First National

First National is a principal lender that provides financing for esoteric and specialized asset classes such as golf courses, hospitality, assisted living, and franchises. Over the past 30 years, First National has underwritten in excess of $2.7 billion across these businesses in 46 states through acquisitions, refinancings, and new construction. Their expertise and specialization have allowed them to develop a proprietary approach to analyzing these businesses. First National was founded in 1993 and is located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Lending Methodology

The Originator adheres to a well-defined systematic underwriting approach for opportunistic investments at no more than 60-month term and 65% LTV. They approach each opportunity by first diligently analyzing the market demographics, vetting the borrower’s and sponsor’s credit worthiness, evaluating the management contract for the property, and finally conducting rigorous analysis of the underlying property. Included in this process are appraisals from strictly qualified third-party experts in the relevant industry.

Portfolio Management

The Originator established an internal servicing platform that is responsible for the monitoring and management of its loan portfolio. The Originator processes invoices accordingly to each loan’s documentation and requirements. The Originator will monitor and collect loan payments including principal, interest, escrows, or other relevant payments. The Originator also controls the disbursement of construction funds reserved, when applicable.

In the event of default or indication that a default is imminent, the Originator prepares a recommendation plan with corrective actions. With the exception of a payment default, any corrective actions will be outlined prior to declaration of a default in accordance with relevant grace periods established in the respective loan documents. Should any payment default continue for 45 days, the Originator will commence foreclosure, or sooner if specified within the loan documents.

Portfolio Metrics & Performance

Since inception, First National has originated $2.7 billion across 226 loans, ranging from $600K to $75M and equating to an average loan of $9.6M with a 2.7% default rate and 98.4% principal recovery in default events. Since 2016, First National has originated over $134M across 13 loans with a weighted average loan-to-value/loan-to-cost of 55%. Two loans have entered technical defaults, representing less than $20M in loan principal and no principal loss has occurred. Over this time, 49% of principal originated was within the golf and hospitality specialties. While having operated in 46 states, the largest concentrations of assets since inception have been within California, New Jersey, and Florida, totaling 25.9% of all originations.


Jerry Sager

Mr. Sager began his career in product origination for the firm EF Hutton. His team was responsible for the origination of newly created investment products for the retail brokers. During his tenure at Hutton, he financed the firm’s first golf course investments and structured real estate investments in specialized asset arenas to be offered to the public. It was at Hutton that specified underwriting criteria were developed to enable investor protection while increasing yield. The foundation of First National was with two other partners Mr. Sager met while at EF Hutton. Together this partnership wrote the basic criteria which to this day most rating agencies utilize for rating certain special real estate asset analysis. Over the past three decades, First National has underwritten over $2.7 billion of specialize real estate assets. Although well known for his knowledge of golf course and golf related assets, Mr. Sager was directly involved in the creation of special long-term debt applications for Native American commercial real estate lending. Mr. Sager has been honored by the American Cancer Society, published several times on the subject of real estate lending, he has spoken at the National Golf Course Owners Association and has lectured on real estate loan underwriting for special asset classes at several universities.

Lloyd Kagin

Mr. Kagan is directly responsible for interacting with over 1,300 mortgage and loan brokers that have relationships with First National. Utilizing the First National Underwriting manual as his guideline, Mr. Kagin performs initial underwritings, modeling and transactional structuring to determine whether the presented transaction will meet lending criteria. Based on this selective process, less than 12% of all loan submissions meet standards to become First National loan candidates and less than 5% reach the closed loan status. Mr. Kagin’s twenty years of experience directly related to financial structuring and modeling for real estate investment criteria provides a unique ability to look beyond the typical loan memorandum and provide insight as a lender to the reality of debt service as well as projected capital need. Prior to joining First National as its senior marketing person, Mr. Kagin was a director at Rogo Capital where his focus was primarily health care and technology industries which has provided insight into the First National Assisted Living lending underwriting. Mr. Kagin holds the following FINRA certifications: Series 7, 9, 10, 24, 63, 79 and 99.

Andrew January

Mr. January is a CPA with over fifteen years of experience with hands on staff accounting for a major accounting firm that specialized in audit services focused on Hedge Fund and Private Equity Funds. Prior to joining First National, he was employed by Citigroup as a Vice President and a liaison for client and audit responsibilities. Mr. January’s focus on client risk analysis and financial control for asset reporting has provided insight into underwriting of real estate assets. His audit and hedge fund background provided a valuable addition to the First National team for his diligent focus on new loan underwriting. As a focused accountant, he is responsible for the review and analysis of all initial underwritings. He holds a Master’s Degree in accounting and is registered as a Certified Public Accountant.