CENTURY CITY, CA-“There will be no avalanche of deals. If it wasgoing to happen, it would have already happened,” said experts atIMN’s Second Bank & Special Asset Executive Forum on DistressedAssets. The event, which attracted approximately 370 attendees,brought together experts reflecting a wide range of perspectives,all pretty much agreeing on one thing: “We will be better off whenit is all over,” or as one panelist put it, “We will be better offin the long run once we get through the current environmenttoday.”

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IMN held the first bank and special executive conference back inNew York City in April, and it was attended by over 450 real estateinvestors and service providers including over 60 bank workout,special servicing, REO and special asset workout professionals. Thesecond conference of its kind, held this past Monday and Tuesday,also drew a wide range of participants, with panel participantsfrom all types of firms. The opening panel, titled: The Economy andIts Impact on Real Estate Workouts & Banks, for example,included session chair, John Cuticelli, CEO of Sheldon Good &Co., and panelists: Richard Hollowell, managing director & realestate practice lead at BBK; Douglas Wilson, chairman and CEO ofDouglas Wilson Cos.; Yelena Takhtamanova, economist at the FederalReserve Bank of San Francisco; Robert Sheridan, principal and CEOof Robert Sheridan & Partners LLC; and Robert Kline, principaland CEO of R.W. Kline Cos.

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Panelists from the opening session pointed out that as far asdeals go, on the CMBS side at least, “there are deals gettingdone,” however they added that “there aren’t a whole lot ofthem.”

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As far as restructuring loans go, panelists pointed out thatworkouts are being done, but it is just a matter of communication.They added that lenders will work with existing borrowers to theextent they are able to and to the extent that it makes sense.Another session titled: How the Current Macroeconomic Situation isImpacting the way Your Institution is Working out and PricingProperties, brought together session chair Spencer Levy, seniormanaging director of CB Richard Ellis, with panelists: DaleClayton, senior vice president of Keybank National Assoc.; JamesFollis, vice president of commercial ORE at Wells Fargo Bank;Richard Pulido, principal at Prudential Mortgage Capital Co.; andMichael Morris, executive vice president of the real estate bankinggroup at Zions Bank. The session began by focusing on how “thistime is different" from what happened in the 1990s. Panelistsmentioned a slower deal volume, the lack of “the flood of assets,”a fundamental shift in value, adding that “we are in for a longhaul of having to work through this situation [over-leveragingcycle] for a long time.”

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Moderator Levy asked panelists to discuss how buyers/ownersmight go about getting direct deals, and the general consensus wasto not just call and say “we have money… Show us what you have,”but instead, encouraged the audience to do their research, trackthe deals, build relationships with the workout group, and becreative.

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Some of the other key industry participants at the eventincluded: Scott Farb, managing principal of the Reznick Group PC;Leslie Lundin, managing partner of LBG Realty Advisors LLC; TomOrradre, senior investment manager of Mountain Real Estate Capital;Terry Smith, senior managing director of Roosevelt Management Co.;Danuel Stranger, chief investment officer of Real EstateOpportunity Capital Fund LP; Charles Toppino, senior principal ofSquare Mile Capital Management LLC; Jess Bressi, a partner at Luce,Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP; Greg Owens, vice president andsenior real estate officer at Bank Annapolis; William S. Small, apartner at Blank Rome LLP; Kenneth Nitzberg, chairman and CEO ofDevon Self Storage Holdings LLC; and Eleanor Martinez, a seniorvice president and manager of special assets at Hanmi Bank; amongmany others.

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.