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SAN FRANCISCO-Following through on its plans for growth in the Northwest, GE Real Estate has added a senior director to its North America Lending division. Michael E. Hines, most recently a director with Merrill Lynch Capital, will cover Northern California and the Pacific Northwest from GE Real Estate’s regional office in San Francisco, which opened in late 2007.

As senior director for Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, Hines is charged with generating and analyzing real estate loan requests for the structured finance and CMBS programs for clients in the Bay Area, Portland, Seattle and surrounding markets. He will also lead deal management and customer relations, according to GE Real Estate.

Hines has 20 years of experience in commercial real estate finance. He held numerous positions at Merrill Lynch Capital, including director, regional manager and senior investment officer. Prior to that, he was an investment officer with Heller Financial. Hines was not immediately available Tuesday morning for comment.

GE Real Estate’s North America Lending division offers financing for retail, industrial, self-storage, multifamily, office, student housing, regional malls and outlet centers. The division also provides financing solutions for niche asset classes including affordable housing, golf, hospitality, vacation ownership, manufactured home communities and RV resorts.

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