CBRE’s New Quebec Recruits Are Game Changers for Investors

October 18, 2023 5 Minute Read

Quebec Debt and Structured Finance

CBRE has just added a new Debt and Structured Finance team in Quebec, enabling the company to offer unmatched access to debt capital.

The team consists of Montreal-based Charles-André Roy and Charles-Benoit Parent – who are returning to CBRE after several years working with an alternative lender – along with Simon Bolduc and Eduardo Davalos in Quebec City.

“Access to debt capital has never been more important for advising businesses looking to achieve their real estate goals and establish creative solutions within their capital stack, particularly against a backdrop of rising interest rates and increasing underwriting scrutiny,” says CBRE Canada President and CEO Jon Ramscar.

“With these impressive new mortgage specialists joining our Quebec team, CBRE can offer comprehensive expertise and solutions in debt financing to drive best in class global practices and investment to the Quebec marketplace."

“We are thrilled that Charles-André and Charles-Benoit have come back home to CBRE, and Simon and Eduardo will add even greater strength to our bench,” adds CBRE Quebec Managing Director Ruth Fischer.

“These next-generation leaders are talented, hard-working, collaborative and creative. I’m excited to watch them take our business in Quebec to a new level.”

There’s No Place Like Home

Roy explains that CBRE having become a CMHC-approved lender in Quebec was a key factor in his and Parent’s decision to return to the fold.

“Now the platform is even better suited to respond to our borrower’s needs,” he says.

Speaking of platform, Roy notes that CBRE’s breadth of service lines was the other big reason for their opting to come back.

“We can internalize services that we didn’t have before. We can leverage the company’s expertise in selling and leasing properties and project management, in addition to appraisal work, to name just a few.”

“We built our business around a solutions-driven approach to clients,” he adds, “and having the CBRE platform backing us means we can provide our clients with all the support and solutions they might need.”

Parent says that CBRE’s national exposure and global reach will give the team an array of additional resources to help their clients through these tricky times. 

“In the current economic context, if you don’t have debt advisors with the proper resources on their side, deals can go sour quite quickly.

“People typically call us when they have debt financing challenges” Parent says, “but we can help early on through active real estate financing strategies and portfolio management.

“Debt structuring is more than ever a critical element of success for any real estate transaction today, and our team is equipped to strategically help borrowers navigate these rough waters.”

Ruth Fischer and Quebec DSF Team
Welcome to the team! Ruth Fischer meets with Charles-André Roy and Charles-Benoit Parent in Montreal.

Access to Capital is Key to Successful Outcomes

Amid consolidation in the Canadian lending market, there are fewer local capital sources available to clients, Roy points out.

“So by going with a platform that has over 500 different capital sources, we probably more than doubled the access to capital we have and potentially could have in the future.

“This allows us to be the most comprehensive debt platform in Canada.”

About half of the team’s deals are in the CMHC-insured market, with the rest in conventional products for any commercial property type, from retail centres to storage facilities.

Roy notes that with any piece of real estate, most of the money is not in the equity, it’s in the lending. “You buy a property, you might put around two thirds of the acquisition in debt, and one third in equity.

“So if most of your money comes from somebody else’s pocket – whether it be a bank or a mortgage fund – you have to have a strong understanding of the implications: the type of capital that exists, the terms and conditions.”

With interest rates at recent historic highs, borrowers need to think outside the box to alleviate the impacts of debt capital.

“Two thirds of the financial equation just became three times more expensive,” says Roy. “How will borrowers sustain that and keep their businesses moving forward? That’s where our team thrives.

“Having the access to debt capital we have through CBRE means our DSF team will be able to support our teams to sell assets faster, with limited pricing impact, leading to a better overall client experience on both the seller and purchaser sides.

Managing client expectations is “extremely important,” Parent adds. “And so our investment sales teams are now empowered to speak intelligently to clients about debt capital markets when they’re trying to sell a deal.

Long Term Vision

CBRE’s Quebec DSF team stands apart from the competition for many reasons.

"We look at any deal with a long term perspective for our clients" Roy says.

And the team is relationship-driven, versus transaction-driven. “That allows us to get into the nitty gritty of an individual’s, or an entity’s, or a corporation’s real estate portfolio," says Parent.

“We look at how we can structure everything so they don’t face interest risks or maturity risks with proper tools and planning. We work as their CFO extension or financial team. And we restructure their entire real estate portfolio accordingly.

“Our goal is to build those relationships and by doing so become the premier source of real estate financing advice and advisory services – period.”

Quebec City Gets in the Game

Quebec City is an under-serviced market when it comes to lenders and debt access.

"Investors know Montreal and have a variety of firms to choose from, but Quebec City isn’t as well-served,” says Roy. “We’ve got two of the best in the business filling that gap – Simon Bolduc and Eduardo Davalos are game changers for clients in that market."

Borrowers in Quebec City are used to dealing with the two, maybe three big players, all providing very similar capital types.

So having more sources of debt available via CBRE means that Bolduc and Davalos will be able to bring new ideas to their borrower clients, providing capital alternatives and increasing available liquidity.

“Suddenly our clients have a variety of different options that will either help borrowers de-risk, grow or focus on a capital strategy that aligns with their long term vision," Roy says.

“They can offer new fresh ideas to help that market participate more fully in the Canadian debt capital ecosystem.”

We’ve all heard about good debt; now it’s time to see the difference that great debt professionals can make.

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