ATLANTA—Access Point Financial (APF), a direct lender and specialty finance company focused exclusively on the hospitality industry, has named Dilip Petigara as the company’s new chief executive officer and Michael Lipson as chairman of the board of directors. The appointments were made as part of new corporate growth initiatives put in place to meet the growing demand for financial services in the global hotel sector.
Since joining Access Point Financial in 2012, Petigara has held the position of chief operating officer. With more than 23 years of experience in the hospitality and finance industries, he previously served as senior vice president of Specialty Finance Group, where he managed loan operations, internal credit approvals, closing/funding, and asset management. Prior to that, he held the position of assistant vice president and senior underwriter at GMAC Commercial Mortgage.
“With a highly successful 23-year tenure in hospitality, real estate, and financial services, Dilip has exhibited proven financial expertise and leadership abilities that have greatly benefitted the Access Point Financial organization and our clients over the past seven years that he has served as chief operating officer,” said Michael Gontar, chief investment officer for Wafra Capital Partners, APF’s capital partner. “In his new role as CEO, we look forward to entering a dynamic new stage of growth with him at the helm.”
Newly appointed Chairman Michael Lipson has served as a strategic consultant to Access Point Financial since 2017. As senior vice president of multifamily asset management and operations at mortgage loan company Freddie Mac, he led the organization’s multifamily business operations, asset management, and technology teams. Lipson previously served as president and CEO of Berkadia Commercial Mortgage, and also spent 13 years as executive vice president for Capmark Finance (GMAC Commercial Mortgage), where he oversaw hospitality lending and worked alongside Petigara and other members of APF’s senior management team.
“It is an honor to have a financial services industry veteran of Michael Lipson’s caliber heading up the board for Access Point Financial,” continued Gontar. “Michael has been a thought leader in this space for many years now, and his new role heralds an exciting time not only for APF, but for the hospitality finance industry as a whole. We are poised for exponential growth, and these new leadership appointments are laying the foundation for even greater success, as we expand our portfolio of services to meet the growing industry demand for specialized financial services.”
The APF team has serviced $7 billion of loan products over the last 30 years. The company offers asset-based renovation/conversion loans for the repositioning of hotel assets that are tailored to support recurring and mandatory brand mandated upgrades, along with projects planned in conjunction with acquisitions and conversions.
“In order to meet the changing demands of the hotel franchise market, APF will be significantly expanding our portfolio of financial programs, implementing a series of new and exciting programs that have the ability to be customized to meet the needs of each hotel organization,” said Petigara. “I am honored to have been chosen to lead this exceptional team of hospitality finance professionals and look forward to a new era of growth.”