As a director with Marcus & Millichap Capital Corporation, Frank Montalto is responsible for securing commercial debt financing for an array of property types including multifamily, office and industrial, retail, seniors housing and hospitality. He is well connected with national, regional and local funding sources.
Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up, where did you go to school?
I grew up in Westchester, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago located about 15 miles west of the city. I went to Montini Catholic High School in Lombard, and the University of Iowa in Iowa City for undergrad.
When you were young, what did you aspire to be?
Growing up, I aspired to be a professional baseball player. Unfortunately, that dream was shattered when I realized I wasn’t getting much taller than 5’10”, and with my athleticism diminishing the more I enjoyed myself at the University of Iowa. For now, I live my dream through watching the Cubs and playing 16-inch softball in my free time.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I started my career as a commercial banker on the institutional markets side. I then became a commercial real estate banker at a financial institution here in Chicago before joining Marcus & Millichap as a commercial mortgage banker. My job is exciting—I’m able to work every property type and follow my clients from Chicago to thousands of miles away. What motivates me every day is helping my clients, from local real estate owners to large, private equity shops, accomplish their investment strategies.
Did you have a mentor who helped you get on your feet, or is there someone you turn to now for support?
My brother has always been my mentor. When selecting what industry I wanted to go into, I knew law wasn’t something I would pursue after seeing him go through the LSAT and the bar exam. I come from a very close-knit family, and they were very supportive of me making the jump from the banking life to a mortgage broker life.
What does a day in the life of Frank Montalto look like?
Very long! The day starts around 5:00 a.m. getting my daily workout in, then signing on around 7:00 a.m. and scrambling through many newsletters understanding what happened in the world of real estate since the night prior. Once ready to start the day around 8:00 a.m., my business partner, Dean Giannakopoulos, and I prioritize our pipeline and discuss what requires the most urgent attention and how to expand what is currently on our plate. From there I begin calling my existing clients to check in, then shifting to calling into the markets to continually refresh on lender programs and appetite. It’s difficult enough to manage a database of nearly 1,000 lenders, let alone stay on top of who is the most competitive lender for each unique project.
What do you like most about your job?
Every day is different, and every client is unique. Our business can range from originating acquisition financing on a $1,000,000 retail center, to refinancing a $100,000,000 multifamily portfolio. While Marcus & Millichap is traditionally a middle markets commercial real estate firm, I enjoy bringing “Wall Street to Main Street” and working with our clients’ every financing need.
Looking to the future, what do you hope to achieve/work on that you haven’t already?
Marcus & Millichap has incredible brand recognition, and I’d like to continue to build the Marcus & Millichap Capital Corporation name to educate the market about our capabilities and speed of execution. We’ve been around for almost 25 years and have helped so many build and scale their portfolio. We’ve closed almost $1.0 billion out of our Chicago office, and I’m excited to celebrate once we hit that mark.
How do you spend your time away from the office?
I like to be as active as possible outdoors. I enjoy anything from playing 16-inch softball and intramural football to spending time on the water. Most recently, I challenged myself to try every steak in Chicago. While this has not been a great hobby for my wallet, I’m all ears for recommendations on places I haven’t been yet.
What is your favorite place that you have traveled to? Where do you hope to go next?
My favorite place that I’ve traveled to was London. I really enjoyed the culture and visiting Lloyd’s of London. Next, I hope to go to Hong Kong and/or anywhere in China. I’ve always been fascinated by the culture, and have started taking classes learning Mandarin (it’s going to be a long journey).
Who would you like to see answer these questions?