Los Angeles-based real estate brokerage CB Richard Ellis Group and its finance arm L.J. Melody & Company have formed a specialty finance company that has raised $300 million through a private placement. The new firm–-CBRE Realty Finance–-will focus on originating, financing and managing a portfolio of commercial real estate loans and securities. The company will invest in existing debt securities such as CMBS and mezzanine debt. It will also originate new whole loans and preferred equity investments.

"CBRE Realty Finance has unique strengths derived from CB Richard Ellis’ local market intelligence, L.J Melody’s access to origination channels and our senior executive team’s proven ability to create investment concepts and extensive experience in originating, structuring and financing commercial real estate financial products," says Keith Gollenberg, chief executive officer and president of the new firm.

The $300 million gross proceeds were raised through the sale of 20 million shares of common stock to institutional and accredited investors. CBRE will have an initial equity stake of roughly 5% in CBRE Realty Finance.