Editor’s letter: Which lenders are riding out the storm?

Andy Thomson
Andy Thomson

Prior to the UK’s Brexit vote, Real Estate Capital frequently heard a familiar refrain as it went around from office to office visiting market contacts. “Everything is on hold now, but assuming the vote is to remain, we can expect a bumper second half of the year.”

Of course, the remain vote did not materialise and the difficult market conditions that banks and other lenders were confronting earlier in the year remained in place as we headed into the later summer period. In a way, then, circumstances have conspired to provide the ultimate test: in the face of all the market-related and politically-inspired volatility we have seen, which lenders appear to have the best battle plans for dealing with the challenges of the present and future?

Much of this issue is devoted to the third annual edition of our “Top 40 European Lenders” special. This represents our attempt to put in the spotlight those organisations which have remained active players in spite of the testing conditions and which have carved out market niches for themselves. We profile the entire top 40, providing insights into their current priorities and views on the market.

You can imagine that deciding which organisations should appear in the list was – while providing some rigorous and interesting debates – far from an easy choice. In the spirit of recognising that major contributions to today’s lending market are being made by firms not featuring in the top 40, we have also included a look at emerging and alternative lenders that are currently bubbling just under the 40 but could perhaps be a part of it this time next year.

In keeping with the post-Brexit market conditions theme, this issue also includes a feature from CBRE Capital Advisors looking at how the development finance market is shaping up. While the market as a whole has unsurprisingly been under pressure this year, some lenders do still have an appetite – and this feature provides some fascinating insights into exactly what they are looking for.

Over the other side of the Atlantic, there may be some well-publicised political volatility but otherwise the market dynamics are rather different. In this month’s profile of ACORE Capital, we find out why the lender’s experienced senior executives have had the confidence to oversee $4 billion in loan commitments over the last year alone.

We also have a feature on the impact of sustainability initiatives on real estate lending as well as our usual collection of news, analysis and all the key data.