Longtime CRE Leader Stacey Berger Retires

Stacey Berger, Executive Vice President and longtime Co-Head of Midland, Overland Park, Kan., recently announced his retirement effective May 31.

“Representing Midland and PNC has been rewarding and an extraordinary opportunity for me,” Berger said. “I am very proud of what we have accomplished as a team and the client and industry relationships we have developed.”

Stacey Berger illustration courtesy of Britt Spencer

Berger noted many of his former Midland colleagues are now in leadership positions throughout the commercial real estate finance industry. Those colleagues and friends have fond memories of him.

“Stacey was a major force in shaping how it all worked from the beginning of CMBS,” said Jeff Fastov, Senior Managing Director with Square Mile Capital Management LLC. “He helped reconcile opposing agendas held by senior investors, junior investors, rating agencies and issuers. He put the ‘special’ in servicing. His friendship will be missed by many but his legacy always felt.”

SitusAMC Managing Director Tim Mazzetti, CMB, said Berger has had an “amazing” career and legacy. “For 30 years at Midland, Berger was always a pioneer in the industry,” he said. “He put them on the CMBS servicing map, helped build a powerhouse and drive amazing growth for the company. But most importantly, he became a dear friend and mentor to many in the industry including yours truly, and we will miss him! Impossible shoes to fill.”

Former MBA Chairman Brian Stoffers, CMB, presents Berger with MBA CREF Distinguished Service Award last year.

Berger noted his engagement with the Mortgage Bankers Association goes back decades. “It’s been very rewarding and facilitated relationships that I’ve developed with MBA leadership, staff and membership,” he said. “My participation in MBA’s Commercial/Multifamily Board of Governors allowed me to get involved in initiatives to support and grow the commercial real estate finance market and provided me with access to industry leaders, which has been invaluable.”

MBA awarded Berger its CREF Distinguished Service Award at the 2020 Commercial Real Estate Finance/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo in San Diego. The award honors an individual’s outstanding contributions to the commercial/multifamily real estate finance industry and to MBA.  

“Throughout his illustrious career, Stacey has been an active participant with the MBA and has been a thought leader on various issues affecting the commercial/multifamily finance industry,” said Brian Stoffers, CMB, 2020 MBA Chairman, and Global President of Debt & Structured Finance at CBRE. “His leadership, ability and intelligence have contributed to his success.”

Berger joined Midland in 1990. Before that he spent six years at Landmark Land Co., a developer of golf courses and related properties now known as Landmark Golf of Indian Wells, Calif. In 1986 he spearheaded creation of an asset-management unit that the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp. asked Landmark to form.

Stephanie Petosa, Client Development Executive with Dechert LLP, New York, said Berger has been a dear friend for many years as well as a colleague. “When I think of Stacey, the first thing that comes to mind is music,” she said. “I’ll never forget the MBA conference in San Diego when the Neville Brothers opened for Jim Belushi’s Blues Brothers Band. We had no less than seven different servicers all sharing a table at the House of Blues and we all danced the night away. Once that concert ended, we went in a search for some more blues and continued to dance the night away.” 

Petosa noted she also thinks about food when she thinks about Berger. “Now that he and Evie live in New Orleans, one of the best food and music cities in the world, I know we will be seeing each other in NOLA way more than once a year at Jazz Fest time. Stacey, my friend, relax and enjoy this next phase and I look forward to many, many more years of sharing good music and good food with you and Evie!”