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LEADERSHIP

JUSTIN S. COOPER
FOUNDER & CEO

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 a New York based distressed debt, special situations and lending fund with more than $1.7 billion in AUM, where Mr. Cooper managed a portfolio of 50+ assets across the continental U.S. Thereafter, he was asked help launch 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 two children in New York City.

PETER J. PALADINO
MANAGING DIRECTOR & GENERAL COUNSEL

Peter Paladino has over 10 years of commercial real estate property underwriting and lending experience, as well as a successful track record in REIT portfolio analysis and asset allocation. Mr. Paladino has previously focused on commercial property transactions ranging from $20 million to $50 million in deal size, throughout the United States. His background as an attorney and financial analyst has allowed him to excel in roles that have involved both structuring and making investments throughout the capital stack. Mr. Paladino is responsible for lending and closing transactions totaling of over $300 million over the past 18 months. He has previously worked at Stan Johnson Company, as well as affiliates of U.S. Bancorp and American Realty Capital, LLC, in a management capacity, responsible for both lending and portfolio investments. Mr. Paladino earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from The Pennsylvania State University and a Juris Doctor, with a focus on contract and property law, from Villanova University School of Law. He is an active member of the New York State Bar, as well as the American Bar Association and an alumnus of the Urban Land Institute.

JEFFREY A. GRASSO
ADVISOR

Jeff Grasso is Vice President of Investment and Development at Silverstein Properties, Inc. In this position, he is responsible for sourcing, capitalizing, and executing acquisition, development, and corporate investments in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Jeff also manages Silverstein Properties’ EB5 Regional Center. Prior to joining Silverstein, Jeff 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. Jeff 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.

YILDIRAY YILDIRIM
ADVISOR
 

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.