Ira Zlotowitz, the youngest president of any top 10 mortgage brokerage, took the commercial real estate industry by storm at the age of 21. His story starts at Meridian Capital, where he integrated mastery of the cold call into the company's business model, trained several large teams of callers and was responsible for the launch of new offices nationwide. This campaign, the success of which would repeat itself, expedited unprecedented growth for the company. A year prior to his first at Meridian, the company closed $300 million in loans. Just four years later, in his final year there, they closed over $2 billion.
In 2001, Mr. Zlotowitz formed Eastern Union Funding. Together with Abraham Bergman, he built Eastern from a four-person office in Brooklyn into a national firm, with over 100 real estate professionals. Meanwhile, the company has taken off. In a three year cycle beginning in 2010, Eastern Union achieved 253 percent growth, according to data from Crain's New York Business Journal. Further, Eastern Union closed $3 billion in 2014. Mr. Zlotowitz and his team at Eastern established their presence and amplified their impact by working actively with a growing network of roughly 85 lenders. Eastern stays ahead of the pack by developing its data resources and employing the talent of brokers who remain in command of the often fast-paced and challenging evolution of the market.
For this, Mr. Zlotowitz and the company he founded have won numerous accolades. The New York Times recently featured Mr. Zlotowitz for Eastern Union's successful navigation of the industry. That story was inspired by the unmatched growth of Eastern Union and Mr. Zlotowitz's results-driven, tenacious and sometimes contagious attitude to the business of which he is a scholar. His story has proved interesting to others as well. In 2005, the then-29-year-old real estate professional, Mr. Zlotowitz, earned coveted placement on Crain's New York Business's “Forty-Under-40” annual feature. More recently, Eastern Union was listed by Inc. Magazine as the number one fastest growing real estate company in the United States. Crain's, meanwhile, revisited Mr. Zlotowitz's activity when Eastern Union was listed in the publication's “2014 Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies in New York City.”
Mr. Zlotowitz has offered numerous real estate courses to the public and remains deeply involved with furthering education. Actively participating in, and contributing to, several curriculum-related charities and programs, one of which he founded himself at age 19 and is still massively successful today. Mr. Zlotowitz resides with his family in Lakewood, N.J. For more about Ira, visit www.easternuc.com/iraz.
Abraham Bergman is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Eastern Union Funding. The company, which he invested his career in despite a break-out year with another firm, started with four people working out of a rented Brooklyn office belonging to a friend's father. Fast forward to the present day and Eastern has over 100 real estate professionals, churning out quality business at a rate which outpaces the entire industry.
Under Mr. Bergman's leadership, Eastern is a $3 billion annual operation, recently named one of New York's Top 50 fastest growing companies by Crain's New York, and listed by Inc. 5000 as the number one fastest growing commercial real estate firm in the United States.
Driving this forward is the management structure among Eastern Union's principals, and Mr. Bergman is on the front lines with his clients, brokers and employees. Maintaining a strong presence, he stays involved in some of the more intricate loans in the company's pipeline. A relationship builder by nature, Mr. Bergman has been instrumental in creating a network of over 85 lenders, not merely making contacts but forming partnerships, understanding personalities, and, in the process, executing quality deals based on a sophisticated and innate appreciation of individual lenders' appetites.
Mr. Bergman spent his first year in the industry building out new divisions at Meridian Capital, prior to co-founding Eastern Union Funding with Ira Zlotowitz in 2001. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from Touro College and a master's degree in General Business Administration from Baruch College.
Entrenched in various philanthropic organizations, on a national level and locally in the Flatbush neighborhood where he resides, Mr. Bergman's family is also deeply involved in a charitable organization that assists families experiencing medical issues.
Marc Tropp, Senior Managing Director of Eastern Union Funding’s office in Bethesda, MD, has pioneered the firm’s presence in the Mid-Atlantic market. Mr. Tropp was recognized in 2014 by the Commercial Observer in their annual tribute to the top Mortgage Brokers in the Industry under 35, an accolade which complements a break-out year across the board.
In addition to the $340,000,000 in loans negotiated between 2014 and the year prior, Mr. Tropp saw a 100 percent increase in loans above $10 million and executed an array of sophisticated recent deals. These loan products include a hotel conversion with an EB-5 component and an equity stake raised for a retail legend’s 239th retail purchase. As a result of his production, Mr. Tropp was recently recognized as one of three leading producers for Eastern Union, an increasingly competitive achievement.
With well over a billion closed in his career, Mr. Tropp has financed properties of all types with a wide range of lending institutions including community banks, CMBS, Life Companies, and Institutional Investors. In the process, he has earned a reputation for tackling complicated deals, with a specialty in placing debt on value-add properties in secondary and tertiary markets. He has also introduced new lenders to the DC-Metro area and surrounding markets, resulting in increased and consistently robust production for Eastern Union’s Bethesda branch.
James Hurtig Senior Vice President Head of Small Loans Division
With over 35 years experience in executive roles in banking and commercial brokerage, Jim Hurtig is the director of the small loans division at Eastern Union. Under Jim's management, the small loans department has seen tremendous growth due to his streamlined approach to the application process. This has enabled the company to better service the full spectrum of their clients' financial needs.
Jim began his career as a commercial lending officer with Chemical bank. He graduated Chemical Bank's premier two year bank and credit training program. Jim then held the position of Vice President and chief credit officer of UMB Bank and Trust Company. Additionally, he also held similar positions with Flushing Bank and Gotham Bank of New York.
Jim's brokerage background included managing the commercial divisions of large regional mortgage banks including Coastal Capital, Premium Capital Funding, and Aberdeen Capital.
Jim Hurtig received a BA in finance and management from Long Island University. He has served as an instructor of the American Institute of Banking. Additionally, Jim has been a member of The New York's Institute of Credit, as well as a member of Long Island's Community Bankers Association. Jim has also served in the United States Army, receiving an honorable discharge in 1975.
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