Eastern Union experiences surge in new deals under new company leadership

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Eastern Union, one of the country’s largest commercial real estate mortgage brokerages, has witnessed substantial growth in both transaction volume and average deal size in the three months since Abraham Bergman assumed the positions of president and CEO on November 1 of last year.

Abraham Bergman

The company closed out the month of January with 140 new deals under application, the sixth-best month Eastern Union has tallied in terms of transaction volume since its founding in May of 2001.

Transaction size has also grown significantly under Mr. Bergman’s tenure. Average deal size over this period has increased by an average of 20 percent over the first ten months of 2021. A recent example is the $54.7 million in financing secured in December by managing director David Merkin for two portfolios encompassing 461 single-family rental units in Baltimore.

Loan types and lending sources have also varied greatly since November. Lender categories have included banks, bridge lenders, agencies, debt funds, HUD and other sources.

“Over two decades, Eastern Union has built a national reputation for financial expertise and client service,” said Mr. Bergman. “It’s been my privilege to assume leadership of such an exceptional organization. 

“The outstanding results we’ve been enjoying these first three months are a direct reflection of the quality of our first-rate broker team. I am committed to building upon Eastern Union’s remarkable track record in pursuit of new successes.”

Eastern Union was co-founded by Mr. Bergman and Ira Zlotowitz, who had served as president and CEO from the firm’s launch until Mr. Bergman assumed those responsibilities. Mr. Zlotowitz is now pursuing other activities in the commercial real estate field.  

Also, under Mr. Bergman’s presidency, Eastern Union hired an experienced, large-loan specialist to help manage the increase in average transaction size. Mikael Rechdiener joined the firm to run large loan placements, including structured deals that can require a complex assemblage of conventional debt, mezzanine debt and preferred equity. Mr. Rechdiener had previously worked in the sales and marketing division of Extell Development Company, one of New York City’s most prominent developers.

Also during this period, Eastern Union launched a new Hospitality Group that provides commercial financing services to hotels and short-term rental properties across America. To lead the new unit, the firm hired Charles Hoffman, who brought 17 years of commercial real estate experience as a lender, owner and developer.                                                     

Mr. Bergman said that the firm is presently looking to hire seasoned industry veterans and “multi-million-dollar producers.” 

“Eastern Union offers the best commission structure in the industry, combined with the opportunity for an unparalleled, high-quality work-life experience,” he said. “We want to add more of the country’s top brokers to our ranks.”

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