Mesa West opens in NY

The West coast debt shop has hired ex-Ramius executive Raphael Fishbach to lead the operation.

Mesa West Capital has appointed former Ramius director Raphael Fishbach to lead its newly-opened office in New York.

The Los Angeles-based firm has primarily focused on providing first mortgage loans secured against assets in the Western US.

However, co-chief executive officer Mark Zytko said the firm was opening its first regional office as it sought to broaden its operations. “While our deals are generally located in the West, many of our borrower and mortgage broker relationships are based in and around New York and we believe having an office here is a logical next step in the growth of our company,” he said in a statement.

Fishbach has been hired as director after working for three years as director of asset management firm Ramius’ real estate group. At Ramius, Fishbach was responsible for deal sourcing and acquisitions, origination, joint ventures and financings as well as asset management. Prior to Ramius, Fishbach spent six years in Wells Fargo’s real estate merchant banking group.

Mesa West last year topped its fundraising target for its second debt vehicle, Mesa West Real Estate Income Fund II, which had secured $420 million in equity commitments by June last year against a target of $400 million.

Fellow West coast debt platform PCCP has also opened an office in New York, following its take-over of Lehman Brothers' two real estate mezzanine funds and the 10-strong team managing the funds. The firm told PERE in February that acquiring existing vehicles, such as Lehman Brothers Real Estate Mezzanine Partners I and II, was a way of repositioning the firm from a predominately West Coast-focus shop to one with a national footprint in an environment that didn't promote growth.


PCCP's New York office is led by former head of Lehman Brothers' mezzanine funds Yon Cho.