Oct
15
2014

How Do You Give First Aid to an Ailing Housing Market?

When he was appointed as chairman of the New York Housing Finance Agency and the State of New York Mortgage Agency by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Bill Mulrow was ready for the challenge of making affordable housing available to low- and moderate-income residents. His experience in private-sector public finance and investment banking prepared him for the job, but it also told him that turning the housing market around in New York was not going to be an easy task. Yet, when the governor of his state asked him to serve, Mulrow did not hesitate in accepting the position.

Averting an Economic Depression

The crisis in the real estate and mortgage markets in New York and throughout the United States in 2008 almost threw the state and the country into an economic depression. Quick action by the government on the state and federal levels helped to turn the economy around and get it on the road to recovery, but the challenges of meeting the demand for affordable single-family and multifamily housing in New York continues to exist.

Affordable Financing for Homebuyers and Developers

The agencies headed by Bill Mulrow are addressing the need for affordable housing from two perspectives: Affordable financing for first-time homebuyers through the State of New York Mortgage Agency and financial assistance for developers through the Housing Finance Agency. Private and not-for-profit developers can obtain financing to create or preserve multifamily rental housing in the state. Newly constructed properties and rehabilitation projects are both eligible.

The HFA also offers low income housing tax credits that borrowers may use to offset their tax payments on affordable rental properties or as the equity to obtain other financing to acquire properties. Low-income housing tax credits are available to developers of rental housing occupied primarily by low-income families.

SONYMA Financing Programs for Homebuyers

The State of New York Mortgage Agency has a variety of programs to assist first-time buyers of homes in the state. The Homes for Veterans Program offers mortgage assistance to veterans and active duty members of the armed forces by giving them favorable terms on the loan products offered by the agency to all first-time buyers. This includes the state’s “Own it, Fix it New York!” initiative that gives mortgages to cover both the acquisition and renovation of existing single-family homes.

The SONYMA Achieving the Dream program offers lower than normal SONYMA mortgage interest rates to lower income first-time homebuyers who can borrow up to 97 percent of the value of a single-family home. Eligible income levels vary depending upon the region within the state in which the property is located.

Eligibility for standard SONYMA financing is limited to first-time homebuyers. There are also maximum income levels and maximum property values that apply, but these vary depending upon the region in the state in which the property is located.


Posted in Business
May
22
2014

Five Ways to Promote Good Investor Relations

While getting your new start-up off the ground, you’re sure to feel like there’s never enough time in the day. Like many new business owners, you may be tempted to push investor relations onto the back burner. After all, why worry about it until you’re actively trying to raise capital? The fact is, you do need to concern yourself with investor relations even when you’re brand new. Otherwise you won’t be prepared to make the most of your investors or to attract new investors when the time comes. It definitely pays to make investor relations a top priority from the start, and that’s easier to do when you keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Help Your Investors Find Great Deals. You’re more likely to enjoy the ongoing, long-term support of your investors when you make yourself an ally of theirs in more ways than one. When you hear about potentially exciting opportunities that your investors may not know about, don’t be afraid to bring it to their attention. Introduce your investors to those who can help them make the most of such opportunities, or simply give them a head’s up by shooting them a quick email or by calling them. When the time comes to make an investment, those who you have helped in the past are far more likely to want to help your business.
  • Maintain Up-to-Date Contact Information. One of the biggest mistakes you can make regarding investor relations is falling out of touch with your investors. Simply saving email addresses in your email client list isn’t enough. For one thing, investors’ contact information will be jumbled up with other people’s contact information, so you won’t have a quick and easy way to look at information about all of your investors at once. Create a spreadsheet that’s dedicated entirely to your investors. Include as much information as possible. Update your spreadsheet regularly to ensure accuracy. Keep everything organized by establishing a dedicated email address to use when communicating with your investors. These steps will help you communicate more effectively.
  • Share Your Experiences and Ideas Online. Show investors that you’re active in the industry by sharing your ideas and experiences with the world at large. The Internet makes this easy to do. Simply creating a few presentations and posting them online via Slideshare is a great way to go. You should also consider setting up a special blog and using it to share news and information regarding your industry. In addition to demonstrating your expertise to your current investors, these activities may help to attract new ones.
  • Contribute to Relevant Media Outlets. Where do your investors turn for information? Which media outlets tend to be the most popular with those who invest in your company? You need these answers so you can attempt to contribute to those outlets. An occasional guest blog, for example, can make a world of difference. Seeing your byline on a media outlet that they use regularly will impress your investors and make them all the more confident about your ability to assist them. Besides, you’re simply writing about what you know, which should come pretty naturally.
  • Keep Investors in the Loop. Even if it’s going to be awhile before you start actively trying to raise money, keep your investors in the loop by sending occasional email newsletters or special messages. A monthly email newsletter may include the most important news that’s occurred over the last few weeks. Another option is to send email updates whenever something important occurs. Receiving regular messages from you will remind investors of your company, so they’ll be more receptive when the time comes to actually start raising money. This is a great way to grow, enhance and maintain existing relationships. Make sure the communications are professional but personal, and encourage readers to reply with questions or comments as necessary.

