Justin Wheeler | CEO, Berkadia
In part two of our series on real estate services platforms, Justin Wheeler, CEO of Berkadia, talks about the focus of his firm on multifamily finance and investment sales and how that focus defines their strategy and culture. This conversation is the flip side of the coin from our prior conversation with Brett White, who talked about the strategy and strengths of the global, full service real estate services platforms, Cushman & Wakefield, and CBRE.
In contrast to the all-service giants, Berkadia is a highly focused investment sales and mortgage finance oriented shop, working largely in the multifamily sector. That level of focus helps define the company’s strategy and collaborative, team-oriented culture. In both conversations in the series, we discussed the fascinating balance of power between the business "platform" and the individual "producer", which continues to evolve as the business platform, and the data and services it can provide, becomes increasingly sophisticated and compelling.
Justin was part of the investment group, which included Berkshire Hathaway, that acquired CAPMARK/GMAC during the global financial crisis, creating Berkadia. Justin was on the deal team and, after the acquisition, was tapped by Warren Buffet to lead the business. Justin talks about coming into the real estate business mid-career to lead Berkadia, his love of the business, and to Buffet's consistent mantra of long-term thinking for the business.