Commercial Mortgage Alert
A commercial real estate lending startup founded by former Lightstone investment pro Jonathan Fhima aims to put at least $100 million of capital to work over the next year.
Fhima left Lightstone in March to launch F2, which will originate fixed- and floating-rate bridge loans and mezzanine debt on commercial properties. His Beverly Hills-based firm also pursues preferred-equity investments and note-on-note financings.
F2 invests capital committed by wealthy individuals, family offices and asset managers representing investors in those two groups. Fhima said he’s targeting transactions from about $3 million to $30 million initially.
F2’s first deal was a note-on-note financing of undisclosed size that closed in April. Fhima said he has three other transactions in the pipeline, including one that likely will be completed this month.
Fhima’s pitch to property owners is he can offer quick turnarounds on financings with flexible terms, including little or no prepayment constraints and penalties. However, he emphasizes to F2’s investors that loan proceeds will be limited by more than just a borrower’s willingness to pay a higher interest rate.
“I will never trade higher leverage for return,” he added. “We’ll only lend the amount we’re comfortable with, based on the underwriting analysis of the collateral and the corresponding market.”
Fhima launched his career by joining Lightstone in early 2017 as an analyst in its New York headquarters, where he was promoted to associate in early 2019. He spent the first three years there working on deals tied to equity investments in commercial properties, and subsequently worked on commercial real estate loans as well. The firm originates high-yield debt via its Lightstone Capital unit, formed in late 2018 with senior vice president Eugene Rozovsky at the helm