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Seasoned Bankers

In connection with an assignment to find the head of real estate for a regional bank, I have had an opportunity to network among seasoned bankers (seasoning occurs when a real estate banker is in the middle of loan workouts and foreclosures for a protracted period of time) and I am learning that there are big cracks occurring in the regional banking system on the real estate front. The long-awaited flood of foreclosed properties and distressed paper appears to be soon upon us. The bankers that I have talked to indicated that they are getting an increasing number of phone calls for opportunities on the workout front. Interestingly, they are also receiving calls for opportunities to manage “good bank” lending. It appears that regional banks, and a few of the majors that escaped the urge to shovel out too much money over the ’05 – ’07 period, are now recognizing the chance to conservatively build a premium book of business. That’s what you call a smart banker.

Tony LoPinto is a senior client partner and head of Korn//Ferry International’s Real Estate Practice and founder of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
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