New feature: Customize your PLUS research experience with My Preferences. Learn more.
Skip to main content

CMBS and the Real Estate Lawyer 2020: Lender and Borrower Issues in the Capital Market


Speaker(s): Alan Kronovet, Ana Rosu Marmann, Brennan P. Woods, Daniel B. Rubock, David W. Forti, Jed Miller, Joseph Franzetti, Joseph Philip Forte, Kurt Pollem, Meredith J. Kane, Stacy G. Ackermann, Tiffany Putman
Recorded on: Jan. 24, 2020
PLI Program #: 274072

Brennan Woods is a Vice President in the CMBS Capital Markets group at J.P. Morgan, which is a leading underwriter of CRE CLOs. In 2018, J.P. Morgan led 13 of the 25 CRE CLOs issued (10 managed and three static) resulting in approximately $6.9 billion of transaction volume. Mr. Woods’s responsibilities include managing the issuance of CRE CLOs, conduit, pooled floating rate and SASB CMBS, and other CRE-backed transactions executed in both principal and agented capacities.
 
Mr. Woods joined J.P. Morgan in 2010 and, prior to joining the CMBS group, was responsible for the valuation of RMBS, CMBS, and ABX and CMBX indices. Mr. Woods holds a B.S. in Economics-Finance from Bentley University and is a CFA charterholder and CAIA charterholder.


David W. Forti, co-chair of Dechert’s global finance and real estate practice groups and a member of the firm's Policy Committee, focuses his practice in the areas of real estate finance and securitization. Mr. Forti represents various lenders, issuers, funds, b-piece buyers, master servicers and special servicers in transactions involving loan origination, mezzanine financing, loan sales and purchases, preferred equity transactions, CMBS securitization, post-closing modifications, work-outs and foreclosures.

Mr. Forti is consistently recognized as a leading real estate lawyer by legal referral guide Chambers USA, which cited him as being a “terrific lawyer who is smart, cooperative and someone who works really hard for his clients.” He is also included in The Legal 500 (U.S.), the Guide to the World’s Leading Structured Finance and Securitization Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America. In 2017, Mr. Forti was honored by the Philadelphia Business Journal in its inaugural Best of the Bar Awards.


Jed Miller’s practice encompasses all manner of complex financial transactions, with an emphasis on structures that utilize securitization techniques and derivatives.

He regularly represents banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions in connection with (i) securitizations of a wide range of asset classes, including commercial real estate collateralized loan obligations (CRE CLOs), derivative product companies, municipal tender option bond programs, securitizations of non-performing mortgage loans and asset repackagings; (ii) funded and unfunded derivative products, including credit-linked notes and fixed-income and credit derivatives; (iii) risk retention financing facilities; and (iv) the restructuring of distressed structured financial products. 

Jed earned his J.D., cum laude, from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Oklahoma State University.  He is admitted to practice in the State of New York.


Joseph Franzetti is a Senior Vice President at Berkadia, where he manages Capital Markets lending relationships.  He has over 30 year of mortgage finance experience. Prior to joining Berkadia in 2010, Mr. Franzetti was a Managing Director at Cohen Financial where he advised borrowers on loan restructurings and workouts. Prior to Cohen, he was responsible for loan originations and syndications at NY Credit Advisors, where he securitized commercial mortgage loans and invested in senior and subordinate debt positions. Prior to that, he managed the Commercial Mortgage Conduit at Citigroup where he was responsible for originations and underwriting. Earlier in his career, he managed the CMBS, RMBS and REIT ratings groups at both Standard and Poor’s and Duff & Phelps (now Fitch).

Mr. Franzetti is a past president of CMSA (now CRE Finance Council) and served on the board of governors of that trade association for nine years. He also served on the commercial board of governors of the Mortgage Bankers Association. His professional designations include Certified Public Accountant (inactive) and CRI (Chartered Realty Investor). He is a frequent speaker and writer on the topic of Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities. Mr. Franzetti has a M.B.A. from New York University and a B.S. in accounting from Villanova University.


Joseph Philip Forte was recently named General Counsel for AmTrust Title Insurance Company.  Prior to taking on this role, Mr. Forte was in private practice as a partner in several major New York law firms and has substantial experience in commercial real estate capital markets and finance, with a particular emphasis on the origination, structuring, workout and enforcement of commercial mortgage loans, having closed tens of billions of dollars during his 47 years in private practice, including permanent, bridge and construction mortgage lending; mezzanine finance; pari passu and subordinate debt; co-lending and participation agreements; loan sales and purchases; loan workouts, foreclosures and restructurings; and environmental risk management for lenders. Through six cycles of downturns and recoveries of real estate markets, Joe has been at the forefront of many major innovations and reform in the real estate finance industry, including the development of the secondary and securitization mortgage markets; reform of Dodd Frank Act’s Basel III High Volatility Commercial Real Estate (HVCRE) Rule; and working with industry on the transition away from LIBOR.

