Verrone Taps Wolter, Dickey for Conduit Shop

Market veterans Chuck Wolter and Ken Dickey are joining the conduit lending business that former Wachovia executive Robert Verrone set up this year with back­ing from BNY Mellon.

Wolter, who jumped from Starwood Mortgage Capital, was named chief execu­tive of the operation. Dickey, who is moving over from Deutsche Bank, has the title of originations chief and will work closely with Wolter in building out the platform. Both are managing directors.

The conduit shop is a joint venture between BNY and Iron Hound Management, the New York advisory, investment and brokerage firm that Verrone launched in 2008. BNY has allocated $500 million of its balance sheet to the business, called IH Capital.

The joint venture plans to hire a chief credit officer soon and start closing loans in September. It will target fixed-rate mortgages on all property types nationally.

Wolter spent close to 15 years at Wachovia and predecessor First Union, working most of that time with Verrone. Wolter led Wachovia’s struc­tured finance group from 2005 to 2009. He and a handful of other executives left in 2009, following the bank’s acquisition by Wells Fargo, and formed a Charlotte advisory shop called Tannery Brook Partners. In 2011, Wolter joined conduit shop Archetype Mortgage Capital as an executive vice president. Archetype was later rebranded as Starwood Mortgage.

Dickey was a managing director and head of conduit pro­duction at Deutsche. He joined the bank in 1999 after a stint at WMF Group, a mortgage bank in Vienna, Va.

BNY and Iron Hound teamed up at the beginning of the year. BNY is represented in the joint venture by Curtis Arledge, chief executive of the bank’s investment-management plat­form, including its fixed-income group.

The joint venture expands the scope of Verrone’s Iron Hound operation into lending. He formed Iron Hound soon after leav­ing Wachovia in 2008. Iron Hound has represented borrowers in a number of high-profile loan workouts, including the ongo­ing negotiations over the debt on Chicago’s Willis Tower, for­merly called the Sears Tower. The firm continues its focus on brokerage and workouts.

Verrone joined First Union in Charlotte in 1995. The bank assumed the Wachovia name when it acquired that bank in 2001. Two years later, Verrone moved to New York, where he helped engineer Wachovia’s dramatic growth into the biggest CMBS lender. He was co-head of commercial real estate at the bank during the busiest part of the last real estate cycle.