Wells Fargo ramps up CMBS business

Wells Fargo is shoring up its staffers on the commercial mortgage-backed securities front in anticipation of a resurgence of the market, bank representatives told Bloomberg news. The CMBS market was previously led by Wachovia, which was acquired by Wells Fargo in 2008 for $12.7 billion after it reported more than $2.1 billion in CMBS-related losses in 2007 and 2008. Among Wachovia’s soured deals was the $7.9 billion bond that included financing for the 2006 purchased of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village — the largest CMBS deal in history. The buyers handed over the keys to the complex earlier this year after defaulting on their mortgage. But that’s not deterring Wells Fargo, which has added more than 20 bankers and support employees over the past three months. The new staffers are helping to increase loan originations and bundle them into CMBS, said Ed Blakely, the bank’s head of commercial mortgage lending and servicing. And Wells Fargo isn’t alone. Australian investment bank Macquerie Group announced last month that it is targeting the U.S. CMBS market with a new group, and New York-based Cantor Fitzgerald said earlier this month that it plans to originate and securitize $5 billion in loans over the course of the next year. [Bloomberg]

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