Gregory M. Cazel

Gregory M. Cazel

Independent Director

Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT, Inc.

Gregory M. Cazel is one of our independent directors and is the Chairman of our nominating and corporate governance committee and our compensation committee and a member of our audit committee. He has been one of our independent directors since February 2009. Since December 2015, Mr. Cazel has been a Regional Loan Originator for HUNT Mortgage Capital in Chicago. His responsibilities include originating CMBS, balance sheet equity and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans for the company. From May 2013 to November 2015, Mr. Cazel was a Managing Director in the Real Estate Capital Markets division of Wells Fargo Bank, NA, in Chicago, where he originated both CMBS and balance sheet loans for the bank, working with mortgage bankers and direct borrowers throughout the Midwest. Prior to that, Mr. Cazel was an Executive Vice President with A10 Capital beginning in June 2010, and became a Principal in the firm in October 2010. A10 Capital specializes in financing commercial real estate and providing advisory and management services for the workout of all types of troubled loans and real estate assets. From October 2009 to April 2010, Mr. Cazel was the Midwest Regional Director for Real Estate Disposition Corp., LLC, a real estate auction marketing firm, specializing in selling residential, commercial, multifamily and hospitality properties and land, as well as performing and non-performing notes and loan pools.

Mr. Cazel is also President of Midwest Residential Partners, LLC, a private real estate investment firm, which he formed in July 2008. Mr. Cazel has more than 29 years of commercial real estate finance, acquisition, loan origination and securitization, mortgage banking, underwriting, analysis, and investment experience. Throughout his career, Mr. Cazel has been responsible for closing in excess of $4.5 billion of commercial real estate loans including fixed-rate, floating-rate, and mezzanine financings throughout the United States. From January 2009 to October 2009, Mr. Cazel was a Partner with Prairie Realty Advisors, Inc., a mortgage banking firm.

From April 2007 to June 2008, Mr. Cazel was an Executive Director with Dexia Real Estate Capital Markets Company, a Division of Dexia Bank, a Belgium-based financial institution, where he was responsible for establishing the Chicago office and managing the Midwest presence for the CMBS loan program. From 1999 to April 2007, Mr. Cazel was a Vice President at JP Morgan Mortgage Capital where he ran a commercial loan production team that closed over $3.6 billion in permanent, floating, and mezzanine loans, representing the highest loan production volume in the country for JP Morgan during his tenure and earning Mr. Cazel the number one ranking throughout the JP Morgan branch office system.

Education

Mr. Cazel earned a B.A. in the Liberal Arts and Sciences College, with a concentration in Real Estate and Finance, from the University of Illinois.