Commercial real estate online lending platform AssetAvenue has hired former Colony Capital Senior Vice President Varun Pathria to be their Chief Investment Officer.
Mr. Pathria spent 11 years at Colony Capital during which he closed on more than $20 billion worth of equity acquisitions, high yield debt originations and acquisitions, and restructurings and corporate platform investments. Mr. Pathria was involved with key Colony Investments Fairmont Hotels, William Lyon Homes, and the Jameson hotel portfolio.
Mr. Pathria acknowledged the rarity of someone staying 11 years at one company.
“This is a life-changing decision for me. It was a wonderful experience right out of business school. I learned a ton as the firm changed over time.”
Mr. Pathria will look to leverage the relationships he has developed during his career in order to attract both deals and investments to AssetAvenue. A key part of his approach will be emphasizing the underwriting approach that makes new deal types a possibility.
“Our secret sauce is to build a model that is scalable and in really providing people with a higher quality underwriting than is currently being done in this sector,” Mr. Pathria said. “The reason we’re going to do that is because we are leveraging technology.”
Technology is key because it shaves the amount of time it takes to underwrite loans for smaller amounts, thereby making them more sensible to platforms like AssetAvenue, Mr. Pathria said.
“The time to underwrite a $100-million loan is about the same amount of time it takes to underwrite a $5-million loan,” Mr. Prathria added. “Rather than do 20 $5-million loans they’ll do one $100-million loan, as it takes less people to do it.”
Mr. Pathria said his introduction to AssetAvenue came through its President Kevin Arrabaca, whom he hire at Colony Capital several years ago.
“I have the utmost respect for Kevin,” Mr. Pathria said. “He’s a super smart guy with a great resume and background, overall a really good guy.”
AssetAvenue CEO David Manshoory looks forward to Mr. Pathria’s contributions.
“Varun brings a level of breadth and depth that is unparalleled among real estate professionals in the industry. There are few individuals that have operating expertise combined with debt and equity investment experience across all real estate product types. He immediately adds an institutional investment discipline to all aspects of our business.”
Mr. Pathria also brings the knowledge gained through several years as an angel investor to his new post.
Mr. Pathria received his B.A. in Business Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1996 and went on to the UCLA School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate in 1999 with a specialization in Corporate Law. He then earned his Masters in Business Administration in 2004 with a focus on Finance and Real Estate from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and continues to serve as a Board Member at the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.