Macquarie Group -- the global financial services provider based in Australia -- is expanding its US commercial mortgage operations. The firm added a commercial mortgage finance and commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) team to the credit-trading division of its fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) group. The New York-based hires mark continued expansion of the firm's credit-trading business in the US, which launched in March 2008. "Our US-based credit trading business provides clients additional trading and execution capacity that is backed by a strong balance sheet and active new issue pipeline," said senior managing director and head of Macquarie's credit-trading division, Michael McLaughlin, in a statement. "We have successfully grown the business with a particular focus on high-yield and distressed credit, and now see an opportunity to extend that offering into the commercial real estate and CMBS market." The new commercial mortgage finance and CMBS team will be headed up by JP Morgan and Bear Stearns veteran Randy Reiff, who becomes a managing director and head of commercial mortgage finance and CMBS at Macquarie. Most recently, Reiff was president of Spartan Real Estate Capital. Also joining as managing directors are fellow Spartan Real Estate Capital, JP Morgan and Bear Stearns veterans Mark Lebowitz and James Conopask. Simon Breedon and Matthew Weinstein, also of Spartan, join as senior vice presidents, while Andrew Flack joins as an associate. "Randy and his team's track record in the sector and deep product knowledge will enable us to deliver an expanded offering to clients and work with them to capitalize on the opportunities presented in the market," McLaughlin said. In another indication the commercial mortgage finance market is improving, Walker & Dunlop provided a $5.35m refinance loan for a 100%-leased mixed-use retail and multifamily building in New York. "Through the hard work of the New York City office, Walker & Dunlop was able to offer the borrower a long term fixed rate mortgage at an interest rate substantially below the outstanding debt," senior vice president Drew Anderman said in a statement. CWCapital, a subsidiary of CW Financial Services and a full-service, national lender to the multifamily and healthcare real estate industries, also today announced that it has provided $151m in financing for the construction of a 469-unit residential complex located in Washington, DC. Write to Diana Golobay.