Walker & Dunlop's Can't-Miss Reception

Walker & Dunlop, the Bethesda real estate firm and investment bank that has been a local fixture for decades, held a reception at the Metropolitan Club on Wednesday hosting more than 200 movers and shakers from the region's business, real estate and political worlds.

The notables who dined on filet mignon and canapes included Fannie Mae's chief executive officer Daniel Mudd and executive vice president for housing and community development Ken Bacon; entrepeneur Mark Ein; real estate developer Tom Bozzuto; developer John Mason; and Chevy Chase Bank executive Frank Saul III.

"The Walkers made the decision a few years ago to do this event as a way to transition from summer vacation to focusing on the new business year and they do a beautiful job with it," said Terry Beaty, whose D.C. investment firm Beaty Haynes & Associates was acquired by Baltimore-based Brown Advisory this summer. "It's one of the events that where people around the real estate world are afraid not to go because their competitors will be there making deals. This is sort of a meeting of the clans and they are there networking like crazy."

Others in attendance included Josh Bernstein of Bernstein Management, Rob Stewart of real estate giant JBG Companies, and Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler.

Most of the conversation centered on the troubled debt markets. Will Walker, the chief executive officer of Walker & Dunlop and the host of the event, was in the middle of a discussion of the markets with Bob Cohen of Perseus Realty and First Washington Realty President Bill Wolfe when Stan Sloter of Bethesda's Paradigm Companies looked over and said, "I've just landed in the middle of the A Team."

There was plenty of business chatter, but there was also room for politics. Carlyle Group alumnus Esko Korhonen, who helped found Federal Capital Partners, a private equity real estate investment firm based in Georgetown, Wolfe and Gansler were overheard debating the merits of the Democratic presidential frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

-- Thomas Heath

By Mike Shepard  |  September 7, 2007; 3:02 PM ET  | Category:  Finance , Walter & Dunlop
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