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Morningstar Assigns Sabal Financial Group, L.P., a Commercial Mortgage Primary Servicer Rating of 'CS3' and Construction Loan Servicer and Special Servicer Rating to 'CC3'

NEWPORT BEACH, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 01/09/14 -- Sabal Financial Group, L.P., a diversified financial services firm specializing in real estate, banking and lending, has been assigned an MOR CS3 ranking as a commercial mortgage primary servicer, and an MOR CC3 ranking as a special servicer and construction loan servicer by Morningstar Credit Ratings, LLC., a first in the United States. Morningstar assigned the ratings following an assessment of Sabal, which highlighted the firm's operational infrastructure and portfolio administration capabilities as reasons for the designations.

Morningstar's ratings reflect Sabal Financial Group's fiduciary expertise, success in managing client investments, and deep specializations in the areas of servicing and lending. "Morningstar's most recent ratings represent another milestone in the success of Sabal and the oversight of the firm's significant portfolio of assets under management," said Sabal Financial Group Founder and Chief Executive Officer Pat Jackson.

Morningstar cited a number of positive company factors in its recent Sabal rankings. These include the firm's expertise in the administration of non-performing assets as demonstrated by sound practices and policies governing loan administration, payment processing, portfolio management and the full ability to administer third-party loan portfolios. In addition, Morningstar noted the firm's comprehensive training programs which are overseen by dedicated Credit Managers and Training Coordinators.

Other contributors included Sabal's expanding operations via the acquisition of significant non-performing loan portfolios on behalf of clients and growth in assets under management both in volume and geographic coverage into most U.S. states, as well as involvement in the Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities (CMBS) business. Also cited were Sabal's well-controlled practices and effective technologies for primary servicing and construction loan administration; an experienced management team for servicing; highly experienced personnel and resources for construction loan administration, and diligent pre-funding and closing procedures indicating proactive construction draw and risk-monitoring practices.

"Sabal is proud of Morningstar's assessments, as they showcase our team's reputation and experience, the firm's continued growth and technology-rich platform, and our fiduciary commitment to valued clients," added Jackson.

Founded in 2009, Sabal Financial Group currently services a total portfolio of $6 billion in assets. The firm is also active in the areas of commercial real estate finance, home builder finance, bank credit advisory, and CMBS transaction support services.

Morningstar Credit Ratings is a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO) specializing in structured credit research and ratings, and offers a wide array of services including new-issue ratings and analysis, operational risk assessments, surveillance services, data, and technology solutions. Morningstar's operational risk assessment methodology and published reports may be accessed at https://ratingagency.morningstar.com.

Sabal Financial Group also holds a Special Servicer designation from Morningstar with a CS3 rating and from Fitch with a CSS3 rating.

About Sabal Financial Group:

Sabal Financial Group, L.P. is an international diversified financial services firm specializing in real estate, banking and lending. The firm's flagship Investments business has established a strong foothold in the distressed debt arena, bringing nearly $6 billion in real estate and land assets under management since the firm's inception in 2009. Sabal operates a number of complementary businesses including: Sabal CRE Bridge Lending and JV Equity, providing financing to commercial real estate operators; Sabal Home Builder Finance, offering acquisition, development and construction loans to established residential builders; Sabal Commercial Advisors, a national transaction support services provider to CMBS investors and originators; the Sabal Bank Credit Advisory Practice, an advisor and M&A specialist serving commercial and investment banks with unbiased third-party credit portfolio risk and capital performance assessments; and Sabal Third Party Servicing, a primary servicer, special servicer and construction loan administrator operating nationwide.

A privately held company, Sabal Financial Group is headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif., Visit the company online at www.sabalfin.com.

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