South Beach will welcome over 1200 lenders, borrowers, servicers, lawyers and other service providers to the January 2013 CREFC Conference for another party in the city where the heat is on. The conference kicks off on Monday with a series of forums for agency investors, high yield debt investors, issuers, portfolio lenders, servicers, B-Piece buyers and IG bondholders. The featured speaker Monday afternoon will be David Malpass, the president of Encima Global, an economic research and consulting firm serving institutional investors and corporate clients.

But it will not be all work and no play at this year’s January conference. Dechert will be hosting over 200 clients and colleagues for an evening of food and drink on Monday night from 6:30pm to 9:30pm at the SLS Hotel. We look forward to the opportunity to meet with many old and new friends.

Tuesday morning will begin with a lively roundtable discussion on market issues and opportunities for 2013. The roundtable will be followed by a panel hosted by KeyBank’s Marty O’Connor on the future of servicing and how servicers will adjust to the “melting ice cube” in the capital markets. The panelists will include Jose Becquer of Wells Fargo, Stacey Berger of PNC Real Estate/Midland Loan Servicers, John D’Amico of TriMont Real Estate Bank, Tim Mazzetti of Cohen Financial and Jan Sternin of Berkadia Commercial Mortgage.

The Tuesday morning session will close with a panel discussion on the relative value of commercial real estate against other asset classes. The panel will be moderated by Paige Hood of Prudential and will include Brian Casey of MetLife, Mike Moran of Allstate Investments, Mark Myers of Wells Fargo and Matt Salem of Rialto Capital Management. While attendees enjoy lunch, former Florida governor (and possible 2016 presidential candidate) Jeb Bush will deliver the keynote address.

After the keynote address, the mezzanine lenders will take the stage to discuss the resurgence in the mezzanine financing market and issues that investors may face in the coming year. The discussion will be led by Ed Shugrue of Talmage LLC and will include panelists Andrea Balkan of Brookfield Real Estate, Bruce Cohen of Ares Management, Randy Reiff of Macquarie Bank and Scott Weiner of Apollo Global Management.

An all-star group of CMBS lenders and investors will follow the mezzanine investors with a panel on the roadmap to 100 billion, and what it will take for the CMBS market to continue to grow in 2013. The CMBS panel will be moderated by Mike Mazzei of Ladder Capital and will include Matt Borstein of Deutsche Bank, Leland Bunch of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Tim Gallagher of Morgan Stanley, Josh Mason of The Blackstone Group and Michael May of Cantor Fitzgerald.

The Tuesday afternoon session will continue with a panel hosted by Jeffrey Fastov of Sage Terrace Advisors on the ongoing crises in Europe and a panel hosted by Jon Strain of JP Morgan on the state of the market on non-traditional CMBS.

Tuesday afternoon will wrap up with a panel on how controlling class issues are being addressed in the current market. The panel will be hosted by Stephanie Petosa of Fitch Ratings and include Dechert’s Joseph Heil, George Carleton of C-III Capital Partners, Julie Madnick of Ranieri Partners and Isaac Pesin of LNR Partners.

The final panel of the January 2013 conference will address the outlook for bank portfolio lenders for 2013 and 2014 and issues facing portfolio lenders. Clay Sublett of KeyBank will lead the panel of Chris Albano of Citigroup, Marc McAndrew of PNC Real Estate, Greg Murphy of Natixis Real Estate Capital, Jeff Schor of Wells Fargo and Scott Towbin of JP Morgan.

Dechert will continue to blog throughout the conference, and we look forward to seeing many of you there. Welcome to Miami.  

By Matthew Clark and Ken Hackman