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  • Writer's pictureToorak

Member Spotlight | John Beacham

This past winter, John Beacham, CEO of Toorak Capital Partners, made his way to a narrow, rocky point in Antarctica aptly named Portal Point for acting as part of the gateway to the Antarctic Plateau. There he planted the Toorak flag. Editor’s note: Toorak has a flag?!

To find out what other adventures John’s had, read on — although we have a feeling there are fewer penguins in these:

How long have you been an AAPL member?

Since 2016.

What AAPL benefit do you MOST value?

I am active in many aspects of AAPL, including the annual conference and webinars/meetings. I most appreciate that AAPL serves as an advocate for our industry, whether regarding political and legislative matters, or ethics and best practices.

Why did you become a member?

I became a member to network with others from our industry and promote issues that benefit our industry at large.

What is your favorite AAPL memory?

I was honored to be recognized as AAPL Lender Member of Year in both 2018 and 2020.

Editor’s Note: Our online award record only goes back to 2019, so although John also won Lender of the Year in 2018, we don’t have the nomination information available.

Why did you decide to enter the private lending profession?

After a successful 20-year career at leading financial institutions like Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, I identified a massive discrepancy between the financing available for homeowners looking to buy housing to live in and the financing available for small businesses looking to buy houses needing rehab work. At the time Toorak was founded in 2016, lenders typically made 30-year loans to homeowners at 3-4% interest rates, while investors looking to expand or rehabilitate the same home would be charged rates of 10% or more if they could secure funding at all. Despite significant borrower demand and need, banks would not provide this funding due to adverse regulatory treatment and perceived credit risk; borrowers turned to private lenders who were generally not connected to institutional capital. I launched Toorak Capital Partners in response to this need, with the idea of partnering with private lenders who would originate loans based on high credit standards. Toorak would acquire the loans shortly after origination, thereby freeing up the originator’s capital to make more loans to other small businesses, thereby creating a self-sustaining system of credit. In turn, Toorak would fund the loans in the capital markets while retaining all credit risk. In this way, I created a new kind of entity, essentially a Fannie Mae for the small business mortgage rehab space.

What are some accomplishments you are particularly proud of?

I’m proud that Toorak has now provided more than $8.5 billion in capital to real estate lenders, and funded housing for over 40,000 families, at a current rate of around 1,000 units per month. The significant majority of these homes are affordable to residents in their respective zip codes. We’ve issued $2.7+ billion in securitizations across nine transactions and pioneered the residential bridge loan securitization market. We were recognized with three major industry awards in 2021: “2021 Bridging Funding Partner of the Year” from Bridging & Commercial, “Capital Provider of the Year” from the Pitbull Conference, and the Inc. 5000 list, with three-year revenue growth of 411%. We were also the fastest-growing company in our home state of New Jersey in both 2019 and 2020. I’ve also been incredibly proud of our efforts to institutionalize best practices in our industry, including our work to remove the stigmatized label of “hard money.”

What is your favorite book, and why?

I have a lot of “favorite” books and especially enjoy reading nonfiction. I just finished and particularly enjoyed A Voyage for Madmen, which is about the 1968 Golden Globe Race, the first solo non-stop sailing competition to circumnavigate the Earth.

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