CBRE has tapped one of its own to oversee the expansion of the brokerage’s debt and structured finance group in the United States as investors in commercial property face higher interest rates and inflation.
The Dallas-based firm said it has appointed Rachel Vinson, who joined CBRE in late 2019, as president of its debt and structured finance business in the U.S. In her new position, Vinson is responsible for continuing the expansion of CBRE’s debt business nationally.
Last year, CBRE’s debt and structured finance teams closed $80 billion in loan production.
Vinson takes over the debt operation the same week the Federal Reserve raised its target lending rate by 75 basis points, or three-quarters of a percentage point, the highest increase since 1994.
As the Fed’s target rate rises, the cost of borrowing money to fund acquisitions and new developments typically follows suit. Add in current high inflation rates, and that is expected to affect commercial property transaction velocity and capitalization rates.
But even with high inflation and previous interest rate increases earlier this year, the commercial mortgage markets maintained their momentum in the first quarter, according to the CBRE Lending Momentum Index. The index, which tracks the pace of CBRE-originated commercial loan closings in the U.S., increased 69% year over year and 5.5% quarter over quarter, according to the brokerage firm.
“Lending activity continued to rise in Q1 2022, despite rising inflation, increased interest rates and the war in Ukraine,” Brian Stoffers, global president of debt and structured finance for capital markets at CBRE, said in a statement. “Following a strong start to the quarter, some lenders initially paused during the early onset of the war as credit spreads and loan indexes widened with the uncertainty.”
Vinson, who is based in Dallas, has more than 20 years of experience in commercial real estate and finance.
For the past nine months, she served as global chief operating officer for capital markets and previously led CBRE’s Americas advisory finance organization.
Before she joined CBRE, Vinson worked for six years at Barings Multifamily Capital, where she became president in April 2018 and oversaw strategic direction and operations for the loan origination and servicing company.