SunTrust Banks (NYSE: STI) announced it is acquiring substantially all of the assets of the operating subsidiaries of Pillar Financial, including its multifamily lending business.

Mark Chancy
Mark Chancy

Pillar’s multifamily lending business is comprised of multifamily affordable housing, health-care properties, senior housing, and manufactured housing specialty teams. The firm is one of a select group of independent agency lenders that holds licenses with all three agencies: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The assets also include Chicago-based Cohen Financial’s commercial real estate investor services business, offering loan administration and advisory services, as well as its mortgage banking business.

The acquisition strategically expands the commercial real estate capabilities of Atlanta-based SunTrust.

The transaction is expected to close before year-end, subject to receiving agency approvals and satisfying other closing conditions. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This acquisition will enhance our commercial real estate platform by providing our clients with full access to the agency programs currently licensed to Pillar,” said Mark Chancy, SunTrust wholesale banking executive, in a statement. “In addition, SunTrust will offer Pillar clients access to a number of expanded products and capabilities including bridge loans, equity for affordable housing developments, and a full suite of capital markets capabilities through SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.”

Anand Gajjar, CEO and senior managing director of Pillar Financial, added: “SunTrust and Pillar make a fantastic combination since there is very little overlap in our capabilities, yet there is tremendous synergy and compatibility. Our management team is energized to serve our clients with the significant product offerings of SunTrust.”

Following completion of the acquisition, the Pillar team will join the SunTrust Commercial Real Estate (CRE) line of business, which is part of the wholesale banking segment. Gajjar will report to Kathy Farrell, commercial real estate executive. CRE provides banking and capital markets solutions to commercial real estate developers, owners and operators on a national and regional basis through its SunTrust Community Capital, REIT, Institutional Real Estate, Homebuilder, Regional CRE, and Real Estate Investment Banking platforms.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey served as financial adviser to SunTrust for this transaction. Beekman Advisors acted as the strategic adviser for Pillar.