New Hire

Apartment Building
CARMEL, Ind. – Leading financial services provider Merchants Capital today announces that Margaret Lehto has joined the firm as Chief Architect. She will be based out of the company’s Chicago office. Lehto is a demonstrated leader in the architectural industry, with expertise tied to verifying that affordable housing developments meet local, state and federal requirements. Her experience encompasses oversight of assessments, architectural and engineering design and construction administration for a wide variety of public and private sector clients and projects. She is a licensed architect in the states of Illinois and Wisconsin, a member of both the American Institute of Architects and the Association of Licensed Architects and she holds a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) professional accreditation. In her new role with Merchants, Lehto will be responsible for ensuring compliance with underwriting guidelines for debt and equity investments across the company. She will also manage the review of construction due diligence and third-party construction reports throughout the duration of all projects. Additionally, Lehto will use her skillset and knowledge of construction documentation and budget review to ensure projects are appropriately budgeted from the start so that Merchants and its customers will avoid critical issues that may arise later in the project life cycle. Prior to joining Merchants, Lehto’s over 20 years of experience included overseeing all aspects of architectural and engineering projects as well as design and construction services for thousands of affordable housing units and complexes across the Chicago metro area. Lehto is a graduate of Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree, and she holds a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Illinois.
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Merchants Capital Adds Chief Architect to Team
Building
CARMEL, Ind. – Leading financial services company Merchants Capital today announces that Darren King has joined the firm as Vice President of Capital Markets. Darren King With more than 20 years of real estate experience, King is a recognized authority in the industry, possessing substantial knowledge in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), commercial real estate (CRE) and structured products. King joins Merchants Capital from Trepp, where he served as head of CMBS, responsible for product management. Prior to this role, he held a senior position as a CRE credit specialist at Davidson Kempner Capital Management and served as a portfolio manager at both Semper Capital Management and Jerica Capital Management. He also served as an executive director at UBS Investment Bank where he focused on CMBS trading and capital markets. In his new role, King will focus on expanding Merchants Asset Management, a New York-based registered investment advisor, which is focused on the launch of several bridge loan debt funds and new permanent financing products. King holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Virginia and is based out of the company’s New York office. To learn more about Merchants Capital and its services, visit www.merchantscapital.com or find Merchants Capital on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
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Merchants Capital Hires New Vice President, Capital Markets
Building
CARMEL, Ind. – Leading financial services company Merchants Capital today announces that Lauren Campbell has joined the firm as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Campbell is recognized in the industry as a rising star in the legal space, with significant expertise in structuring Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity investment funds and multifamily real estate transactions with tax-exempt bonds, monetizable tax credits, federal and state subsidies and agency financing. Campbell joins Merchants from Ice Miller LLP in Indianapolis, where she primarily represented developers on affordable housing real estate transactions. Prior to that, Campbell spent more than seven years as an associate within the tax credit transactions practice group for Holland & Knight LLP in Boston. While at Holland & Knight, Campbell represented nationally recognized tax credit equity syndicators in national fund offerings as well as project-level investments and proprietary investment funds. In her new role, Campbell will join Merchants’ management team and serve as an advisor for upper management, offering guidance on issues relevant to investment fund formation, asset management, tax matters and complex financing structures. She will also serve as a liaison for outside counsel. Campbell holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and a Juris Doctor from Boston College. Campbell will be based out of the company’s headquarters in Carmel. To learn more about Merchants Capital and its services, visit www.merchantscapital.com or find Merchants Capital on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
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Merchants Capital Hires New Senior Vice President, General Counsel
Apartment Building by Water
CARMEL, Ind. – Leading financial services provider Merchants Capital is proud to announce that Barbara Girard has joined the firm as Executive Vice President of Asset Management and Servicing, based in Dallas, Texas. [caption id="attachment_3210" align="alignleft" width="146"] Barbara Girard[/caption] Merchants Capital is an approved Ginnie Mae Seller/Servicer, nationally ranked FHA lender and Fannie Mae Affordable and Freddie Mac Optigo Lender. In addition to these programs, Merchants Capital is a full-service tax credit equity syndicator and originates and services loans and investments on behalf of its parent company, Merchants Bank, and proprietary capital partners. Girard’s primary charge at Merchants Capital will be to enhance the loan surveillance and asset management systems and teams, as Merchants continues to grow and evolve its investor base and product types. “This is a big milestone for our company,” said Brian Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer at Merchants Capital. “We continue to invest in the back end of our business to keep up with the terrific innovation happening in new product development, with the growth of our GSE platform, new proprietary capital products and the launch of our syndication platform for monetizable tax credits. Our investment in technology has been front and center, and now we have another leader who can really leverage it effectively.” A graduate of Babson College, Girard has over 20 years of commercial real estate asset management experience. Most recently, Girard served as managing director, asset management at NewPoint Real Estate Capital, formerly Barings Multifamily Capital, a subsidiary of Barings, an S&P-rated servicer monitoring performance of a $32 billion portfolio of assets throughout the United States. Prior to Barings, Girard was an asset manager at Prudential Financial and tax credit syndicator MMA Financial, a predecessor firm to Boston Financial. To learn more about Merchants Capital and its services, visit www.merchantscapital.com or find Merchants Capital on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.   # # #
