News

June 9, 2009

Mortgaging the Big Boys

CEO Robert Jacoby ’80 originates more than $500 million in loans, debt, and equity annually

Robert A.C. Jacoby ’80, the CEO and primary shareholder of commercial mortgage banking firm U.S. Realty Capital LLC, began his rise to success in some of the same classes we at Lafayette take today. He took small steps at several large regional commercial banks and later trained in the real estate consulting practice of one of the Big Eight accounting firms.

As CEO, Jacoby manages the business of commercial mortgage banking. His company originates and places debt and equity products for life insurance companies, commercial banks, and, until 2007, Wall Street. This year he will originate over $500 million in commercial mortgages, construction and bridge loans, mezzanine debt, preferred equity, and equity. In addition, U.S Reality Capital services $200 million in loans to several different life insurance companies and manages its own private equity fund for opportunistic real estate investments.

Jacoby’s position offers many challenges. “As an intermediary you are more of an ‘influencer’ than a decision maker,” he says. “We are subject to the vagaries of the market and the whims of our clients.” For example, his company lost several deals due to recent upheavals in the debt markets.

As difficult as his career seems, he enjoys interaction with clients, much of it spent developing investor trust. In the past 12 years, he has become accustomed to putting complex commercial real estate transactions together and still finds it enriching. “Owning my own firm and growing a business has been very fulfilling,” he says.

As successful as Jacoby’s been, he started out like most other students. He owes thanks to two economics and business professors, Edmond Seifried and Jerry Heavey, for starting him on his career path. A strong proponent of the Greek system, Jacoby says being a brother at Chi Phi fraternity enabled him to develop important friendships that have stayed with him over the years. He believes the experience and knowledge he gained at Lafayette have allowed him to achieve much in his life and career.

Jacoby attends alumni chapter lunches in Philadelphia and has served as an alumni admissions representative.

“It is such a terrific school academically with a strong alumni network,” he says. “It is so important to support and perpetuate both aspects of such a wonderful institution.”

His oldest daughter, Riley ’09, is a third-generation ’Pard, earning her degree in history cum laude last month.

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