Greystone hires former Citibank lender

Ken Jones to focus on Freddie Mac small balance loan business

Greystone has hired former Citibank executive Ken Jones to help lead the firm’s small loan lending efforts under the new Freddie Mac Small Balance Loan (SBL) program.

As a director based out of the firm’s Chicago offices, the banking industry veteran will call upon his Rolodex of borrowers and mortgage banking contacts to originate new commercial mortgage loans — part of Greystone’s push to compete with banks in the small loan space.

Jones spent 25 years at Citibank in Chicago, where he expanded that firm’s lending platform across the Midwest. He will report directly to Clint Darby, managing director and head of Greystone’s Chicago office, who told Real Estate Capital that the SBL program, launched October 1, was a key reason for the new hire.

Ken Jones
Ken Jones

“Ken comes from a traditional bank lending background and the banks are our number one competition in the market right now in the $1m to $6m space,” Darby said. “Bank customers are really excited about this Freddie Mac small loan product.”

Greystone announced that it will sell loans under the SBL program in last month. The new platform offers fixed-rate and hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage loans ranging from $1m to $5m on multifamily acquisitions or refinancings.

Properties with at least five units will be eligible for partial or full term interest-only loans up to 80% loan-to-value, with a 1.25x debt service coverage ratio minimum (1.20x in top markets) and a 60- to 120-day rate lock.

“You basically have a product that looks very similar to bank terms except that it’s non-recourse and you can do higher leverage,” Darby said. “For these borrowers that really like short-term debt we finally have a product that will compete with the banks.”

Greystone provides mortgage solutions across multiple platforms, including FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, USDA, CMBS, bridge, mezzanine and other proprietary loan programs. Rick Wolf heads Greystone’s comprehensive small loan business.