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BETHESDA, MD. — Bethesda-based Walker & Dunlop has merged with Green Park Financial of Bethesda and Column Guaranteed, a subsidiary of Credit Suisse Group. The deal, which combines the three companies under the Walker & Dunlop name, took effect January 31. With the merger, Walker & Dunlop will originate Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD and other loans to an expected annual tune of more than $3 billon.

Discussion about the merger began 1 year ago when Credit Suisse started looking into unloading Column Guaranteed. “They thought about selling it, they thought about keeping it and they thought about doing a merger with somebody,” says William M. Walker, CEO of Walker & Dunlop (pictured). “We were effective in convincing them that we were the best alternative.”

Walker is joined in the company’s administration by Vice Chairman Kieran Quinn, president of Column Guaranteed. Beekman Advisors and Morgan Lewis & Bockius represented Walker & Dunlop in the merger. Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll represented Credit Suisse.

The combined operation means a broader reach and an ability to more personally assist customers outside the Northeast. The company will continue to work out of its Bethesda headquarters, but will also house offices in Atlanta, Baltimore, New Orleans, New York, Plano, Texas, and Walnut Creek, Calif. “Customers will have the opportunity to have the touch and feel of our company locally,” Walker says.

Ultimately, the merger will allow Walker & Dunlop to serve more customers in the multifamily industry, but it will also serve as a spring board to eventual expansion plans.

“There are a lot of different things that we can do right now given our scale and given the fact that while lots of other people are shrinking down, we’re actually growing,” Walker says. “We’ve got the opportunity to do a truckload of business.”

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