William R. Nicholson


William R. Nicholson has over 35 years of commercial, mortgage and investment banking experience. Prior to joining Heritage Capital Group, (www.heritagerealtycapital.com) Mr. Nicholson spent 15 months with BSE Management, a private equity firm focused on acquiring failed banks. In this role he managed the due diligence and bank target processes. At Heritage Mr. Nicholson concentrates on M&A advisory assignments, commercial real estate, capital raising, debt placement and litigation support.

Since 2003, Mr. Nicholson has headed up his own firm, WRN Financial. The company focuses on litigation support to attorneys in real estate/banking disputes, strategic consulting regarding real estate finance and lending, and executive search for bankers.

After retiring from Bank of America at the end of 2002, Mr. Nicholson was a managing director for Chatsworth Securities. While at Chatsworth, he worked on project financings for homebuilder and apartment clients of the firm. He also was involved in acquisition, divestiture, and advisory assignments with private real estate companies.

With the acquisition of Barnett Banks by Bank of America, Mr. Nicholson joined Banc of America Securities as managing director. He oversaw the Real Estate Advisory Group - the firm's national investment banking practice serving private real estate companies and investors. Mr. Nicholson managed offices located in San Francisco, Charlotte, Dallas and Chicago from his Jacksonville location. His transactions included an equity raise/sale of assets for Stiles Corporation, advisory work on behalf of the St. Joe Corporation, and an M & A assignment related to the sale of Heritage Homes of Orlando to a publicly traded national homebuilder.

In January 1992, Mr. Nicholson joined Barnett Banks of Florida, Inc. from PNC Bank. He served as Director of Commercial Real Estate from the beginning of 1992 until Barnett was acquired in late summer of 1997. He was chairman of the bank's Community Development Corporation, Vice Chairman and Director of Main American Capital, a mortgage banking joint venture involving commercial real estate loan securitization and a member of the bank's seven member executive loan committee, which reviewed and approved all bank credits from $25 million to over $100 million. While at Barnett, Mr. Nicholson formed Barnett Realty Partners, a mortgage banking subsidiary, which represented Salomon Brothers and other institutional capital providers as Florida correspondents. Additionally, he managed the bank's real estate syndication activities, and worked with Barnett's larger real estate clients to provide innovative capital raising solutions. Representative Barnett Realty Partner transactions include a $300 million revolving credit facility for Olen Residential, originated jointly with Salomon Brothers, debt placement for Rooms To Go, and a $100 million multi-facility financing for Arvida/JMB Partners.

Mr. Nicholson spent ten years with PNC in Pittsburgh, managing the bank's national construction lending group and supporting the international division on select overseas real estate transactions. In addition to directing the U.S. sales force and loan administration, he led the bank's efforts in originating the closing of the largest multi-property real estate debt transaction in New Zealand in 1984; underwriting, syndicating and financing the Charles Hotel, retail and condominium complex in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and representing the bank in a $728 million financing for Olympia and York for the World Financial Center.

In 1973, Mr. Nicholson worked as an analyst and transaction originator for Barnett Mortgage Trust based in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1975, he joined Barnett Mortgage Company also located in Jacksonville, and headed up Barnett's state-wide residential loan origination effort. In 1979, Mr. Nicholson relocated to Western Pennsylvania to become the Director of lending for Greensburgh Savings & Loan. He was responsible for residential loan origination, commercial lending, loan servicing, a three-person appraisal department, the collection area, and three independent loan production officers. Mr. Nicholson left Greensburgh Savings in January of 1992 to join Pittsburgh National Bank.

Mr. Nicholson is a member of the board of directors of BFC Financial (NASDAQ - BFCF). He serves on the audit and the compensation committees, in addition to his general board responsibilities.

Mr. Nicholson graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and earned a master's degree in finance and real estate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Mr. Nicholson holds Series 7, 24, 63, and 79 securities licenses as well as a Florida real estate brokers license. He is the Chief Compliance Officer for Heritage Capital Group.

Mr. Nicholson is the past president of the Council for Sustainable Florida, past chairman of the American Bankers Association Real Estate and Finance Committee, and head of the ABA's environmental task force. He is a Vietnam veteran and former captain in the U.S. Marine Corp.

Mr. Nicholson served as a member of the University of Florida's Real Estate Advisory Board from 1996 through 2011. In October of 2010, he completed the USDA's Lender Liability training.

Loan Committee experience includes:

  • Real Estate Member of PNC's Senior Loan Committee - 1983-1991
  • Member of Barnett Bank's Executive Loan Committee - 1992-1997
  • Chairman of Main America Capital Loan Committee - 1994-1996
  • Chairman of Barnett Realty Partner's Loan Committee - 1995-1997

Loan Administration and Policy Experience:

  • PNC's Loan Administration and Loan Disbursement Policies and Procedures -1982-1991. Worked on teams that developed Loan Closing, Administration, Disbursement, Appraisal and Environmental, policies and procedures
  • Barnett's Real Estate lending, appraisal and loan administration procedures and policies - 1992-1995. Headed up system-wide effort to create uniform underwriting, closing and disbursement procedures
  • BSE Management - 2009 - 2010. Developed due diligence processes and procedures for evaluating bank loan portfolios and risks related thereto.