MBANow CREF Corner Office Conversation with Walker & Dunlop's Willy Walker

Andrew Foster, afoster@mba.org

October 04, 2018


The Mortgage Bankers Association released a new interview with Walker & Dunlop Chairman and CEO Willy Walker, who discussed multifamily, Walker & Dunlop's business strategy and GSE reform. Walker serves on MBA's board of directors.

In CREF Corner Office Conversations, MBA Associate Vice President Rob Van Raaphorst talks one-on-one with commercial real estate finance leaders about their business and engagement with the industry. The video can be viewed here.

"We are quite bullish on multifamily for a number of different reasons," Walker said, citing strong GDP growth with limited inflation as well as lower anticipated apartment deliveries after peak numbers were delivered in 2017.

Walker also addressed Walker & Dunlop's growth initiatives including its expansion into multifamily investment sales over the past few years. One of Walker & Dunlop's strategies in addition to organic growth has been acquiring small to medium independent mortgage banking firms across the country. For example, the firm acquired the loan origination platform of Deerwood Real Estate Capital, a commercial mortgage brokerage and advisory firm in northern New Jersey, last year.

Walker has been outspoken in industry debates on GSE reform and serves on MBA's GSE task force, a group of board members focused on GSE reform from both single-family and multifamily perspectives.

Discussing the upcoming leadership change at the Federal Housing Finance Agency where Director Mel Watt's term ends in January 2019, Walker said the change will have an impact on the agency. "[But] we are talking about Washington, D.C.--change comes slowly."

Walker said he expects a change in direction from a new FHFA director. "Getting a business person rather than a public policy person in that role would be hugely beneficial to our industry," he said. "Only because the issues that FHFA deals with are very, very complex capital markets issues. And so having someone with experience whether it be on Wall Street or Main Street but someone from the private sector would be helpful."

Company Profile: Walker & Dunlop, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is one of the largest commercial real estate finance companies in the United States. The company provides a comprehensive range of capital solutions for all commercial real estate asset classes, as well as investment sales brokerage services to owners of multifamily properties. Walker & Dunlop is included on the S&P SmallCap 600 Index and has been ranked as one of FORTUNE Magazine's Fastest Growing Companies in 2014, 2017, and 2018.

Other videos in the series can be viewed at the MBANow website.

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