Wells Fargo forms new group to finance REITs
Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) announced the creation of a new business segment Wednesday that will provide financing for real estate investment trusts. Wells Fargo REIT Finance Group will offer banking services, lines of credit, term loans and construction loans to REITs. The new unit will provide services to publicly traded real estate investment trusts that specialize in commercial real estate, the bank said Wednesday. The banking giant formed the new REIT finance segment by pulling together professionals from several Wells Fargo business segments to ensure the finance team has the expertise to serve the bank's REIT clients. Wells Fargo specifically named Rex Rudy, formerly managing director of real estate syndicated finance at Wells Fargo Securities, as managing director and head of the new REIT Finance Group. The new division will operate out of offices located in Charlotte, Chicago and Los Angeles. Matt Ricketts, managing director, will lead the segment's Eastern region, while Scott Solis was named managing director of the central region. Derek Evans will serve as managing director for the Western region. The bank's move comes at a time when REITs are experiencing some success in the market. The majority of real estate investment trusts bested third-quarter earnings projections this past month, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods said in a recent report. Still, KBW says REITs remain cautious when projecting earnings for the 2012 fiscal year because of lingering concerns over the global economy. Write to Kerri Panchuk.