Widely recognized as a leader in the real estate finance industry, Joe has received the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council’s (CREFC) Founder’s Award (2001), the Mortgage Bankers Association of America’s Distinguished Service Award (1998) and the CREFC’s Leadership Award for his service as President (1998-1999) and since 2000, he has regularly been highlighted by Chambers for his real estate practice. Joe has been recognized annually by The International Who’s Who of Real Estate Lawyers (WWL) as one of the top 10 most highly regarded lawyers, and from 2010 to 2013 and 2017 and 2018 as "Global Real Estate Lawyer of the Year". Joe was featured in the Real Estate chapter of the inaugural Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders 2017, and thereafter. In 2019, he received the WWL’s highest accolade its Lifetime Achievement Award as “a pioneering figure in real estate financing” working “at the forefront of commercial real estate reform.”

Joe has also been recognized in the Euromoney Guides to the World’s Leading Real Estate Lawyers, Construction and Real Estate Lawyers, Structured Finance and Securitization Lawyers and Banking Finance and Transactional Lawyers, The Legal 500, as well as Best of the Best-United States, Best of the Best-Globally, and Best of the Best, and as "Highly Recommended" by PLC Corporate Real Estate Leading Lawyers Guide. Joe is regularly chosen as a Super Lawyer in New York and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America. Joe frequently publishes and speaks on mortgage finance and workouts, capital markets, regulatory and related issues and is the recipient of several “Best Article” awards from legal and industry publications on commercial real estate finance topics; is the founder and publisher of CREFC’s CRE Finance World magazine since 1999; and is the Contributing Editor of Lexology’s annual Getting the Deal Through - Real Estate and author of that publication’s annual Global Overview and USA Chapter since 2013. He is a fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, and the Anglo American Real Property Institute, which he served as Chair in 2015 as well as the New York City and New York State Bar Associations.  Joe is active in MBA, CREFC and The Real Estate Roundtable and their working groups.


Kurt Pollem is managing director and head of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) ratings and analytics for DBRS Morningstar Credit Ratings.

In this role, he leads DBRS Morningstar’s CMBS ratings initiatives. These include managing and developing analytical staff, developing and maintaining CMBS and CRE ratings methodologies, and directing the group’s efforts to produce insightful analytical output while ensuring the integrity, transparency, and accuracy of ratings.

Most recently, Pollem served as Managing Director of Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Real Estate, securitizing C-PACE loans. Before that, he was a director at Guggenheim Securities handling its conduit platform. He also spent 11 years at Standard & Poor’s, chairing rating committees and developing commercial real estate finance ratings criteria.

Pollem holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California San Diego and is a CFA Charterholder.


Stacy Ackermann is a finance partner at K&L Gates LLP, practice area leader for the firm's global finance practice and also serves on the firm’s management committee. Stacy advices financial institutions, investment funds and other market participants in all aspects of structured finance and credit market transactions. Stacy has extensive experience representing servicers of commercial mortgage-backed securities, including securitizations, the purchase and sale of servicing rights and all other aspects of asset management for performing and nonperforming assets.  She also has extensive experience leading complex loan restructurings and workouts involving highly structured debt secured by commercial real estate. 

Stacy’s practice extends beyond typical transactional finance representations to include risk management and strategic advisory services for her clients.  In addition, Stacy is a recognized leader in the commercial real estate finance industry and frequently speaks on current legal issues at industry-wide events. 


Tiffany Putman is a managing director and the head of securitization for Benefit Street Partners CRE and is based in the New York office.

Prior to joining BSP in 2014, Ms. Putman was an associate in Deutsche Bank’s commercial real estate group, where she focused on CMBS underwriting. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Ms. Putman worked as a structured finance analyst in the CMBS group at Moody’s Investors Service.

Ms. Putman received a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Business Administration from George Washington University.


Alan Kronovet is an executive vice president and the group head of Wells Fargo Commercial Mortgage Servicing. Based in Charlotte, N.C., he leads more than 900 team members, primarily located in Charlotte; the San Francisco Bay Area; greater Washington, D.C.; and India.

