Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Kaufman is the President and CEO of Arbor Realty Trust (NYSE:ABR), a commercial real estate finance company that became publicly traded in April 2004. He is also the Chairman and CEO of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC, and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Arbor Residential Mortgage, LLC.
Mr. Kaufman has extensive experience operating real estate finance companies. In 1983, he founded Arbor National Holdings, Inc. and its premier lending subsidiary Arbor Mortgage, Inc. Arbor Mortgage became the leading provider of residential mortgage loans in the tri-state region. Under Mr. Kaufman’s direction, Arbor Mortgage became a public company and grew to 25 branches in eight states before it was sold to Bank America Corporation in 1995. Mr. Kaufman sold Arbor National Holdings but retained the commercial side of the business, creating the platform for Arbor Commercial Mortgage and eventually, Arbor Realty Trust. In early 2008, he formed Arbor Residential Mortgage, LLC, which specializes in the acquisition of distressed and non-performing residential whole loans and real estate owned (REO) nationwide and acquired AMS Servicing, a special servicer focused on default management, loss mitigation, credit risk and REO management.
Arbor Commercial Mortgage is a leading provider of debt and equity financing for multifamily and other commercial real estate properties. Arbor is a Top Ten Fannie Mae DUS® lender and an FHA provider. Arbor Commercial Mortgage is also the external manager of Arbor Realty Trust and is a ranked servicer and special servicer by Standard and Poor’s.
Mr. Kaufman oversees all aspects of Arbor’s lending operation. He has carved a unique niche in the financing of commercial real estate, combining the best of traditional mortgage lending with the innovation of an investment bank, leveraging his expertise in origination, servicing and structuring complex mortgage-backed securities.
Mr. Kaufman currently serves as the Chair of the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission for the Tenth Judicial District of New York, an appointed position that oversees the screening process for candidates seeking elective judicial office. He has served on the National and Regional Advisory Boards of Fannie Mae and on the Board of Directors of the Empire State Mortgage Bankers Association.
He was previously named regional “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Inc. Magazine for his outstanding achievements in financial services. Mr. Kaufman also served as a regional spokesperson for Global ReLeaf, a program of the American Forestry Association, which led to his appointment as delegate of the International Arid Lands Consortium. He has guest lectured at Harvard University’s Real Estate Business Club and is a featured presenter at Columbia University and Wharton Business School.
Mr. Kaufman is a dedicated community leader, serving as founder and president of the North Shore Hebrew Academy High School, a state-of-the-art, 11-acre academy now regarded as one of the premier college preparatory schools in the Northeast. In addition, he currently serves on the Board of Trustees of The Birthright Israel Foundation. Mr. Kaufman earned a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law and a B.A. in Business Administration from Boston University.