Walker & Dunlop acquires Aaron Appel’s AKS Capital Partners

Maryland-based company pays undisclosed price for months-old business

AKS Capital Partners Managing Partners Aaron Appel and Walker & Dunlop CEO Willy Walker
AKS Capital Partners managing partner Aaron Appel and Walker & Dunlop CEO Willy Walker

Commercial real estate finance company Walker & Dunlop has acquired Aaron Appel’s AKS Capital Partners just a few months after the former JLL heavyweight founded it, the company announced Thursday. The price was not disclosed.

Appel and his colleagues Keith Kurland, Jonathan Schwartz and Adam Schwartz left JLL to found AKS in August, shortly after the firm officially closed on its $2 billion merger with HFF. Appel was arguably the biggest name to leave JLL in the wake of the merger, and his departure was reportedly over differences in approach and style.

His company now has 15 people, and it worked on deals last year including arranging an $807 million refinancing for the Crown Building, a $749 million refinancing for 335 Madison Avenue and $664 million in construction financing for 9 DeKalb Avenue.

“We couldn’t be happier about joining Walker & Dunlop,” Appel said in a statement, adding that his company’s expectations for growth were now “boundless.”

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Walker & Dunlop is based in Bethesda, Maryland, and was the main lender last year on a $136 million refinancing of a Clipper Equity apartment complex near the George Washington Bridge.

Walker & Dunlop CEO Willy Walker said in a statement that acquiring AKS was “a game-changing addition that will propel the growth in our debt brokerage originations in 2020 and beyond.”

Write to Eddie Small at es@therealdeal.com