Massey Knakal starts search for head of new mortgage unit

October 11, 2010 12:15PM

Paul Massey

Investment sales brokerage Massey Knakal Realty Services began interviewing candidates to head its new mortgage division which is expected to start up next year.

The company hired Midtown-based real estate executive search firm Rhodes Associates to find candidates for the top position of managing director, and so far two candidates from the New York area have been interviewed, Paul Massey, CEO of the brokerage firm, told The Real Deal.

Massey interviewed one candidate last week and one the week before, he said. He expects dozens of candidates to be considered during the process. After the managing director is selected, likely before the end of the year, the firm will begin hiring the 20 mortgage brokers and their support staff, he said. The division will be spread among Massey Knakal’s four offices, which include three in New York City and one in New Jersey.

Massey added that his 22-year-old firm with 125 brokers and support staff has put on hold an effort to expand its brokerage services into other markets such as Chicago, a plan that it had pursued last year.

“We have decided the best thing to do during a relatively quiet period was to focus on our core market,” Massey said.

Massey Knakal is entering the mortgage brokerage market at time when lending has begun to ease up, and banks are expected to sell more distressed notes. However, the firm is entering a competitive market, real estate insiders said.

Joshua Zegen, a managing partner at private commercial lender Madison Realty Capital, who is not involved in Massey Knakal’s expansion into mortgage brokerage, noted that a number of firms such as Holliday Fenoglio Fowler and Cushman & Wakefield have mortgage lending arms.

“It could work for [Massey Knakal]. It is a natural extension of their business,” he said. “It’s all about execution and them as operators.”