Starwood hires executive team to enhance CRE origination financing
Starwood Capital Group, an investment firm focused on global real estate, hired a team of executives to oversee and grow its commercial financing sector, Starwood Property Trust (STWD). Boyd Fellows, Stew Ward, Chris Torkarski and Warren de Haan are now senior executives on SPT's external advisory and management firm SPT Management. Fellows is the president and managing director of SPT, reporting to chairman and CEO Barry Sternlicht. Ward joins as chief financial officer, managing director and head of Capital Markets and Risk Management. Torkarski is both chief credit officer and a managing director. And De Haan is serving as chief originations officer and a managing director. Ward, Torkarski and De Haan all report to Fellows. The team of new employees have worked together over 15 years and have more than 90 years of combined experience in commercial real estate finance and capital markets. The four founded and built Countrywide Financial Corp.'s CRE finance business. They also established and acted as managing partners of Coastal Capital Partners, a firm that acquired distressed CRE debt, advised CRE owners on restructuring and financed health care properties. "When Starwood Property Trust went public last year, we told our fellow shareholders that we wanted to build a premier commercial real estate finance company," said CEO of Starwood, Barry Sternlicht. "We have been looking to find an experienced, dedicated team to build out SPT Management's platform and enhance our origination capabilities." As a 25-year veteran of the CRE finance industry, Fellows focused on U.S. production operations at the Countrywide operation. He was CEO of Scudder Weisel Capital, a joint venture with Zurich Insurance, as well as a co-head of non-agency mortgage securities trading at Morgan Stanley (MS) earlier in his career. Ward was responsible for all capital markets activity risk management at Countrywide. Before that, he was a senior officer in Nomura's CRE division, co-managing the division and taking charge of capital commitments and asset sales and securitizations. Torkarski served as chief financial officer at Countrywide, where he was responsible for credit approval and oversight of underwriting and risk management. Earlier in his career, he too worked at Nomura, running the commercial mortgage underwriting and securitization group. Previously, he worked at Bear Stearns as an analyst. De Haan oversaw national originations with Fellows at Countrywide, and ran the mergers and acquisitions division. Prior to employment at countrywide, De Haan worked at the Realty Exchange of America where he was responsible for commercial property acquisitions and the development of a 1031 exchange platform. Write to Christine Ricciardi. The author holds no relevant investments.