Grubb & Ellis Co. (NYSE: GBE), the Santa Ana, Calif.-based real estate services and investment firm, has named Steven Roberts senior managing director of debt and equity finance. He will work in New York. Roberts previously worked at CitiGroup, where he was in part responsible for launching the company’s commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) lending program and co-led the company’s conduit business as the head of origination.

“New York City is ‘Main and Main’ for commercial mortgage banking, and it’s essential we have a professional in that market with the kind of reputation and relationships that Steve has in our industry,” says Jeff Majewski, executive managing director of debt and equity finance. “Because he will have daily interaction with existing and emerging sources of debt and equity and has excellent contacts with virtually every player in the business, he’s in a position to support clients of Grubb & Ellis professionals throughout the country in their capital needs.”

Over the past 24 months, Grubb & Ellis has strengthened its debt and equity finance capabilities. The firm added senior-level commercial mortgage brokerage professionals in major markets and recruited Majewski, former chief operating officer of CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) debt and equity finance group and senior managing director of CBRE Capital Markets, to lead the growth of the platform.

“Now that the market is ramping back up, it’s a good time for me to make a change,” said Roberts. “I’ve always been a relationship-driven person, and Grubb & Ellis’ efforts to deepen its relationships by offering services that support clients at many stages of a transaction and property lifecycle is a model that appeals to me.”

During his 35-year tenure with CitiGroup, Roberts was invited to speak as a trainer for a number of companies and organizations, including L.J. Melody and Commercial Mortgage Securities Association, now the CRE Finance Council.

Grubb & Ellis’ debt and equity finance group provides capital markets services including loan originations, note sales, asset repositioning, valuation, capital markets consultation, debt placement, workouts and modifications, recapitalizations and equity raising.