Spotlight Interview: Mike Marmis, Managing Director YAM Capital


Mike Marmis is the Managing Director of YAM Capital, a Commercial Real Estate bridge lender. YAM Capital is a privately held bridge lending firm with a focus on lending to Arizona Commercial Real Estate. It offers structured and funded bridge loans from $2M to $50MM and prides itself in expediency and certainty of execution. YAM Capital is part of American entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Parson’s YAM Worldwide group of companies.


LD: What career path did you want to take when you were in college?

MM: My dad was in Real Estate Development so I was always interested in that industry, but I thought my career would take a bit of a different path and after getting my BA from the University of California Santa Barbara, I started Law School at the University of Arizona. After the first year I realized I wasn’t really passionate about the field, and didn’t want to live my life in terms of billable hours, so I decided to get my MBA at the same time. I ended up graduating UofA with both a Law Degree and MBA.


LD: What events in your career path brought you to your current position, as Managing Director at YAM Capital?

MM: I like to call myself a “twice recovering banker,” my career has toggled between the banking and real estate industries…which, I suppose was a perfect path to my position with YAM Capital. I’ve been with YAM for nearly four years and it is still one of the best career decisions I’ve ever made.


LD: Can you tell us a little what your “average” week of work is like?

MM: Every week is a little different and that is part of what makes it really fun. We start Mondays with a YAM family manager meeting so the leaders of each team are up to speed with top-line issues for each of our sister companies. Then I meet with my staff at YAM Capital before tackling the week’s top agenda items. My days are typically spent reviewing potential deals, monitoring existing deals, working on funding new deals and searching for new referral partners.


LD: How does YAM Capital differ from other lenders?

MM: As our founder Bob Parsons likes to say, YAM Capital is “Bridge Loans. Fast.” At YAM our loan process is built for efficiency, speed and certainty of execution. As a private and direct lender, all of YAM’s loans are underwritten and processed internally which allows for greater speed and personal attention.

As part of YAM Worldwide, we are committed to helping those in need and our profits help fund The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, which in the past four years has awarded more than $100 million to various nonprofit organizations.


LD: Can you tell us a little bit about YAM’s sweet spot on deals (location, leverage, product type, pricing, dollar amount, how long to close, etc.)?

MM: YAM Capital funds deals across the country with a strong preference for income properties in Arizona. Other than that, there really isn’t one “sweet spot” as we pride ourselves on having a high amount of flexibility in what we can do. As long as it makes sense for YAM and makes sense for the borrower, we’ll find a way to make it work. We lend on all types of properties, including specialty uses and land purchases, and are able to offer a broad range of financing options and very creative loan structures.


LD: Everyone has a few transactions that stand out in the careers.  What is one deal thus far in your career that stands out to you and what is the significance to that deal?

MM: YAM Capital’s deal with the owner of the Ritz-Carlton site in Paradise Valley is one that comes to mind. It was the first deal we officially funded at YAM Capital and was a bit of a departure from what our company vision had been…and at $55 million, it was a very large deal. We had previously been aware of the project and it was nice to be able to bridge the gap to allow development to continue on the site.


LD: What advice would you give a young Mike Marmis just out of college and starting his professional career?

MM: Never stop improving yourself. Even if you aren’t sure what your next step should be or what the next phase of your career will bring, make sure you are always moving forward and pushing yourself to be better.


LD: What advice have you received that has been instrumental in your success?

MM: To always conduct business with integrity and honesty. This is great advice, not only for business but for life in general.

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