Every year, AZ Big Media, which publishes both PTK and AZRE magazines selects Arizona’s top people and projects to showcase in its premier commercial real estate magazine — PTK — from an impressive and competitive nomination pool. Each day we will highlight 20 different categories of People to Know. Here are the real estate lenders to know in Arizona for 2024: 

LEARN MORE: Read last year’s edition of PTK magazine

Brian Cousins

Brian Cousins

Senior vice president of commercial real estate

Arizona Bank & Trust

In his role as senior vice president in commercial banking and his experience within the commercial real estate industry, Cousins has established a remarkable track record of achievements. He boasts unmatched expertise in real estate economics, investment properties, commercial real estate, and working with investors and real estate professionals. 

Biggest career accomplishment: “In my professional life, I was chosen to lead the commercial real estate team at Arizona Bank & Trust. On a personal level, I became a grandparent for the first time.”

Surprising fact: “I spent 11 years coaching college basketball before transitioning into a career in banking. It shows that with hard work and dedication, one can successfully navigate different paths and achieve their goals.”

Robert Faver

Robert Faver

President, Arizona region

UMB Bank

A third-generation Arizona native, Faver has been in the banking industry for more than 25 years. He currently serves as president of the Arizona Region at UMB Bank where he manages commercial lending, wealth management and retail banking operations.

Surprising fact: “My very first job growing up was working on my family’s cotton farm, but my first paying job was out of college working as a financial analyst in the agriculture division at Bank One.”

Bucket list goals: “I want to be known as a great husband, father, friend and coworker who loves this community. I am very passionate about the arts and education, and I serve on the board of both the Phoenix Art Museum and Teach for America.” 

Michael Klein

Michael Klein

Principal and CEO

Freedom Financial Funds

Klein has more than 35 years of experience in real estate and corporate finance. He has worked for money center and regional and community banks in loan origination, loan recovery and credit risk management. Prior to founding Freedom, Klein co-founded and was the fund manager at Partners Capital Solutions (PCS). As a fund manager, he has supervised the origination and management of approximately $2 billion in loans and returned over 8% per annum to investors while suffering zero losses.

Surprising fact:“I have my pilot’s license and own a small aircraft that I love spending weekends flying, and I am an avid race car driver.”

Sanat Patel

Sanat Patel

Co-founder and chief lending officer

AVANA Companies

Patel is a veteran of the commercial banking industry, with more than 25 years of experience. Prior to AVANA, he served in various functions of commercial banking, supporting CRE clients across segments of corporate banking within Wells Fargo Bank, Citibank and JP Morgan. His competitive drive resulted in him being ranked in the top 10% of bankers nationwide within these institutions. 

Stand-out fact: In 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, AVANA continued to operate at full employment, fund ongoing development projects and work with its clientele to ensure the sustainability of their business. The company was able to close on new construction financing for development of limited and select services hotels on a nationwide basis.  

Jason Royer

Jason Royer

Vice president, commercial real estate

Enterprise Bank & Trust

A native of Kansas, Royer moved to Arizona in 2019 to lead projects as part of a previous banking role, later joining Enterprise to build on his success. In his current role, he develops and manages new and existing client relationships in the commercial real estate sector in Arizona. He identifies deposit-driven commercial relationships and presents financial solutions using treasury management, wealth products and other services. 

Stand-out fact: In just three years, Royer doubled the size of his loan portfolio.

No. 1 on the commercial real estate bucket list: “I would like to be involved in affordable housing projects and advance Enterprise’s presence in Arizona.”