Whitesell, the EVP of west coast originations will be responsible for commercial real estate construction and bridge lending in the West Coast.

LOS ANGELES—GlobeSt.com has learned that real estate veteran Thomas Whitesell has recently opened the Los Angeles office for the Bank of the Ozarks. The EVP of west coast originations will be responsible for commercial real estate construction and bridge lending in the West Coast. 

Whitesell tells GlobeSt.com that Bank of the Ozarks is a $4.8-billion bank headquartered in Little Rock, AR and focuses in the $10 million to $70 million deal size. Jason Baker, formerly with American Realty, Fremont Investment & Loan, iStar, WhiteHat and city national bank, joins Whitesell as VP.

Previously, Whitesell ran the high-yield debt investments at Lowe Enterprises Investors and was a founding principal of WhiteHat Capital—a private equity firm providing debt and equity placement, consulting and advisory services to financial institutions, investors, and borrowers.

Prior to co-founding WhiteHat, as GlobeSt.com reported, Whitesell was SVP of a Fremont Investment & Loan responsible for the direction and management of the origination’s platform throughout the country. Under his leadership, he grew the originations platform from its inception into a leading construction lender in the US with more than $6 billion per year in business and consistently generating between 30% to 40% ROE for the bank.

Earlier in his career, Whitesell practiced law representing financial institutions in all aspects of real estate workouts and financings. He has more than 28 years of experience in commercial real estate finance, law and brokerage. A graduate of the University of Iowa Law School, Whitesell has practiced in Iowa and California.