Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Ivan Kaufman has extensive experience operating a diverse array of real estate finance companies that spans four decades and numerous real estate cycles. He is currently the Founder, Chairman, President and CEO of Arbor Realty Trust (NYSE:ABR), a leading multifamily and commercial real estate lender and real estate investment trust that became publicly traded in April 2004.
Mr. Kaufman has been instrumental in the performance of Arbor and its companies given his significant involvement in the day-to-day origination of loans as well as his strong commercial real estate knowledge and industry relationships. Mr. Kaufman’s leadership has helped shape Arbor’s overall identity, brand and strategic direction across all business units, with a focus on, above all, building relationships that yield a loyal and repeat client base.
The foundation for the present-day Arbor was established in 1983, when Mr. Kaufman founded Arbor National Holdings, Inc. to initially focus on the origination and servicing of residential mortgage loans. Arbor National Holdings expanded its focus over time and ultimately grew to operate as a fully integrated real estate financing services company providing financing solutions through not only residential mortgage loans, but commercial real estate mezzanine loans, bridge loans and other customized financing structures.
Arbor National Holdings grew rapidly to 25 branches in 11 states with approximately 1,000 employees and an annual origination volume of $4 billion. In doing so, the company became the leading provider of residential mortgage loans in the New York tri-state region. This growth soon attracted institutional investors and, in 1992, the company went public at $9 per share.
In 1995, the company was sold to Bank of America for $17.50 per share. However, in connection with the sale of Arbor National Holdings, Mr. Kaufman retained the commercial side of the business and the Arbor name, creating the platform for Arbor Commercial Mortgage and, eventually, Arbor Realty Trust. Mr. Kaufman would subsequently serve as Arbor Commercial Mortgage’s CEO and be the controlling equity owner.
With Mr. Kaufman playing an instrumental role in their historical as well as current growth, Arbor Commercial Mortgage and Arbor Realty Trust evolved to become leading full-service providers of real estate financial services to owners and developers of commercial and multifamily real estate properties. In 2016, Arbor Realty Trust formally acquired the agency lending platform of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, effectively merging the two companies as one.
Mr. Kaufman oversees all aspects of Arbor’s lending operations. He has carved a unique niche in the financing of commercial real estate, combining the best of traditional mortgage lending with the innovation of an investment bank, while leveraging his expertise in origination, servicing and the structuring of complex mortgage-backed securities.
Today, Arbor is a leading provider of direct financing for Multifamily and other commercial real estate properties. Arbor is a Top 10 Fannie Mae DUS® Multifamily Lender by volume and a Top Fannie Mae Small Loan lender, a Freddie Mac Program Plus® Seller/Servicer and the Top Freddie Mac Small Balance Loan Lender, a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Seniors Housing Lender, an FHA Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP)/LEAN Lender, a HUD-approved LIHTC Lender as well as a CMBS, Bridge, Mezzanine and Preferred Equity lender, consistently building on its reputation for service, quality and flexibility. Arbor also offers Arbor LoanExpress, an online loan origination and processing platform designed to make multifamily financing easier and quicker for borrowers, brokers and correspondent lenders. With a current servicing portfolio of more than $13 billion, Arbor is a primary commercial loan servicer and special servicer rated by Standard & Poor’s with an Above Average rating. Arbor is also on the Standard & Poor’s Select Servicer List and is a primary commercial loan servicer and loan level special servicer rated by Fitch Ratings.
Mr. Kaufman has previously served as the Chair of the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission for the 10th Judicial District of New York, an appointed position that oversees the screening process for candidates seeking elective judicial office. He has also served on the National and Regional Advisory Boards of Fannie Mae and on the Board of Directors of the Empire State Mortgage Bankers Association.
He was previously named regional “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Inc. Magazine for his outstanding achievements in financial services. Mr. Kaufman also served as a regional spokesperson for Global ReLeaf, a program of the American Forestry Association, which led to his appointment as delegate of the International Arid Lands Consortium. He has guest lectured at Harvard Business School’s Real Estate Club and is a featured presenter at Columbia University and Wharton Business School.
Mr. Kaufman is a dedicated community leader, serving as Founder and President of the North Shore Hebrew Academy High School, a state-of-the-art, 11-acre academy now regarded as one of the premier college preparatory schools in the Northeast. In addition, he currently serves on the Board of Trustees of The Birthright Israel Foundation.
Mr. Kaufman earned a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law and a B.A. in Business Administration from Boston University.