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CHICAGO-Cohen Financial has launched the expansion of its debt advisory services platform with the hire of industry veteran Joseph Franzetti. The growth of services will focus on loan restructuring and modifications for commercial property owners who are challenged with upcoming loan maturities, decreased cash flow or demands for capital improvement. Franzetti, who comes from work as managing director of NY Credit Advisors, says market conditions make the expansion a logical step for the real estate capital services firm.

“It’s reflective of where the industry is in terms of needs, so we’re not creating a product and forcing it on people; it’s very much responsive to borrowers needs and a natural progression as property owners have seen less cash flow to pay their debt service,” Franzetti tells GlobeSt.com. “The economic problems have had a really negative impact on cash flow for property owners, and given the capital crunch we’re dealing with, as some of these loans come to maturity, they’re going to look to how to restructure the loan or get refinancing. Property owners have needs to be satisfied in working with someone to help them deal with their lender.”

The firm will analyze a client’s situation on a case-by-case basis, and then meet with their lender to determine the best course of action for all parties.

“I look at where we are in this cycle, and we’ve had a tremendous amount of origination over the past decade, which has been a real positive for everyone, but now we’re hitting a speed bump,” he says. “What we’ve created on the capital markets side is intricate and we need some knowledge to get us through the weeds here. We need to come together now to find the best solution for the lender and borrower now that some of these properties are having problems.”

Franzetti has worked in the industry for decades as both a lender and commercial mortgage-backed securities specialist. At NY Credit Advisors, he oversaw loan originations and securitizations of first mortgages, B-notes and mezzanine debt. Previous to that, he was a director at Citigroup Global Capital Markets and spent 15 years managing ratings of commercial and residential mortgage-backed securities and REITs for Standard & Poor’s and Duff & Phelps, now known as Fitch Ratings.

“I always found Cohen to have a high degree of integrity and very good at what they do,” Franzetti says. “My past experience coupled with where we are with economic and industry problems made it a perfect time to step in and help.”

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