BrightSpire Capital, Inc. is an internally-managed commercial real estate (CRE) credit REIT focused on originating, acquiring, financing and managing a diversified portfolio of CRE debt investments and net leased real estate investments. CRE debt investments primarily consist of senior mortgage loans, which we expect to be the primary investment strategy.
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Board of Directors
Catherine D. Rice
Catherine D. Rice is the Independent Chairperson of our Board of Directors. Ms. Rice has served as a director of Store Capital Corporation, a New York Stock Exchange publicly listed company (NYSE: STOR), since November 2017. Ms. Rice has also served as a director of RMG Acquisition Corporation II, a NASDAQ publicly listed company (NASDAQ: RMGBU), since its initial public offering in December 2020. Ms. Rice has over 30 years of experience in the real estate capital and investment markets and in the management and operation of public and private real estate companies.
From June 2015 to February 2016, Ms. Rice was Senior Managing Director of W.P. Carey Inc. (“W.P. Carey”), a New York Stock Exchange publicly listed company (NYSE: WPC), one of the largest public global net-lease REITs. Prior to that role, from March 2013 to June 2015, Ms. Rice was Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of W.P. Carey. While at W.P. Carey, Ms. Rice completed a comprehensive reorganization of the finance, accounting, and IT functions as well as the development of the investor relations and capital markets areas to facilitate the company’s growth plan. She was responsible for financial strategy, public capital-raising initiatives and company-wide strategic evaluation, and was also a member of the operating and investment committees.
Prior to joining W.P. Carey, Ms. Rice was a partner and a Managing Director at Parmenter Realty Partners, a private real estate investment firm focused on distressed and value-add properties in the southern regions of the U.S. Her responsibilities included both capital raising and investing for the firm’s fourth fund. Prior to that, Ms. Rice was the Chief Financial Officer of iStar Inc. (“iStar”) (NYSE: STAR), a publicly traded finance company focused on the commercial real estate industry, where she was responsible for financial strategy and capital-raising initiatives, financial reporting and investor relations.
Ms. Rice spent the first 16 years of her career as a professional in the real estate investment banking groups of Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Banc of America Securities. During her career as an investment banker, she was involved in numerous capital-raising and strategic advisory transactions, including REIT IPOs, public and private debt and equity offerings, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, and asset and corporate acquisitions and dispositions.
Ms. Rice received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University.
Kim S. Diamond
Kim S. Diamond is an independent director of BrightSpire Capital, Inc. Ms. Diamond has over 30 years of experience in the commercial real estate capital and structured finance debt capital markets industries.
Prior to becoming a board member, Ms. Diamond was a Founding Principal and Head of Structuring and Credit at Crescit Capital Strategies (Crescit), a middle-market, commercial real estate debt fund from July 2017 until August 2021.
Before joining Crescit, Ms. Diamond was a Founding Executive and Senior Managing Director at Kroll Bond Rating Agency, Inc. (KBRA). As a member of the KBRA executive team, Ms. Diamond played a pivotal role in the
establishment, growth and ultimate sale of the start-up ratings firm. In addition to running all aspects of KBRA’s Structured Finance Ratings group, Kim was a member of the firm’s policy committee.
Prior to joining KBRA, Ms. Diamond was a Managing Director at Standard and Poor's (S&P). As an early member of S&P’s CMBS group, Ms. Diamond participated with other industry veterans in developing the standards and criteria that became the foundation for the US CMBS business. Ms. Diamond served as Practice Leader of S&P’s US Commercial Mortgage Ratings Group and also helped develop S&P’s International CMBS and other Structured Finance efforts via short term management positions in the firm’s Melbourne, Australia and London, England offices. Ms. Diamond also served as the Interim Head of Structured Finance Ratings for S&P’s Asia/Pacific region in Tokyo, Japan.
Ms. Diamond has served on the Board of Governors of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (CREFC), where she held positions as Programming Chair, Membership Chair and Treasurer and has been a recipient of the trade association’s prestigious Founder’s Award. She has also served on the Commercial Board of Governors (COMBOG) for the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
Ms. Diamond currently serves as an advisory board member of Ai SPARK, a start-up commercial real estate fintech firm and is an adjunct professor at New York University’s School of Professional Studies Schack Institute of Real Estate.
Kim received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University.
Vernon B. Schwartz
Vernon B. Schwartz is a director of Colony Credit Real Estate, Inc. Mr. Schwartz was an independent director of NorthStar Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. and a member of its Audit Committee, positions he held between March 2016 and January 2018. Mr. Schwartz served as Executive Vice President at iStar from 2005 to February 2017, where he was responsible for managing a portfolio of real estate investments, including iStar’s condominium portfolio and its European assets. He has also served as President of AutoStar, iStar’s platform focused on the auto dealership market.
