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September 22, 2017  

Ex-Credit Suisse Pros Open Bridge-Loan Shop

Industry veterans Mark Brown, Paul Smyth and Cary Williams have formed a high-yield lending shop in Irving, Texas, with backing from local developer Wolverine Interests.

The firm, Broadsword Investors, will focus on originating fixed- and floating-rate bridge and mezzanine loans, mostly on properties in the Southwest. The target is the middle market, with loans typically having balances of less than $25 million.

The three principals recently worked together at Credit Suisse. Brown ran the bank’s commercial MBS group for four years before stepping down earlier this year. Smyth was formerly chief credit officer for the group, and Williams was a senior executive on the structured-finance team in Dallas. For the past year, Smyth and Williams worked at Austin-based World Class Capital as it sought to build out a debt-investment platform.

Broadsword has recruited three other seasoned pros — Paul Jankovsky as president, Ryan Stephens as chief credit officer and John Tesoriero as chief operating officer. Jankovsky spent a combined 13 years at J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch before the downturn. Stephens worked at ARCap, Centerline Capital and C-III Asset Management, and Tesoriero had stints at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, Nomura, Centerline and Credit Suisse.

Broadsword may eventually recycle capital by issuing CLOs. The firm might also invest in conduit B-pieces.

Broadsword has formed a lending entity, called Broadsword Commercial Mortgage. Wolverine is a general partner, and additional investors are being sought.

Wolverine is led by managing principal Jim Leslie. He joined Staubach Cos. when it was formed in 1982 and spent about 20 years at the Dallas real estate company, rising to the positions of president and chief operating officer.

Before joining Credit Suisse in 2013, Brown had stints at BGC Partners, Centerline, Nomura and DLJ. In addition to Credit Suisse, Smyth’s resume includes stops at C-III and predecessor companies Centerline and ARCap, as well as Banc One. Starting in 1987, Williams spent 25 years at Merrill and Bank of America, which acquired Merrill. He also had a stop at RBC before joining Credit Suisse in 2014.