Bruce R. Cohen is the CEO of Wrightwood Financial, a recently formed real estate investment and advisory company focused on providing strategic advice on complex corporate matters, as well as entity level and GP capital for rapidly growing operating platforms around the country. He also serves as a Senior Advisor to Cortland, a $10 billion, Atlanta based multifamily firm.
Prior to re-forming Wrightwood Financial, Mr. Cohen was a Senior Managing Partner at Cortland, where he previously served as a Senior Advisor and on their Board of Directors. While at Cortland, Mr. Cohen oversaw an array of strategic and capital related initiatives, including the development of the firm’s capital markets team, as well as it’s discretionary vehicles, including both its Open and Closed End Funds.
Mr. Cohen joined Cortland after leading Wrightwood Financial, which focused on providing capital to operating platforms, as well as the management of the remaining assets from its predecessor Company, Wrightwood Capital.
Prior to starting Wrightwood Financial in July 2014, Mr. Cohen was a Senior Partner in the real estate group of Ares Management, a publicly traded global asset management firm with more than $70 billion of assets under management. While there, Mr. Cohen participated in the formation of Ares Commercial Real Estate, a publicly traded real estate specialty finance company, where he served as its President and Chief Operating Officer and oversaw more than $1 billion of investment activity. Mr. Cohen joined Ares Management in August 2011 when Ares acquired the operating platform of Wrightwood Capital, a firm founded by Mr. Cohen in June 2004. Since its inception, Wrightwood Capital and its predecessor invested more than $5 billion and grew its assets under management to in excess of $2 billion.
While at Wrightwood Capital, Mr. Cohen oversaw 5 different capital raises, including the issuance of common equity and subordinated debt, totaling almost $300 million. The firm also raised $243 million for a High Yield Fund, focused on mezzanine lending and preferred equity investing, as well as a series of funds dedicated to investing in industrial properties. The firm financed its lending activities with credit facilities from an array of banks and life insurance companies, as well as a Commercial Real Estate Collateral Debt Obligation (“CDO”), totaling $650 million. This was the first such CDO issuance designed exclusively for financing a pool of first mortgage commercial real estate loans.
Prior to the creation of Wrightwood Capital, from August 1998 through June, 2004, Mr. Cohen was the co-Managing Member of the General Partner of Cohen Financial, LP, a mortgage banking and principal investing commercial real estate finance company. In this capacity, he was responsible for all capital raising and deployment activities of the firm and the vehicles it sponsored. This included raising $75 million of corporate capital, as well as a series of funds and separate accounts used to fund a nonrecourse, first mortgage lending business, as well as a program dedicated to mezzanine lending and preferred equity investing and one focused on acquiring industrial properties.
Bruce earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School Of Business and a B.A. from Tufts University. He currently serves on the Board of Erdman, a preeminent design build firm focused on healthcare, as well as the real estate advisory boards of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He also serves on the President’s Advisory Council at Tufts University, as well as the Board of Directors of College Possible-Chicago, a not-for-profit focused on providing college access to low income students.