Cortland Partners Hires Executives With Ties to Gables Residential

Cortland Partners has added four multifamily industry veterans with ties to Gables Residential, an industry leading REIT.

Marvin Banks

By Jessica Fiur, News Editor

Atlanta–Cortland Partners has added four multifamily industry veterans with ties to Gables Residential, an industry leading REIT.

The multifamily real estate firm added Marvin Banks as president and chief financial officer; Melanie Gersper as president of Anthem Management Services, Cortland’s property and asset management subsidiary; Melanie Bunting as vice president of corporate accounting; and Meryl Bornheim as senior financial analyst.

All the new hires have extensive experience in the multifamily industry. Banks was formerly the chief financial officer of Gables Residential, where he oversaw the company’s successful $475 million initial public offering and eventual sale for $2.8 billion while serving as the architect and steward of the company’s financial structure.

Gersper has overseen the management of more than 25,000 units having served as the regional vice president of Bell Partners and president of PRISM Realty Management. Prior to joining Cortland, Bunting was the REIT controller for Gables, VP corporate accounting for Place Properties and served as the chief financial officer for Ashwood Development. Bornheim, a certified public accountant, has focused on real estate investment for the last 12 years, most recently as a senior financial analyst with Gables.

Banks already has ideas about the future of Cortland. “We plan to capitalize on the dislocation in the capital and space markets as the recoveries manifest,” he tells MHN. “We have already begun to move Cortland to an institutional equity investment platform which is meaningfully more efficient from both a cost of capital and flexibility perspective. This enhances the effectiveness of our executions and our competitiveness in the market place. Ultimately we look to be capitalized at the entity level with a potential transition to the public markets through an IPO or M&A transaction.”

Cortland Partners has grown its multifamily portfolio from approximately 2,000 apartments in early 2010 to more than 7,000 apartments by acquiring 17 metro Atlanta apartment communities during the past year. The company currently has an additional 10 communities under contract to acquire in five different markets from Texas through the Southeast.

“Cortland is an opportunistic investment platform strategically focused on producing outsized risk-adjusted returns,” Banks says. “At this point in the recovery cycle our tactical execution centers on the acquisition and correction of distressed properties primarily in the B space–we have jumped ahead of the capital flow curve. As capital cycles downstream in search of yield we will sell into those flows and likely redeploy capital into new developments which will generate outsized risk-adjusted returns. Our tactical execution will evolve as the real estate cycle advances from a recovery mode to a secular growth mode over the coming years.”

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