Commercial Mortgage Servicing serves clients throughout the United States including individual borrowers, institutional investors, financial institutions, internationally recognized investment banks, and other third-party investment groups. Alan has extensive experience in all aspects of commercial real estate finance including loan origination, securitization, and servicing and asset management of securitized loans and GSE loans.

Most recently, Alan held an executive role at Fannie Mae, where he was responsible for leading the Multifamily Mortgage Operations group. Prior to Fannie Mae, Alan worked at Wells Fargo, Wachovia, and First Union for fourteen years in various commercial real estate roles, most recently in commercial real estate loan servicing and asset management.

Alan is a member of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA) and Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (CREFC). He has served as the MBA Servicer Council co-vice chair since 2013, and on the MBA Servicing Conference Steering Committee in both 2014 and 2015. He assisted with the MBA’s Council to Shape Change, and chaired the joint CREFC/MBA Loan Assumption Task Force. Alan regularly attends industry conferences, often as an expert panelist, and has authored or co-authored four published articles on various aspects of CMBS.


Ana Rosu currently is a Director at Citigroup in New York, where she is responsible for managing the closing team and the legal process for the origination, securitization, syndi-cation, distribution, asset management and workout of loans originated in the Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities Group.

Ms. Rosu graduated magna cum laude and received her B.A. degree from Hofstra Uni-versity with high honors in 1999 and was awarded a J.D. degree from Fordham Universi-ty School of Law in 2002, where she was an editor of the Fordham International Law Journal. Ms. Rosu was an associate at Dechert LLP in the Real Estate Finance Group un-til the end of 2004, when she joined Merrill Lynch as a loan closer in the Commercial Mortgage Back Securities Group. Ms. Rosu has been with Citigroup since June 2007.

Ms. Rosu is a member of the New York and New Jersey State Bar Associations.


Dan Rubock is Senior Vice President and senior counsel with the Commercial Real Estate Finance Group at Moody’s Investors Service, helping Moody’s develop its policy for structural and legal issues in CMBS.

Prior to joining Moody’s in 1999, Dan practiced law with Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, Dechert Price & Rhoads and White & Case, concentrating in commercial real estate law and real estate litigation.

Dan is a graduate of Yale College and Columbia Law School. He was elected a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers in 2007, is a Certified Mortgage Banker, and is a member of the editorial board of CRE Finance World.


Co-Chair of the Paul, Weiss Real Estate Department and a member of the firm’s Management Committee, Meredith J. Kane regularly represents developers, equity investors, institutional and entrepreneurial owners and government agencies in all aspects of development, finance, acquisitions and sales, equity joint ventures, restructuring, leasing and securitization of real estate.

Ms. Kane has received numerous honors and awards for her work. She was honored as the 2009 Woman of the Year by WX - New York Women Executives in Real Estate, and was named one of the Top 50 Women in Real Estate and one of 25 Current Leaders in the Industry by Real Estate Weekly and The Association of Real Estate Women. Euromoney Legal Media Group named her Best in Real Estate at the 2012 inaugural Americas Women in Business Law Awards and Grid Magazine named her one of the top 10 American women in real estate development. Most recently, Commercial Observer profiled Ms. Kane as part of New York’s Most Powerful Real Estate Attorneys, an accompaniment to its 2015 Power 100 list.

Ms. Kane is also cited by multiple legal directories as one of the leading real estate lawyers in the United States. In Chambers USA 2015, sources describe her as “terrific” and a “problem solver.” She is recognized for advising Rockefeller Group Development Corporation on the financing and development of the Flushing Commons Project. Ms. Kane is also recognized in Who’s Who Legal USA, The Legal 500, The Best Lawyers in America and numerous other peer-review publications. She is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.

Ms. Kane served as a commissioner of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission from 1995 to 2004. She was a member of the World Trade Center Memorial Center Advisory Committee. She was a lead official from 1985-87 of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development in charge of the planning and development of 8,000 new housing units, and a City Planning official for the City of New Haven from 1977-79 in charge of mixed-use retail and commercial districts. She is a regular speaker at professional forums on real estate development and finance, and she also contributes to The Real Estate Law Review, an international legal reference publication covering developments in real estate law in 33 countries. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Avenue of the Americas Association (Chair, 1999-2007), and is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York, WX-Women Executives in Real Estate, the New York Women’s Forum, the ULI-Urban Land Institute, the Forum for Urban Design and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (former Chair, Economic Development Subcommittee). She serves on the boards of several civic and not-for-profit organizations.