Conlon & Co.’s Capital Markets Group merges with Aries Capital

Conlon & Co.’s Capital Markets Group and Aries Capital’s Mortgage Banking Group are forming to form Conlon Capital. Sean J. Conlon, chairman of Conlon & Co. and co-host of CNBC’s “The Deed,” and Neil D. Freeman, chairman of Aries Capital, announced the merger. The new full-service mortgage banking firm will leverage Aries’ and Conlon’s long-time client and capital source relationships to provide debt placement, equity arrangement and advisory solutions for hotel, multifamily and commercial real estate owners and developers nationwide.

Conlon, Freeman and Conlon & Co.’s CEO Benjamin Burford are partnering with Northern Trust alums Rushi Shah and Tom Reckley who will lead the new company as CEO and COO, respectively.

“This is a natural partnership for our companies and clients, and a clear case where one plus one equals much more than two,” Conlon said in a statement. “Both Aries Capital and Conlon & Co. are successful boutique firms known for our high-touch customized service and creativity. Aries Capital built its stellar reputation in capital markets for the past 26 years, and Conlon & Co. is a leader in brokerage and merchant banking services. Together Aries and our Capital Markets Group will multiply capital options for our clients, casting a wider net and covering more markets and asset classes. It’s a perfect match.”

“Aligning our financing services and resources puts us on a trajectory for tremendous growth and enables a strategic succession to the next generation of leadership,” Freeman said in a statement. “The synergies in our company cultures were also integral to our decision. We are all personally vested with every client and do what it takes to ensure deals make it to the closing table.”

Headquartered at 401 W. Ontario in Chicago, Conlon Capital will retain its existing satellite branches located in Los Angeles, Miami and Houston. CEO Rushi Shah expects the company to grow quickly over the next few years, and plans to hire additional originators and open new offices in Dallas and other key markets. 

“Tom and I look forward to taking this new venture forward. We will continue to innovate for our customers through new products, technology and specialized expertise across all property types,” Shah said in a statement. 

“Our current and past clients can expect only positive things from the merger,” Reckley said in a statement. “Like its predecessors, Conlon Capital will continue to protect our clients’ interests from start to successful closing.  Now, however, we will be able to offer customers more options and the advantage of the broader knowledge and experience of our combined teams.”

Since its founding in 1991, Aries Capital has arranged and/or directly funded over $5.5 billion in debt and equity across all property types in the United States and Caribbean. Through its affiliates, Aries has funded over $700 million in tax credit and mezzanine financing. While Aries Capital’s mortgage business will become part of Conlon Capital, it will maintain its interests in Urban Development Fund and other real estate ownership businesses.

During its 17-year tenure, Conlon & Co. has produced over $1 billion in financing, equity placement, development, portfolio management as well as commercial and residential brokerage. The firm owns and operates more than $100 million in assets nationwide and has provided more than $1.2 billion in mezzanine financing for new construction and conversion properties. Conlon & Co.'s businesses include Conlon/Christie's International Real Estate, Conlon Commercial and now Conlon Capital.