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BETHESDA, MD-Multifamily lender Green Park Financial is adding a new arrow to its quiver, and has tapped Richard Graham to be group head and chief production officer for the newly formed unit. Green Park Healthcare Finance will focus, at least initially, on independent-living, assisted-living and Alzheimer facilities.

Prior to joining Green Park, Graham was a vice president at Merrill Lynch Capital working on senior and mezzanine debt financings. He has also held investment banking positions at Bear, Stearns & Co., and SG Cowen Securities.

On the job for less than a week now, he does not have anything substantial in the pipeline but expects that to change shortly. His investment goal for 2008 is $500 million.

Right now is a good time to develop product for this space, he tells GlobeSt.com. “The sector is less affected by the housing downturn than many others,” he says. It is also less affected by recessionary forces, since these services are considered necessities. Skilled nursing is another sector for which the unit may develop lending products in the mid term, he adds.

Green Park has done a few one-off transactions in this space that went well, which is part of the reason why the firm decided to invest more resources into it. Last January, the firm closed a $460-million credit facility consisting of both fixed and floating rate debt to recapitalize a 19-asset, 1,988-bed senior housing portfolio. The owner, a joint venture managed by Wellesley Hills, MA-based Benchmark Assisted Living LLC, planned to use the proceeds to renovate some of the independent- and assisted-living facilities, pay off the original investors in the transaction and eventually bring in additional assets to the portfolio. At the time, Russ Ming, assistant vice president at Green Park, told GlobeSt.com that the company wanted to increase its focus in this space.

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