Magazine article American Banker

Hard Lessons in Commercial Real Estate

Magazine article American Banker

Hard Lessons in Commercial Real Estate

Article excerpt

William A. Hodges knows from experience how fast the commercial real estate market can turn.

In 1990 he ran the real estate group of NCNB Corp., NationsBank's predecessor. A year later, after an industrywide real estate collapse, he was busy picking up the pieces as head of the bank's real estate loan workout group.

Now he's at the helm of a real estate finance unit again as head of NationsBank Global Finance's newly formed Real Estate Group.

Real estate has bounced back as a big business for banks, with NationsBank leading the pack. And like many of the bankers who have returned to the high-yielding market, Mr. Hodges says he's learned from past mistakes.

NationsBank, he said, plans to "develop a management approach to the business that we believe will smooth out the impact ... of the market's cyclical nature."

The new group, announced Monday, combines all real estate activities conducted by the bank's Global Finance business.

According to Mr. Hodges, the group will provide financing for the acquisition, development, and construction of real estate properties; originate, structure and underwrite transactions, including providing securitization or private placement, as well as intermediate first-mortgage loans on all stabilized commercial property types; and provide loans for single-family construction in all NationsBank markets.

In his new role, Mr. Hodges will coordinate NationsBank's divisions of real estate banking, real estate finance, mortgage-backed trading, real estate syndications, and mortgage finance. …

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