Insights
March 27, 2023
Insights

Canada ICI and Dale Anda: Joining Forces to Create a Powerful CMHC Team

Dale Anda and his team are joining Canada ICI. As the newest principal of the organization, this is an instrumental change for both Anda, his team, and Canada ICI and is likely to make waves in the commercial real estate financing world. With Anda’s particular expertise, the volume of CMHC work he is doing, and now hooking it up to the Canada ICI engine, borrowers and lenders alike will have an unprecedented funding resource in Canada ICI and Anda.

The inside track at CMHC

What makes Anda unique is that he is most likely one of the only people with 15 years of inside-track experience with CMHC still in the industry today. His role previous to brokerage was with CMHC where he was the Center Manager. He was responsible for underwriting for the prairie regions, which included the Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and Nunavut. That makes Anda incredibly unique. He spent much of his time in Ottawa, helping CMHC develop their original multiple underwriting centres. In Anda’s tenure, he was one of only five people with that role and at such depth. Today on the origination side of the business, you can see his relationship and partnership with CMHC continue at a deep and nuanced level.

Nearly Every Niche Scenario

Anda is a pathfinder, a trailblazer. He and his team have touched every asset class and every deal scenario you can think of – at all levels of underwriting and across Canada. Many transactions are exceptionally unique and, in some cases, policy-setting for CMHC because he’s the first to do it. There are a multitude of deal scenarios and structures that Anda worked on where he was the first to conceptualize and put it all together. And sometimes, his work comes full circle. Today, others in the industry ask Anda to be involved in projects to walk them through how he did specific things ten years ago when nobody else was doing it.

 

This partnership is a natural fit for us.

– D. Anda

High Volumes to Major Players

Anda and his team do over $2B annually in CMHC business. Part of the formula is that the bulk of Anda’s work is on portfolio lending rather than individual loans. They’re not doing 10 x 30 suites; they’re doing 10 x 300 suites—substantial transactions with all the major players in pension funds, REITs, and high-net-worth individuals. Anda’s team works on 250 to 300 files a year with very successful outcomes. He’s humble about it and says there are no secrets.

The Keys to Success

Dig Deep

To many, financial statements are just numbers on a piece of paper. Anda goes through every detail with his team and every individual building in the portfolio and understands deficiencies and hidden aspects within the statements. Their methods bring out those points to highlight the strengths that are in the financial treatments that may not be reported. It describes the underlying truth behind those numbers and expresses the actual value of the opportunity to lenders.

Partnership

One of the essential things CMHC promoted in his time there (and still does) was partnerships with various entities to create housing. And the value of partnerships has continued to be a foundational theme to how Anda does business as he works on the other side of the lender.

Openness

Anda attributes his success to not just working with specific lenders but being open to other lenders. That’s one of his strengths. He says, “If we open ourselves to working with all the lenders, all my clients want to work with us.”

Problem-Solving

Anda is emphatic that this business is about problem-solving. And he says the issues are unique. It could be market issues, or it could be project issues. It could be product-type issues. Right now, its interest rates are rising. That’s a big problem. But in Anda’s experience, that’s how strong relationships are forged. If you ask any senior leader in our industry where most of their relationships come from, it’s in times like these that default management is a reality for many of our clients.

 

There’s nothing more enriching to me to watch people grow, learn, and get more experience

– D. Anda

Working with Canada ICI

Cultural Alignment

Dale Klein, the founder of Canada ICI, and Anda met when Klein was a young highly active broker and Anda was working at CMHC, over 25 years ago. During this time, Anda had an opportunity to work with Klein closely and observe how he does business, works with clients, and creates a positive business culture.

“I understand the way Klein does business because I operate in a very similar manner,” says Anda. “So this partnership is a natural fit for us.”

Anda says this cultural alignment and synergy will be an excellent fit for his team, and believes the Canada ICI talent in every region in Canada will allow him to continue the good work that he is doing, but on a larger scale.

The Canada ICI Offering

Anda sees the relationship with Canada ICI as one that has many possibilities. Anda says that the organization has the youth, the energy, and the talent in every central region in Canada. And he sees a lot of potential for growth by accessing the Canada ICI platform to grow his business. And good timing too. Anda expects that his volume will double in the next year.

The Opportunity to Pass on Knowledge

Anda is exceptionally passionate about mentoring. He would often hire people right out of school and expose them to the business. Many of the people who have worked for Anda have gone on to senior positions in the industry – REITs, banking, and joining the investing side. That’s success for Anda because he feels good that he has contributed to developing real estate financing talent.

“I like people in my organization who want to grow, and they stay as long as they want. There’s nothing more enriching to me to watch people grow, learn, and get more experience.”

Looking Ahead

In the coming year, it will be essential for people to find the right partners. Industry veterans who have navigated times like the one we’re experiencing today are of the opinion that traditional financing sources are going to be tight on funding borrowers. That’s where Anda’s partnership with Canada ICI comes at the right time in the Canadian commercial real estate industry. With ICI, Anda will mentor and direct the team to be open to new relationships, pointing to tried-and-true strategies that have worked well in his 35 years in the industry, and build on the incredible experience he has been able to accumulate in his time in the industry.

Anda is bringing all of his experience, relationships, and guidance to a high-performance brokerage to help them grow and, in turn, help him grow. There is a natural fit between the two; for borrowers and lenders, even more, robust outcomes are on the horizon.

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