PacWest commercial real estate team leaves for Kennedy Wilson

Former PacWest division will focus on non-recourse bridge and construction financing following move.

The relationship between Pacific Western Bank and Kennedy Wilson Holdings has marked a fresh chapter this week with the entirety of PacWest’s commercial real estate division now moving onward to work at Kennedy Wilson.

Beverly Hills, California-based Pacific Western Bank commercial real estate lending team left the bank last week to take on new roles at manager Kennedy Wilson, a move that came shortly after the lender sold a major loan portfolio to the investment management company.

On July 13, PacWest executive vice-president Patrick Crandall took to LinkedIn to announce he and the entire PacWest commercial real estate team were now working at Kennedy Wilson, also based in Beverly Hills. Approximately 40 people will be making the move once the transition is completed, a Kennedy Wilson spokesperson told Real Estate Capital USA.

The move comes about two months after PacWest sold $2.6 billion of its construction loan portfolio to a unit of Kennedy Wilson as the bank sought to free up balance sheet liquidity. Two weeks after that May 22 transaction, Kennedy Wilson flipped a majority stake in the portfolio to Toronto-based insurer Fairfax Financial Holdings.

In his post, Crandall wrote the former PacWest team already has an active pipeline, having issued terms on several deals. He said the addition of the PacWest personnel in New York, Washington, DC, and elsewhere will provide national coverage for Kennedy Wilson.

Crandall, now also a senior managing director at Kennedy Wilson, said he and his team will continue focusing on non-recourse bridge and construction financing.

Crandall was a senior leader for PacWest’s real estate team and oversaw national lending during his nearly eight-year tenure at the bank. He brings additional experience to Kennedy Wilson from commercial real estate management roles at California-based Sabal Financial Group prior to its acquisition by Regions Bank, Chicago advisory Cushman & Wakefield and Toronto-based CIBC World Markets.

Shedding commercial real estate debt exposure has been a top priority for PacWest in recent months even beyond its mid-May deal with Kennedy Wilson. In June, the bank also sold $3.5 billion of specialty finance and commercial real estate loans to Ares Management and sold $1.2 billion of its commercial real estate construction loans to a partnership between Cain International and Security Benefit Life Insurance.