park Plaza. The firm, led by CEO Ralph Herzka, is currently looking for office space, sources said.

In response to the brokers’ exits, Daun Paris, president of Eastern Consolidated, said: “Eastern Consolidated has a long history of developing top brokers at all levels. David, Lipa, and Abie were all successful rising through our program. We wish them well.”

A representative for Meridian declined to comment on the status of the Moshe Group, a one-man investment sales offshoot led by Moshe Majeski that is based in the New York office.

The move puts the firm face-to-face with its chief competitor Eastdil Secured in another part of the industry. Meridian, which started in 1991 specializing in small loans for multifamily buildings, closed about $30 billion in deals in 2014, according to the firm’s website. The firm handles a mix of large and small mortgage deals, and has offices in six states.

The firm recently negotiated $325 million in financing for RXR Realty’s purchase of the leasehold at 32 Old Slip. Just last year, Meridian, along with Eastdil, arranged $700 million in financing for the purchase of the Mobil Building’s leasehold.

  • Monopoly

    That’s going to be a powerhouse organization really quickly.

    • rental guy

      Lipa is a pro & Hertzka is shady.
      Hope he doesn’t learn any bad habits from the Ralfster…..

  • Landlord

    Interesting. more competition for the sales folks. surprised Knakal, besen, marcus, rosewood, etc didn’t pick them up

    • Monopoly

      They didn’t pick them up bc meridian has the most to offer. They see so many more deals because they do financing as well. In theory it’s a great collaboration that should be huge.

    • comment flagged

      vice-versa may be an equally good idea, Meridian acquiring an investment sales brokerage, but they didn’t.

      • Landlord

        Disagree. your only as good as the people you hire especially in the investment sales world. None of the corporate types would be in play. Looking at the potential local players theyre all run by independent individuals.

  • John

    As a off-market broker if i send a deal to a client and they forward the deal to meridian for financing, then meridian will forward the deal to these guys. Wow.

    • Landlord

      Good point. they will have lots of conflicts to sort through. however given the nature of the business ‘conflicts’ mean nothing. brokers acting in dual capacities for both sales and finance purposes, brokers acting as buyers. its all in a days work. none of these firms are REBNY affiliated and the laws are meaningless to them.

    • comment flagged

      oy, good point.

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    • yankel

      call Keren Capital, a small boutique firm specializing in financing. strictest confidentiality adhered to. 718-245-1500

    • mathgal

      Better find a stronger platform as an off-market broker, I suppose.

  • David

    This is big trouble for the smaller brokerage firms around New York Area.

  • UnrealDeal

    They can’t hold a candle to eastdil let alone CBRE in the investment sales world

  • Jew rich

    I think they would have been better served taking star brokers from national markets where they don’t excel on the financing end of things. They pretty much have the local markets covered and have been double dipping in a less formal setup forever…
    Establishing a foot print via investment sales in other markets to gain traction in the lending arena makes sense to me. This current setup can increase the bottom line but it poses a conflict of interest nightmare amongst key local players who are all vying for the same deals(who gets fed first?) not to mention the internal conflicts between the very established mortgage brokers in no variety of scenarios.

  • local player

    Herzka is relentless, Schechtman is very good at what he does, together they should build a powerhouse. ‘Should’ is the key word since the brokerage business is NOT like finance which is much much easier. Your dealing with personalities, partners, families, taxes and 18,000 other things to juggle with in a sale. Personally I think they will succeed and ultimately take business from all the local middlemarket brokers serving the sub $100m market. They may dream of becoming Eastdil or CBRE, ultimately they will likely become more of an apartment building broker and steal business from doshi, vegh, hakimian types

  • Ralfffffi

    Given the potential conflict of interest, after this move, I would not be surprised if the industry begins to regulate itself

  • MM

    I don’t know these brokers, but Meridian are ABSOLUTE mentches. I hope this new arm continues that reputation.

    • battle

      If u don’t know them, then how do u know they are Absolute mentches??
      You sound like you work at Meridian.

      • DoWeHaveADeal

        He’s saying he doesn’t know the brokers that are coming in from Eastern.

        • mm

          Exactly. Sorry for the confusion. I wish I was meridian. Don’t even live in the northeast tho!

  • Sh!t My Tenants Say

    I would NOT give them an off market building to quote financing for. That is just teeing them up…

  • battle

    This will kill Meridian. He is turning the place into a chulent pot and now just added some more kishka.

  • HLM1152DOUCHE

    what about the carlton group?

    • aswg

      trueeeee

  • broke r

    EC will keep losing brokers and the brain-drain will not stop as long Mark Schnurman is part of their management team. This is well known inside and outside Eastern. The president of the firm will also need to tone it down, or more good brokers will run for the door. Money can be made in many places in this business. As for Meridian – you just hit a grand slam! Even though you’ll have to sign many more NDAs in the future due to this obvious conflict of interest.

  • Bobby Durst

    Big move to Meridian, they will crush it there. Unfortunately EC has just lost all of their clout, might as well rename it Ezratty Consolidated

  • J r

    Where is the moshe group in all of this??

  • MERDIANPA

    Can someone from Meridian who is an established mortgage broker PLEASE comment on this whole fiasco? How do you feel about it?

  • battle

    Meridian was always brokering buildings and they made believe they weren’t. Now they are just making it official! It is old business as usual.

  • richjew

    Meridian is good at what they do, most of the time. Messed up on a deal for me once, but i still wouldn’t bet against them.

  • Help!

    How do I get off this sinking ship? Survived a year in this shark tank and now it seems for nothing.

  • joesph

    how am i supposed to send meridian my deals to get financing quotes that are not locked up under contract yet???? Now they are going to run away with these quiet listings and try to sell them to other clients of theirs at a higher price so they can make the sales fee…..this IS A MAJOR ISSUE

    • yankel

      call Keren Capital small boutique firm specializing in financing. strictest confidentiality adhered to. 718-245-1500

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