Richard Walter, president of Irvine, CA-based Faris Lee, that Berlinghof was "a perfect fit" to lead the NYoffice. In fact, Walter says, Faris Lee had done quite a bit ofbusiness with Berlinghof during his years as a director at MerrillLynch, where he was responsible for national originations of fixedand floating rate commercial real estate loans, managing a teamthat closed between $2 billion and $5 billion annually. Faris Lee'sIrvine-based senior management has been involved in more than $20billion in transactions, with expertise in disposition andacquisition strategies, 1031 exchanges, asset positioning andvaluation, marketing, debt and equity structuring andexecution.

"For us, to be present here is where the financial action is,"Walter says. "We're able to capitalize on a number of relationshipsthat we've developed over the years, and to actually be present sowe can knock on the doors and react more quickly."

He adds that clients now consider this speediness a paramountrequirement. "Maybe the execution of a transaction takes a certainamount of time and has a life of its own," says Walter. "But tostart doing the reconnaissance is something that people are askingfor quickly. Whether it's a lender or somebody doing a note sale,it seems that these deals are moving a lot quicker. We want to beon the end of that market where we can offer a lot of upfrontintelligence and then be involved in the transaction."

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.