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BROOKLYN, NY-To help manage the company’s national expansion initiative, Meridian Capital Group LLC appointed Jim Reichek has been to the newly created position of chief operating officer. The 15-year real estate finance industry veteran will take part in managing the company’s day-to-day operations and developing its strategic direction. He also will help guide Meridian into new geographic markets, oversee the development and introduction of several new products and services as well as manage the company’s rapidly growing mortgage business. Meridian is expanding into Connecticut, Philadelphia, South Florida and Baltimore/Washington DC. The company will also begin operations in the Chicago area within the next few months.

“Jim Reichek is an exceptional real estate professional who has extensive experience in building and operating a mortgage business, as well as a broad-based knowledge of real estate and financial markets,” says Meridian president Ralph Herzka.

Reichek is currently a managing director for New Jersey-based the Kushner Cos., a large diversified real estate firm, where he manages the company’s major debt and equity finance transactions. Previously, he was a senior managing director at Bear, Stearns & Co., where he created and ran the firm’s Commercial Mortgage Department. Prior to that, Reichek was an executive in Kidder Peabody’s Real Estate Finance and Securitization Department.

Meridian’s commercial mortgage output this year includes several mortgage loans on office and retail properties of more than $100 million each. The firm originated $5 billion in mortgage loans in 2002 and has already produced more than $4 billion in loans this year. Founded in 1991, the company is moving from Brooklyn to new headquarters at One Battery Park Plaza in New York City in September. Additional offices are located in Englewood Cliffs, NJ; Boca Raton, FL; and Pikesville, MD.

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