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The news on the banking front deteriorates more every day. It appears that Citibank is on a path of significant nationalization, with the government taking up to 40% of the company’s common stock. This follows similar situations that have impacted UK banks including Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds, and the list of other major troubled banks on the domestic front and internationally is staggering. However, one side of the story is still emerging. Most of the major banks have not begun the inevitable move to get aggressive with the workout of commercial real estate loans that choke their balance sheets. It’s only a matter of time, especially with expanded federal intervention, that word will come down from the top for the regulators to get aggressive on the workout front–which will translate to new pools of commercial REO (real estate owned) portfolios. None of these institutions have the professionals in place to deal with that situation, so I expect that building teams to mop-up this problem will lead to a hiring wave later this year and into 2010.

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
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THE PALMER TEAMStructured Finance(SACRAMENTO) The candidate will be responsible for financing transactions at all levels of the capital stack, underwriting and structuring debt and equity products for institutional clients.

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