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HACKENSACK, NJ-Direct private lender Kennedy Funding has picked up a $200-million securitization from Fortis Bank, a European financial services provider engaged in banking and insurance. Based in Brussels, Belgium, and Utrecht, the Netherlands, Fortis provides services to private, business and institutional clients directly or in collaboration with intermediaries and other partners.

“Under this new arrangement with Fortis, we will have the opportunity to make substantial inroads into the capital market,” says Kennedy Funding president and co-CEO Jeffrey Wolfer, who estimates that the securitization will extend his firm’s lending capacity “into the billions. It will make significantly greater funds available to our clients at even more favorable rates.”

“We’ve always been fast in terms of closing and delivery of funds,” Wolfer continues. “And now, with the funding sources of Fortis behind us, there’s virtually nothing to prevent us from providing funds on an immediate basis given the right situation. And our capacity to make more loans is significantly improved.”

Kennedy Funding has generally targeted loans that don’t necessarily meet the requirements of traditional lending institutions, dealing in everything from raw land, to golf courses, hotels, resorts and mixed-use projects. “We will continue to have a deep, abiding respect for the underlying value and unconventional nature of an undertaking,” Wolfer says. “We go where the banks and other conventional sources can’t, or won’t. Now, with the new alliance with Fortis, that’s truer than ever.”

For Fortis, which has a market capitalization of EUR 42 billion (about $54.7 billion at current exchange rates) and ranks among Europe’s 20 largest financial institutions, the agreement means that the bank “gains the opportunity to continue entering new markets and new asset categories,” a spokesman says. “And we will maintain our track record on behalf of the investors, funds and corporate entities that we represent.”

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