National lender and investor in affordable housing hires former real estate private equity executive Grace Cheng to replace retiring CFO John Divers
New York, N.Y. — The Community Development Trust (CDT), which provides long-term debt and equity capital for the creation and preservation of affordable housing, today announced Grace Cheng – who has nearly three decades of combined experience in public accounting, tax, finance, treasury, hedging, valuation and management – as its new Chief Financial Officer.
“I am very excited to join the CDT team and look forward to being part of its continued growth across the entire portfolio,” Ms. Cheng said.
Before joining CDT, Ms. Cheng spent eight years as the CFO at Cain International and GTIS Partners, both real estate private equity firms with a focus on opportunistic investments (equity and debt) in the United States, London and Brazil markets. She replaces former CFO John Divers, who is retiring after serving CDT for almost 20 years.
“I’m thrilled that we have identified such a strong and experienced professional as Ms. Cheng to continue the work that John Divers has performed so well for many years,” said CDT President and CEO Joseph Reilly. “I know our staff and our investors are eager to welcome Grace to the CDT team.”
Ms. Cheng also previously worked at Morgan Stanley for eight years in the Investment Management practice, overseeing the global accounting, reporting and operations of its flagship Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds. She began her professional career as an auditor at Ernst & Young with a focus in the financial services and real estate industries. Ms. Cheng holds a B.S. in accounting from Binghamton University and an MBA from New York University, and is a certified public accountant in New York.
The Community Development Trust (CDT) is a national investor in affordable housing. Working with local, regional and national partners, CDT makes long-term equity investments, originates and acquires long-term mortgages and finances charter school facilities. In its 20 years, CDT has invested over $1.5 billion in debt and equity capital in properties in 44 states and regions, helping to preserve and create over 44,000 units of affordable housing. CDT is a private real estate investment trust (REIT), a certified community development financial institution (CDFI), an approved Fannie Mae affordable housing lender and a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY). As a CDFI and private REIT with a social impact mission, CDT operates as a double-bottom-line organization by utilizing creative financial solutions to provide debt and equity capital to underserved real estate markets, all while seeking attractive returns for shareholders.