By planting the seeds to good investor relations early, you’ll have a much easier time down the road. Maintain these efforts to ensure that your investor relations activities are as effective as possible. Investors are a crucial part of establishing and growing your business, so these efforts are more than worth it in the long run.


Posted in Business
Jan
31
2014

Bill Mulrow: Finance Expert Helps New York Residents

When Governor Andrew Cuomo needed someone to take the helm of two of the most innovative and dynamic state housing agencies in the country, he looked to Bill Mulrow. New York needed help to recover from the recent mortgage and housing market turmoil. Mulrow was one of the few individuals qualified to lead the agencies charged with the creation, preservation and financing of affordable housing in the state. His position as a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone Group, coupled with his years in private- and public-sector financing and investment banking, made him the right candidate for the task.


Posted in Business
Jan
24
2014

Bill Mulrow: Innovative Solutions for New York Housing Challenges

As Bill Mulrow enters his second year as Chairman of the New York State Housing Finance Agency and of the State of New York Mortgage Agency, he remains focused on the mission of providing affordable housing options to all state residents. Chairmanship of both agencies gives Mulrow the opportunity to influence the creation and preservation of housing and affordable mortgage programs for renters and buyers in the state at a time when economic conditions create challenges for many New York residents. Armed with his expertise gained in his private-sector career in finance and investment banking, Mulrow looks to develop innovative solutions for low- to moderate-income residents.


Posted in Business
Jan
17
2014

Bill Mulrow Combines Business Success With Public Service

A belief that success in the business world carries with it an obligation to contribute to the betterment of society has been the cornerstone of the 30-year professional career of Bill Mulrow. His achievements span the private and public sectors as he manages to balance his career as Senior Managing Director at the Blackstone Group LP with such diverse public sector roles as chairman of the New York State Housing Finance Agency and the State of New York Mortgage Agency.

Mulrow put his expertise in finance and investment banking to work leading the state’s initiatives to bring affordable housing and home financing to New York homebuyers. He gained much of his public-service experience serving as director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York and as director of New York City’s Municipal Assistance Corporation. His record of public service also includes serving as director of the United Nations Development Corporation and holding the position of chairman of the board at the New York City Rent Guidelines Board and the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency.

After graduating cum laude from Yale University with his bachelor’s degree, Bill Mulrow was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes scholarship. His interest in public-sector finance and administration led to his acceptance to the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, from which he graduated with a master’s degree in public administration.

Graduation did not mean the end of his interaction with the academic community. Instead, Bill Mulrow found ways to give back to schools and universities with service on the boards of advisors at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Kennedy School of Government and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University. He has also acted as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx.

