Chatting With The President Of Walker & Dunlop

Staff writer Thomas Heath sat down with Willy Walker, president and chief operating officer of Walker & Dunlop Inc., a Bethesda-based real estate and financial services firm at a lunch earlier this week:

I had broiled red snapper at The Palm. Willy had asparagus soup and the tuna. He drank a Coke. Not Diet Coke. Straight Coke. Kind of refreshing to see someone drink regular Coke, not sugar-free, caffeine-free, Coke Zero or something. I had an iced tea.

Here is how Walker & Dunlop describes itself: "An integrated real estate and financial services company. We specialize in mortgage banking, loan servicing, institutional sales, and asset management."

Willy graduated from Harvard Business School and has been a venture capitalist in Chile and worked for awhile in Paraguay before coming home to the family business, which was founded by Willy's grandfather, Oliver, in the 1930s. Willie just turned 40.

The Walker family knows a lot of people and is very well connected. His mother is Diana Walker, a famous photojournalist who covered the White House for Time for 20 years. His father is Mallory Walker, an accomplished businessman, and former member of the board of Fannie Mae.

Willy is part of the group of young business turks in the Washington area that includes John Delaney, George Harrop, Mark Ein, Bobby Haft, Perry Steiner and others who are turning the D.C. area into an important, second-tier financial center. The first tier is New York, with Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco all next in line.

We will be writing more about Willy and these other young businessmen in the weeks and months ahead.

By Dan Beyers  |  July 4, 2007; 12:06 PM ET  | Category:  Walter & Dunlop
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