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MIAMI-Michael Stein, former managing director of Aztec Group Inc., has launched Pensam Capital to address the funding needs of smaller commercial real estate investors. Gavin Beekman and Joe Ackerman, two local real estate finance veterans, have joined Stein in the new boutique operation.

Pensam Capital’s funding platform offers debt and equity funding through bridge loans and preferred equity in all asset classes, including residential, commercial and hospitality, as well as note purchases. The firm will use its own balance sheet to offer financing for time-sensitive transactions, with closings targeted between seven and 30 days.

“I felt that there was an opportunity in the marketplace to find debt and equity capital for middle-market transactions” between $1 million and $10 million, Stein tells GlobeSt.com. “We take a very creative and boutique approach to structuring deals.”

Stein, who left Aztec Group in July after a decade, led the firm’s revenue production and was a principal in its real estate investment business, in which he completed at least $2 billion in debt, equity and advisory transactions with private and institutional investors. The Skidmore College graduate has extensive experience in complex capital transactions and real estate workouts.

While he enjoyed a solid career at Aztec Group, Stein says he was motivated to go out on his own because it was more interested in being a direct lender, rather than providing other types of financing for less-popular forms of real estate investment, such as raw land or fractured condominium units. He says Pensam Capital will offer financing with loan-to-value ratios between 50% and 70% for both non-income and income-producing properties.

Beekman is a former CEO and founder of Tradex International Finance, which provided trade finance to US and Latin American companies, while Ackerman has extensive experience in capital finance and syndications. Stein says he is long familiar with both partners, having worked with them on prior deals while at Aztec Group.

“As a group, we have extensive local real estate knowledge, a diverse base of international partners and a strong balance sheet,” Stein says. “We see the lack of liquidity in the market today as an opportunity to attract borrowers looking for the certainty that their transaction will close expeditiously.”

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