Mr. Schwartz has been active in real estate investment and development for almost 30 years. Previously, Mr. Schwartz was a founding partner and Chief Executive Officer of Falcon Financial, the predecessor of AutoStar before it was acquired by iStar in 2005. Prior to forming Falcon Financial, Mr. Schwartz was the Chief Executive Officer of Soros Real Estate Advisors, the advisor to Quantum Realty Partners, an offshore real estate investment fund sponsored by George Soros and Paul Reichmann. Mr. Schwartz previously served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Catellus Development Corporation, the largest private landowner in the state of California, and also held executive positions at both Bank of Montreal and The Hahn Company, a developer, owner and operator of regional shopping centers.
Mr. Schwartz has a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Economics and a Master of Business Administration from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
John E. Westerfield
John E. Westerfield is a director of Colony Credit Real Estate, Inc. Mr. Westerfield serves as Chief Executive Officer of Mitsui Fudosan America, Inc. (“MFA”) and is a member of MFA’s Board of Directors. MFA is the U.S. subsidiary of Mitsui Fudosan Group, a publicly listed real estate company in Japan. Mr. Westerfield was appointed Chief Executive Officer of MFA in April 2015 after serving as Senior Advisor to MFA’s Board of Directors from 2012 to 2015.
Mr. Westerfield spent the majority of his career as a managing director at Morgan Stanley, having joined the firm in 1985 upon graduation from business school. At Morgan Stanley, Mr. Westerfield worked in numerous roles in investment banking, fixed income and investment management, all with a specialization in commercial real estate finance and investment. In his last role at Morgan Stanley, Mr. Westerfield had responsibility for the firm’s global commercial mortgage finance business. Upon retirement from Morgan Stanley in June 2008, Mr. Westerfield formed and managed Braddock Capital Management LLC, a private company which invested in REITs and commercial real estate related assets, including various office, industrial, multi-family rental and condominium development projects, primarily in the New York area.
Mr. Westerfield received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1985 and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Dartmouth College in 1981.
Winston W. Wilson
Winston W. Wilson is a director of Colony Credit Real Estate, Inc. Mr. Wilson was an independent director of NorthStar Real Estate Income II, Inc. and the chairman and financial expert of its Audit Committee, positions he held between April 2013 and January 2018. Mr. Wilson has also served as a director of NorthStar/RXR New York Metro Real Estate, Inc. and as the chairman and financial expert of its audit committee between February 2015 and October 2018.
Prior to becoming a board member, Mr. Wilson most recently worked for Grant Thornton’s New York office, from August 2008 until December 2012 as Partner in Charge and Financial Services Industry Leader, and from August 2011 until December 2012 as National Asset Management Sector Leader. Mr. Wilson has over 28 years of experience with financial services companies including, among others, mortgage and equity REITs, broker-dealers, mutual funds and registered investment advisors. Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Mr. Wilson worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Credit Suisse First Boston and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. Mr. Wilson is a certified public accountant in the states of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and New York State Society of CPAs. Mr. Wilson was also previously a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Investment Company Expert Panel as well as a member of the Strategic Partners Advisory Committee for Managed Funds Associations.
Mr. Wilson has a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business in New York, New York and a Master of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Wilson also has a doctorate degree in management from Pace University, New York, where he is also an adjunct professor.
Michael J. Mazzei
Chief Executive Officer & President
Michael J. Mazzei is our Chief Executive Officer and President and a member of our Board of Directors. Mr. Mazzei leads and oversees our operations, including investment and credit risk, capital raising and relationship management activities among stockholders, clients, partners, financing counterparties, research analysts and rating agencies.
Mr. Mazzei served as a member of the board of directors of Ladder Capital Corp from June 2017 through March 2020. Previously, Mr. Mazzei served as President of Ladder Capital from June 2012 through June 2017. From September 2009 to June 2012, Mr. Mazzei served as Global Head of the CMBS and Bank Loan Syndication Group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Prior to that, Mr. Mazzei served as Co-Head of CMBS and Commercial Real Estate Debt Markets at Barclays Capital from March 2004 to June 2009. Prior to Barclays Capital, Mr. Mazzei spent 20 years at Lehman Brothers, including 18 years in commercial real estate finance-related functions. Having started in commercial mortgage trading in 1984, Mr. Mazzei became the head of CMBS in 1991 and served as the Co-Head of Global Real Estate Investment Banking from March 2002 to February 2004.
Mr. Mazzei received a B.S. from Baruch College and a J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law, and is a graduate of the New York University Real Estate Institute.
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