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LOS ANGELES-Figueroa Capital Group and Charles Dunn Real Estate Services have reached an agreement under which the two firms will specialize in asset management for financial institutions, combining Figueroa’s finance and advisory services with Dunn’s asset management expertise. Among the reasons for the alliance, according to Figueroa president and CEO Walter F. Conn, is the confusion created in the marketplace by all of the start-up firms that are specializing in troubled assets.

The two companies believe that market conditions have created an opportunity for an established professional asset management firm like Dunn in combination with Figueroa Capital’s financial advisory expertise. Florence Wang, CFO of Dunn, says that the new arrangement will help Charles Dunn grow its asset management portfolio.

Figueroa Capital Group will identify and approach financial institutions needing assistance with management of their real estate assets in order to provide asset services including property management, long-term investment and risk analysis, and reposition and disposition of assets. Figueroa’s banking relationships and marketing platform, along with Charles Dunn’s asset management expertise and resources, “make this a natural fit during these changing economic times,” Conn commented in a statement describing the new agreement.

Conn, the former COO of Charles Dunn and a 16-year veteran of the commercial real estate industry, resigned five years ago to establish a financial services platform, but remained close to the business. Figueroa Capital Group, launched in 2007, arranges mortgage debt and equity for real estate investors and developers. Charles Dunn Co., established in 1921, offers brokerage, property and asset management, construction advisory and financial services to tenants, owners, investors and developers.

In an interview last fall with GlobeSt.Com, Conn said that Figueroa is focusing on deals in the general range of $5 million to $20 million on assets valued at about $35 million to $50 million for the full range of commercial property types. Conn and his partners at Figueroa formerly were with Pathfinder Mortgage Corp. in Downtown L.A., working primarily in the CMBS and life company arena, but as conditions changed in the capital markets, Figueroa’s partners found themselves pursuing other sources of debt, including local commercial banks. The changing market conditions ultimately led to the formation of Figueroa, and further changes in market conditions since then have led to the new agreement with Charles Dunn.

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