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CHICAGO-Wrightwood Capital’s first foray into commercial real estate collateralized debt obligation arena was a big deal. Not only did the firm raise $650 million, it will service all of the loans, with 90% of the bonds rated investment grade.

“It’s very impressive for a first time, privately held issuer like Wrightwood Capital to attract such strong interest from such a deep roster of blue-chip US and European institutional investors,” says Wachovia Securities commercial real estate collateralized debt obligation managing director Robert O. Ricci. Wachovia Securities Corp. was lead manager of Wrightwood Capital’s $650-million CDO issue with Banc of America, Bear Stearns and Bank of Montreal subsidiary Harris Nesbitt serving as co-managers.

The bond issue allows Wrightwood Capital access to lower-cost capital for its clients, explains chief executive officer Bruce R. Cohen. His company, formerly known as Cohen Financial, has originated more than $2 billion in real estate loans over the last 10 years.

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