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Justin Cooper is the Founder and CEO of Layla Capital. Mr. Cooper began his career at Silo Financial Corp., a private commercial bridge lender based in Stamford, Connecticut, where he underwrote, sourced, and asset managed bridge loans. After Silo, Mr. Cooper joined Stabilis Capital Management, LP, a New York-based distressed debt, special situations and lending fund with more than $1.7 billion in AUM, where he managed a portfolio of 50+ assets across the continental U.S. Thereafter, he launched the fund’s private lending strategy, where he built a team and grew the loan origination business from the ground up.  Subsequently, Mr. Cooper led the direct lending business of a Family Office located in New York and Miami. Mr. Cooper’s focus at the Family Office was on originating senior-secured, first mortgage bridge loans, mezzanine loans and preferred equity investments in the $1M to $40M range. Mr. Cooper graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Finance and Accounting. Mr. Cooper also was awarded a Master of Science degree in Finance from Syracuse University, in which he finished first in his class. He resides with his wife and three children in Delray Beach, FL.


Maxwell Deibel is a Partner at Layla Capital and concentrates on loan origination, underwriting, asset management, and loan servicing. Max joined Layla from Stabilis Capital Management, LP, where he served as Managing Director overseeing their direct lending strategy and leading the bridge loan originations team for five years. Prior to Stabilis, Mr. Deibel worked at Knighthead Funding (formerly Silo Financial Corp.), where he focused on loan origination, asset management, and underwriting. Prior to Knighthead, Mr. Deibel worked at M&T Bank and Sonic Automotive. Mr. Deibel graduated from Syracuse University with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Finance and Entrepreneurship.  He resides in Delray Beach, FL.


Matthew Shultis is a Director at Layla Capital, and his responsibilities include loan originations, underwriting, asset management, loan servicing, market research and business intelligence analytics. He is also responsible for managing Layla's Fix & Flip lending strategy. Matt’s prior experience includes working as a commercial real estate agent, a data analyst for a federal government contractor, and an associate in project operations for an engineering services company. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and currently resides in Delray Beach, FL.


Michael Pollack is an entrepreneur with 20+ years experience on Wall Street, most recently as Chief Investment Officer of Destrier Capital Management and prior to that as one of two general partners at Glenhill Capital Management. He started his career at Colony Capital in 1998 and has been an active investor in real estate ever since, particularly in the origination of hard asset loans where he has been actively investing over the last 15 years with some of the leading professionals in the space.  Outside of his investment roles, Michael was a Clinical Professor of Business and Society at NYU Stern for a decade where he taught courses in Ethical Philosophy and Social Entrepreneurship.  

Michael graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


Yildiray Yildirim is the William Newman Chair Professor in Real Estate Finance and the Director of the Steven L. Newman Institute at Baruch College. He serves on the editorial board of Real Estate Economics. He is the co-creator of the Jarrow-Yildirim framework for pricing inflation linked securities. He has taught finance and real estate courses, including real estate finance and investment, real estate capital markets, case studies in real estate investment, fixed income securities, and corporate finance. Yildiray is the former Chair of the Finance Department at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.

Professor Yildirim is a Fellow of the Weimer School of Advanced Studies in Real Estate and Land Economics. He graduated from Yildiz Technical University with a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Engineering, and he received both his M.A. in Economics and Ph.D. in Statistics at Cornell University.


Jeff Grasso is the Founder & Managing Partner of Vesta Realty Partners. Before launching Vesta, Mr. Grasso was Senior Vice President and Head of Acquisitions at Silverstein Properties, Inc., where he was responsible for sourcing, capitalizing, and executing acquisition, development, and corporate investments in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Jeff also managed Silverstein Properties’ EB5 Regional Center. Prior to joining Silverstein, he worked in the portfolio management group of ING Clarion Capital, a $5 billion AUM credit opportunity fund. He was responsible for the acquisition and asset management of an ABS portfolio in addition to acquiring and originating high yield whole loans. Mr. Grasso received a B.S. in Accounting, Finance, and Real Estate from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. He is a member of the Kuhn Real Estate Center Advisory Board at Syracuse University and a full member of the Urban Land Institute.

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