PGIM Real Estate taps new leaders for agency lending group

McRoberts’s retirement triggers three appointments to oversee the $45bn agency servicing portfolio.

New Jersey-based manager PGIM Real Estate is setting succession plans in motion for its $45 billion agency loan servicing portfolio with the forthcoming retirement of its division leader, Mike McRoberts.

The firm confirmed in an October 13 release that McRoberts would be retiring on March 31, 2024. He is set to be replaced by Kelly Follain, who currently is chief operating officer of PGIM Real Estate’s agency lending business.

Follain will take over as head of agency lending at the top-ranked debt manager on January 1 of next year. Her promotion in the wake of McRoberts’s retirement will result in a role and responsibility shuffle among the upper ranks of the agency lending division.

Follain’s deputy COO, Jamila Houser, has been promoted to COO for agency lending. Rick Del Roio, an executive director at PGIM Real Estate, will take on the role of head of credit for agency lending in addition to his current responsibilities as chief underwriter for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Del Roio, Houser and PGIM Real Estate’s head of production for agency lending Stephanie Wiggins will report to Follain.

Bryan McDonnell, head of US debt and chair of global debt at PGIM Real Estate, said the firm’s agency lending platform is a critical element of the wider debt offering.

“Over the last 12 years, Mike has built an incredibly successful business and has been a leader in the multifamily industry for decades,” he said in a written statement. “Kelly is an established leader in the industry, and her track record of helping to grow the business and building strong, effective teams makes her the ideal person to drive our business forward.”

Follain joined PGIM in 2016 and previously worked as a vice-president at McLean, Virginia-based government-sponsored enterprise Freddie Mac on its underwriting and credit team. She brings 25 years of experience to the role, including a prior tenure at San Francisco-based bank Wells Fargo, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Inclusive of its agency lending business, PGIM Real Estate has been focusing on picking up larger loan opportunities and filling capital voids left by money center bank and regional bank lending pullbacks. Industrial refinancing and acquisition financing efforts have kept the firm active in the marketplace in recent weeks.

Earlier in October, PGIM Real Estate bolstered its multifamily debt exposure with a $143.5 million floating-rate bridge loan package for a pair of Southern California, Class A apartment properties owned by Los Angeles-based developer LaTerra Development.