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Merchants Capital Hires New Executive Vice President
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CARMEL, Ind. – Financial services company Merchants Capital today announces an expansion of the tax credit equity team with two senior hires in the acquisitions and underwriting divisions. [caption id="attachment_3170" align="alignleft" width="121"] Laurie DiBona[/caption] Laurie DiBona joins Merchants Capital as Vice President of Acquisitions in Boston. In her new role at Merchants, DiBona will manage relationships with top affordable housing developers in the United States, negotiating and structuring lower tier partnership agreements. DiBona previously spent 12 years in the equity acquisitions and asset management divisions at Boston Capital and R4 Capital.       [caption id="attachment_3171" align="alignleft" width="121"] Lisa Zebro[/caption] Lisa Zebro joins Merchants Capital as Vice President and Deputy Chief Equity Underwriter in New York. Lisa was previously a Manager in Ernst & Young’s tax credit equity division, where she spent 13 years opining on real estate underwriting, transaction structure, tax risk and feasibility for investments in tax credit funds sponsored by the nation’s largest tax credit syndicators. In her new role at Merchants Capital, Zebro is responsible for underwriting lower tier and upper tier investments in tax credit equity funds sponsored by Merchants Capital.     “We are pleased to have these extraordinary women join our team, both of whom are experts in the tax credit equity field,” said Julie Sharp, Senior Vice President at Merchants Capital. “In a time of unprecedented growth in the equity syndication division, Merchants Capital continues to add industry-leading talent in key roles, solidifying our position as best-in-class in affordable housing finance.” To learn more about Merchants Capital and its services, visit www.merchantscapital.com or find Merchants Capital on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. # # #
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Merchants Capital Equity Team Expands, adds Two Senior Hires
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CARMEL, Ind. – Multifamily housing financier Merchants Capital has hired Linda Hill as Senior Vice President in the Merchants Capital tax credit equity syndications division, the company’s newest business offering. Linda Hill Based out of San Francisco, Hill will co-lead the tax credit equity investor relations and syndications platform at Merchants Capital and manage equity relationships with many of the top affordable housing sponsors in the United States. Hill is a recognized leader in the affordable housing industry with an impressive career spanning 25 years at some of the nation’s top syndicators. “Linda is a visionary in affordable housing finance,” said Julie Sharp, Senior Vice President at Merchants Capital. “Her tremendous ability, track record and experience strengthens our relationships with key industry developers and investors and elevates our capabilities as an organization.” Hill most recently served as a senior executive within the tax credit group at Aegon Real Assets, where she oversaw the production team responsible for all originations, underwriting and closing in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) investments. As head of the Aegon tax credit production group, Hill oversaw the production of more than $2 billion in tax credit investments. Prior to her role at Aegon, Hill served as senior vice president of originations at Alliant Capital, a national tax credit syndicator based out of Los Angeles. “I am very excited to be joining Merchants Capital in this pivotal time of growth,” Hill said. “As one of the nation’s top 10 lenders, Merchants is now one of the only firms in the industry that can offer developers and investors a one-stop shop for both debt and equity executions. We are uniquely positioned to succeed and offer our clients a new level of service to finance quality affordable housing in communities all over the United States.” To learn more about the tax credit equity syndications platform, visit www.merchantscapital.com/tax-credit-equity. To learn more about Merchants Capital and its services, visit www.merchantscapital.com or find Merchants Capital on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. # # #
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Linda Hill Joins Merchants Capital as Senior Vice President in the Tax Credit Equity Division
Merchants Capital Named #4 Multifamily Affordable Lender Nationwide by Mortgage Bankers Association
CARMEL, Ind. – Mortgage banking company Merchants Capital today announces the hiring of Jim Green as Vice President, Third Party Report Administration. James Green With more than 20 years of accounting and commercial real estate experience, Green is a recognized professional in the industry, bringing knowledge of both Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Government-Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) appraising to his new role at Merchants Capital. In this position, Green will support the credit teams at Merchants Capital, focusing on third party appraisals/rent studies, Project Capital Needs Assessments (PCNA’s) and Phase I reports. He will serve as the primary point of contact for all third-party report vendors and offer internal guidance to better help support underwriting recommendations. “We are very excited to not only announce this new position at Merchants, but to be able to hire someone with Jim’s vast experience in both accounting and commercial real estate valuations,” said Mike Dury, President and CEO of Merchants Capital. “As we continue expanding our footprint in the multifamily space, we felt it was essential to bring someone on the team that can develop and manage a comprehensive database that will better assist the various Merchants platforms.” Prior to joining Merchants Capital, Green most recently served as partner of Terzo & Bologna, Inc. providing valuation expertise for real estate properties across the nation in addition to serving as an expert witness in property tax appeal litigations. In this role, Green specialized in multifamily appraisals, including HUD Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) 223(f) and 221(d)4 analyses. Green also previously held a senior real estate accountant position at AIMCO, a national multifamily REIT. He began his career as a property and commercial real estate (CRE) accountant at Simon Property Group. Green is a graduate of Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business, majoring in Accounting and Finance. To learn more about Merchants Capital and its services, visit www.merchantscapital.com or find Merchants Capital on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. # # #
