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Angel Oak Commercial Lending Makes Key Hires, Plans West Coast Expansion

March 31, 2021, 08:00 AM

Angel Oak Commercial Lending, a specialty finance company committed to meeting the underserved financing needs of commercial real estate owners, developers and investors, announced the hiring of David Pike as managing director and Bob Forsythe as senior managing director. Both began work in early March and report to co-Presidents Nik Chillar and Rick Gallitto.

Pike joins Angel Oak in its Newport Beach, California, office and will oversee lending operations and expansion along the West Coast, focusing on middle-market and larger loan offerings. Pike has over two decades of experience in the commercial real estate lending industry, most recently as managing director for Cantor Commercial Real Estate. His West Coast focus supplements Angel Oak’s prominent East Coast presence.

“Over the past several months, Angel Oak has rapidly expanded its commercial lending program, and I am eager to work alongside such a talented and driven team,” said Pike. “There is tremendous opportunity in the Western half of the U.S. I look forward to bringing the innovative loan solutions Angel Oak offers to new and existing borrowers as we expand.”

Forsythe will also operate out of the Newport Beach office, leading Angel Oak’s rapidly growing small-balance loan program. Forsythe brings more than 30 years of experience to Angel Oak, most recently as the founding principal of Pacific West CDC. Prior to that, he served as chief operating officer of Lehman Brothers Small Business Finance.

Forsythe and the Angel Oak team will work to establish a wholesale lending program in the small-balance commercial real estate space, allowing Angel Oak Commercial Lending to partner with lenders that are looking to tap into the company’s loan solutions. This represents a natural iteration for Angel Oak, which has a well-established wholesale division in the residential loan space through Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions. The goal of the new program is to leverage local expertise, grow Angel Oak’s loan pipeline and provide the infrastructure necessary to originate advantageous investment solutions in the small-balance sector.

“I am excited to join Angel Oak Commercial Lending and build out an incredible wholesale division that combines the technological expertise Angel Oak offers with dynamic products and services for borrowers,” said Forsythe.

With offices and executives located in California, Georgia, Massachusetts and New York, the firm’s expansive reach allows it to deliver high-quality commercial real estate product offerings to borrowers across the country. As the economic impacts of the pandemic lessen and small businesses begin to rebuild post-COVID-19, Angel Oak is preparing for an increase in demand within this niche market. Angel Oak’s growing talent and assets will allow the firm to support its current clientele’s needs as well as provide flexible options for new borrowers.

Coinciding with Angel Oak’s growth is the implementation of innovative technologies to streamline the entire lending program. Key features include contributing information for underwriting, capturing data analyses, and delivering real-time feedback and portfolio monitoring, as well as quantifying ESG initiatives, a critical focus for Angel Oak more broadly. These adaptive tools enable efficient and decisive actions, cutting the time it takes to originate loans and offer solutions for borrowers.

“The talent we have recently added with David and Bob highlights our growth and expansion as we continue to build out a robust team to meet our high-bar goals for 2021,” said Ben Easterlin, head of commercial lending at Angel Oak. “From new technologies and initiatives to securitizations and wholesale efforts, we are excited about our future.”

Angel Oak Commercial Lending intends to more than double its team this year and is actively hiring.

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