Mulrow’s list of private-sector positions also includes Chairmanship of the Board of Sterling Suffolk Racecourse. Suffolk Downs is unique in being the only thoroughbred racetrack in the New England area. With a history dating back to 1935, the racetrack’s owners turned to Bill Mulrow for leadership in stabilizing the fortunes of the track. Through his leadership, the track has managed to continue operations despite the difficulties of the racing industry and there has been renewed hope for the future of Suffolk Downs Racecourse.

Appointed by the governor and unanimously confirmed by the State Senate as Chairman of the New York State Housing Finance Agency and the State of New York Mortgage Agency, Bill Mulrow took on the challenge of leading two agencies tasked with the creation, preservation and financing of high-quality and affordable housing throughout the state of New York. The Housing Finance Agency was created in 1960 as a public benefit corporation to issue housing revenue bonds backed by the state to raise funds for mortgage loans to eligible prospective homeowners.

Making homeownership a reality for low- to moderate-income homebuyers who were new to the housing market led to the creation of the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) in 1970. As a public-benefit corporation, SONYMA offers a variety of low-interest mortgage programs for first-time buyers, current and former members of the armed forces and individuals whose incomes preclude them from obtaining conventional mortgage financing. Under Mulrow’s leadership, the agency has played an important role in helping New York residents achieve the dream of homeownership during tough economic times.

His work at Blackstone has included raising capital for the firm’s private investment funds. He also works with various entities of the company dealing with public finance and organized labor. Prior to accepting the position with Blackstone, Mulrow held senior executive positions at Citibank, Paladin Capital Group, Gabelli Asset Management, Rothschild Inc., and Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette.

Bill Mulrow’s commitment to public service has earned him many humanitarian awards and recognition for service to the region and the state. Despite a busy schedule, he makes time to relax with his family at home or while succumbing to his life-long passion for travel. Mulrow admits to cheering enthusiastically for the New York Giants and his beloved New York Yankees before settling down with a favorite novel.


Posted in Business
Aug
26
2013

Connecting the Dots Between Public and Private Sector Finance

With more than 30 years in both the public and the private sectors, Bill Mulrow is well known in both arenas. As the recently appointed and confirmed Chairman of the State of New York Mortgage Agency and New York State Housing Finance Agency, Mulrow oversees both rental housing and home mortgage programs designed to help New York residents find the right home for their needs. Mulrow retained his position at the Blackstone Group as a Senior Managing Director, continuing his work on behalf of the global alternative asset firm.


Posted in Business
Aug
19
2013

Financial Innovation and Experience Set Bill Mulrow Apart

Bill Mulrow started his career in the field of finance more than 30 years ago after he graduated cum laude from Yale University and then with a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Mulrow has spent the last 30 years working in a mix of public and private sector positions that have provided him with a wide range of experience in the financial field and have allowed him to take a leading role in the development of new investment strategies and public programs. This commitment to innovation allows Mulrow to provide expert guidance and valuable experience in his ongoing professional endeavors.


Posted in Business
Aug
12
2013

Continues to Climb the Ladder of Success

Bill Mulrow has experienced success in both the private and the public sectors. At the Blackstone Group, he serves as a Senior Managing Director for the Investor Relations and Business Development Group and provides guidance and leadership in raising capital for the company’s private investment funds. Mulrow also works closely with organized labor and public sector entities. The Blackstone Group is the largest and best-known alternative asset management firm in the world and serves a global clientele of investors.


Posted in Business

Aug
5
2013

Bill Mulrow Takes on the Challenges of New York Housing

One New York finance executive is adding a few new tasks to his already full schedule. Bill Mulrow, a Senior Managing Director with the Blackstone Group, was named Chairman of both the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) and of the New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA). His previous public sector experience includes a chairmanship at the New York City Rent Guidelines Board and memberships on the boards of the United Nations Development Corporation, the Municipal Assistance Corporation for the City of New York and the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York. Mulrow has already taken the reins at HFA and SONYMA and will put his experience to good use on behalf of New York residents.


Posted in Business