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Merchants Capital Hires New Vice President, Third Party Report Administration
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CARMEL, Ind. – Mortgage banking company Merchants Capital today announces the hiring of Tony Washington as Vice President of Multifamily Loan Originations. Washington has more than 25 years of experience in the commercial lending industry, with the bulk of his career spent in the agency lending space. Washington specializes in Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) market rate and affordable debt products. In his new role at Merchants Capital, he will lead the origination of a wide variety of multifamily financing programs available at Merchants Capital, such as Fannie Mae Affordable, Freddie Mac Affordable, FHA and more. Additionally, Washington will play a critical role in expanding Merchants’ footprint throughout the mid-Atlantic. “I’m incredibly excited to add Tony to our bench of remarkable and experienced talent at Merchants Capital. Tony’s high-profile expertise as a leader in the commercial and agency lending industries is unmatched,” said Dwayne George, Executive Vice President and National Head of Production at Merchants Capital. “As our origination’s platform and national lending footprint continues to grow, Tony will be the perfect person to execute strategic business objectives for 2021 and beyond. Welcome to the Merchants family, Tony!” Before joining Merchants Capital, Washington served in several commercial and agency lending roles at companies such as Oak Grove Capital (now Jones Lang LaSalle), American Property Financing (now Wells Fargo) and AMI Capital (now Wells Fargo). Most recently, Washington was a founding partner of the EagleBank FHA Lending platform, where he served as Senior Vice President – FHA Multifamily Lending. To date, Washington has financed more than $1 billion in multifamily transactions across Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA platforms. A graduate of Saint Francis University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Washington also holds a master’s of business administration in finance from the University of Maryland College Park. Outside of work, Washington is a board member of several institutions, including The University of Maryland Smith School of Business, Victory Housing and The Columbia Foundation. For the time being, Washington will work remotely out of his home in Washington, D.C. To learn more about Merchants Capital and its services, visit www.merchantscapital.com or find Merchants Capital on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. # # #
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Merchants Capital Hires New Vice President of Multifamily Loan Originations
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CARMEL, Ind. – Mortgage banking company Merchants Capital today announces the hiring of Denise Gomez Oluwo as Senior Vice President of Government-Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) Underwriting. With more than 15 years of experience from multiple top GSE lenders, Gomez Oluwo is a recognized industry leader with expertise in underwriting, agency-lending product types, credit risk analysis, financial modeling and operating lending organizations successfully. Prior to joining Merchants Capital, Gomez Oluwo most recently served as Vice President, Deputy Chief Underwriter for Walker & Dunlop. In this role, she managed a team of nine underwriters and analysts, providing credit review on over 100 closed Fannie Mae Small Loan and Freddie Mac SBL transactions in 2020. Additionally, she trained and oversaw a contract underwriting team to assist with excess underwriting volume and lead corporate objectives to retain high scores for annual Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac performance reviews. In her new role at Merchants Capital, Gomez Oluwo will work alongside the current GSE underwriting team to underwrite loans, lead departmental objectives, cultivate client and GSE partner relations and further develop talent on the Merchants underwriting team. Currently, she is working remotely from her home in Maryland. “The executive leadership at Merchants is excited to welcome a talent of Denise’s caliber to our Senior leadership team,” said Dwayne George, Executive Vice President and National Head of Production at Merchants Capital. “Denise brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the GSE platform, but also humbly maintains a deep commitment to active leadership with her team. Denise will be a valuable asset to our company as we continue to grow and execute our strategic business plan.” In addition to her role at Walker & Dunlop, Gomez Oluwo also served as Vice President of Underwriting for Newmark Knight Frank (formerly Berkeley Point Capital). With her team, Gomez Oluwo closed more than 90 transactions totaling $1.6 billion in 2018. She was noted as a company Subject Matter Expert for Fannie Mae’s Green program, as well as the designated underwriting lead on all agency production for several high-profile clients. Gomez Oluwo also previously held positions at Deutsche Bank Berkshire Mortgage and Greystone Servicing Corporation, negotiating and closing over $300 million and $120 million of multifamily mortgage loans respectively. Gomez Oluwo is a graduate of Smith College with a bachelor’s degree in economics. She also holds a master’s of business administration with a concentration in finance from George Washington University. To learn more about Merchants Capital and its services, visit www.merchantscapital.com or find Merchants Capital on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
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Merchants Capital Hires New Senior Vice President, GSE Underwriting