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[IMGCAP(1)]SANTA ANA, CA-Grubb & Ellis Co. has launched a new unit called the Financial Services Asset Management Practice to serve financial institutions, special servicers and government agencies with troubled assets. The new unit is designed to “help clients create value in the current environment,” according to a Grubb & Ellis statement.

The new effort is headed by executive managing director Frank Mancini in New York City and Conrad Andersen, senior vice president of global client solutions in Newport Beach, CA. The Grubb & Ellis statement says that the new unit will help clients in “dealing with challenged real estate and mortgage assets.”

According to Glen Esnard, president of Grubb & Ellis capital markets group, the Financial Services Asset Management Practice will provide help with workout, foreclosure, restructuring, asset management and disposition processes for clients ranging from owners to small community banks to the largest institutions and servicers. Esnard observes that, “The current environment is placing significant stress on a variety of our clients who are managing real estate debt as collateral values are challenged and recapitalization options shrink.”

[IMGCAP(2)]Esnard says that Grubb & Ellis professionals providing services for the Financial Services Asset Management Practice can draw upon experience in a broad range of specialties and from an “on-the-ground network” to tailor solutions to clients. Among the specific services the new practice group provides are receivership, property management, construction management, asset due-diligence, lease administration, valuation transaction management and capital markets execution.

The new Grubb & Ellis practice group is the latest in a growing list of new practice groups and divisions that are being established by commercial real estate services firms and related businesses to provide services for owners of troubled assets. Just this week, CB Richard Ellis launched an initiative called the Restructuring Services Group to service troubled assets, and two other Los Angeles-based companies launched initiatives aimed at providing services for owners or would-be owners of troubled assets. These service firms join a growing list of funds that have been established to acquire distressed assets as the economic downturn and the capital markets crunch continue.

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