Meridian, the Manhattan-based debt and investment sales brokerage co-founded by Ralph Herzka in 1991, led the pack, fueled by a booming multifamily mortgage business. The firm brokered a whopping $15.23 billion across 1,657 loans last year, according to TRD’s analysis. That’s up from the $8.9 billion it brokered in 2015, when we last ranked the city’s leading debt shops.
“Meridian continued to see strength across our national and NYC debt business in 2017,” said Herzka, the firm’s chairman and CEO. “We saw strength across a broad array of loan sizes and asset types and even saw a material increase in our construction loan business, which is a true testament to the strength of the New York market.”
Eastdil Secured took the No. 2 spot this time around with $5.8 billion across 15 loans, down from $12.96 billion 2015, and Newmark Knight Frank came in third with $3.46 billion across 40 loans — a huge jump from two years ago, when the global commercial brokerage didn’t make TRD’s ranking. CBRE, which saw its total dollar volume balloon nearly 900 percent, and Cushman & Wakefield, which doubled its volume, rounded out the top five with $3.36 billion across 12 loans and $3.09 billion across 14 loans, respectively.
CBRE hired two Deutsche Bank mortgage executives, Tom Traynor and James Millon, in mid-2016 to head its debt advisory business. And Newmark, which went public in December, poached JLL’s star broker Dustin Stolly last summer — a clear indication that the company is serious about expanding its debt business. JLL took the No. 8 spot in our ranking with $1.72 billion across 12 loans.
Add a bunch of smaller new entrants to the mix and it’s clear why the industry is bemoaning a crowded playing field.
“Borrowers have a lot of choices, and they have the ability to negotiate more than they used to,” said Richard Horowitz of Cooper-Horowitz, which came in at seventh place with $2.08 billion across 18 loans.
Representatives for Eastdil and JLL declined to comment for this story.