u201cWe wanted to increase the profile of the debt group and give it its own identity,u201d says Davis.

DENVER-GlobeSt.com reported exclusively this weekend that locally-based HREC Investment Advisors has expanded its mortgage brokerage platform, forming a capital markets group within its hotel brokerage platform. The Hotel Capital Markets Group, also known as HREC H-CAP, will continue to focus on arranging acquisition debt, refinance, structured finance utilizing subordinate debt and preferred equity and other forms of capital to provide a complete range of capital solutions for its clients.

In an update to that story, we followed up with Geoff Davis, president and senior principal of HREC Investment Advisors, as to why now was a good time to make the move.

Davis, who said the firm was hoping to close its 50th deal of the year on Monday, tells GlobeSt.com that the firm has actually been doing a lot of capital markets work and mortgage brokerage during the entire history of the firm. The firm’s capital markets group has arranged in excess of $6 billion of hotel debt for their clients.

“Our group has really been there,” he says. “We have been doing multi-billion dollars worth of debt placements for years, but I don’t think a lot of people recognize us as being in that area. We are primarily known as property brokers so we wanted to increase the profile of the debt group and give it its own identity.”

In upping the group’s identity, the firm added Jake Stahler, who will be based in the New York office as a senior vice president of capital markets. Stahler most recently covered CMBS conduit lending in the Northeast for Deutsche Bank, and was with a Mortgage REIT prior to that. He comes to the firm with a lenders perspective, has funded numerous hotel loans and “understands a lender’s hot buttons when underwriting and closing a hotel financing.”

The company currently has capital markets specialists in six of its 14 offices and is looking to expand based on the right individuals.

Davis tells GlobeSt.com that Stahler was one of those right individuals and was “a significant hire.” New York is the center of the capital markets universe, he explains. “Stahler’s background gives us a different perspective on how to approach placements.” The pairing, he adds, “allows the client to get a more rounded perspective of debt options. We can bring anything to the table but having a strong New York player is critical to the firm.”