Each year, Midwest Real Estate News runs its annual Hall of Fame issue, showcasing the careers of hte most successful CRE pros in the Midwest. This year, we are also running these profiles online. It’s our hope that you’ll learn about the hard work and dedication it takes to become a CRE Hall of Famer.
This time, we highlight the career of Laura Cathlina, managing director with the Chicago office of Berkadia.
The big deal: On Nov. 30 of last year, Harbor Group International closed on the $1.8 billion purchase of the Beacon Portfolio from affiliates of Lone Star Funds. The purchase includes 9,677 multifamily residential units on 25 properties in the D.C. metro area, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
Just another day of work for Laura Cathlina of Berkadia’s Chicago office.
She and fellow managing director Sharon Plattner are credited with arranging a nearly $1 billion Freddie Mac loan that made the purchase possible.
It was, to be accurate, a very big deal: Cathlina was admitted to the Hall of Fame largely on the strength of helping the Chicago Berkadia office to one of its most productive years in 2016 – about $1 billion in transactions for those 12 months. She was one of the big company’s top 10 nationwide producers.
Friend of Fred: Cathlina has strong footing in Freddie Mac financing, having worked for the agency from 2001 to 2008. In 2007, she was honored with the agency’s Crystal Award, and the following year, she finished her MBA in economics and international business from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and moved on to Berkadia. At the same time, from 2009 to 2014, she served as the co-chairwoman of the annual Chicago Booth Real Estate Conferences.
Snow kidding: Cathlina is a devoted volunteer for Chicago’s Snow City Arts, and has served as both membership chairwoman and co-chairwoman of its auxiliary board. Snow City provides one-on-one instruction in the visual arts, creative writing, music, theater and film-making to hospitalized children.
An innovator: For 17 years, Cathlina said, she’s sought innovative ways to get clients what they need.
“In addition to obtaining the absolute best solution for our clients, we want everyone who participates in obtaining this outcome to walk away with a positive view of the process start to finish,” she said. “This is reflected in the strength of our relationships that we’ve built and continue to maintain and foster over the years.”
A sense of humor helps in relationship-building, and Cathlina has one. You can tell by the names of her dogs: Avery and Buddy. Say those two names fast, and they pretty much cover the need for names for all of our dogs, and people, too.