- January 1, 2015: Vol. 7, Number 1

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Back to reality: The financial crisis decimated the debt industry, giving rise to a series of opportunities, but the easy pickings may now be gone

by Alex Frew McMillan

The world of real estate finance has been turned on its head in the post–Lehman Bros era. That is particularly true in the debt space, where the banks that once dominated the field are conspicuous by their absence.

Prior to the global financial crisis, the investment world was awash with big-bank money. But in the post-crisis cleanup, those institutions were forced to beat a hasty retreat. They licked their wounds and attempted to shore up their balance sheets instead, which left opportunities for savvy investors.

But those days are gone. Debt investors will find the 2015 world a more-crowded market and will have to select their entry points carefully. Although the easy pickings are no longer around, there are still attractive entry points for investors.

On a European trip

Europe is the most-active market for debt right now, debt investors say, much as the United States was around four years ago. Market participants indicate that, while domestic financi

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