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CMBS Head Mazzei Leaves Bank of America for Ladder Capital

Michael Mazzei, who ran Bank of America Corp’s commercial real-estate debt capital markets group, left the lender for Ladder Capital Finance Holdings LLC.

Mazzei, who joined Bank of America in 2009 from Barclays Plc, has been named president of the New York-based real estate finance firm, Ladder said in a statement today.

Ladder Capital, which has originated $2.6 billion of property loans, is hiring the veteran executive as sales of commercial-mortgage bonds rise after dropping off amid the European debt crisis. Prior to his stints at Bank of America and Barclays, Mazzei spent 20 years at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and rose to become the co-head of global real estate investment banking, according to the statement.

“My time at BofA Merrill Lynch was a great experience,” Mazzei said in the statement. “The team was able to reduce virtually all of its legacy CMBS assets.”

Bank of America has been trimming staff in its mortgage business amid waning trading revenues, increasing capital requirements and a broader plan to cut costs by as much as $8 billion annually. John McNiff, a managing director in the commercial-mortgage bond trading group, resigned from the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender this week along with departures by at least five others in the mortgage and asset-backed debt group.

Bank of America teamed up with Morgan Stanley to sell $1 billion of commercial mortgage bonds this month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Loans originated by Morgan Stanley accounted for 74 percent of the pool, while Bank of America supplied the rest.

Wall Street has arranged about $4 billion of CMBS sales this year, Bloomberg data show. Sales are rising after plummeting to $2.87 billion in the fourth quarter from $8.26 billion in the previous three months. Bank forecasts for commercial-mortgage bond sales in 2012 range from Wells Fargo & Co.’s prediction of $25 billion to Credit Suisse Group AG’s estimates of as much as $45 billion.

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