Meridian Capital Group Names Brian Brooks as Chairman & CEO; Ralph Herzka Assumes New Role as Founder & Senior Chairman

- Brooks served as Acting Comptroller of the Currency, and held other leadership, management roles in financial services in government and private sector
- Herzka will become Founder and Senior Chairman, focusing on transaction growth and relationship expansion

NEW YORK--()--Meridian Capital Group, one of the nation’s leading commercial real estate finance, investment sales and retail leasing advisors, announced today that it has named Brian Brooks, a former Acting Comptroller of the Currency, as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding co-founder Ralph Herzka, effective mid-April.

Mr. Herzka, 62, co-founded Meridian in 1991 and rose to become one of the foremost leaders and innovators in commercial mortgage origination. He will continue to play a key role in the business as Founder and Senior Chairman, focusing on expanding customer, lender and broker relationships and generating additional revenue growth.

Mr. Brooks, 54, is a recognized authority on financial services, with decades of government and private sector experience. He joins Meridian from the law firm O’Melveny and previously held several roles at Fannie Mae, including general counsel and corporate secretary, where he led the overhaul of its corporate governance structure and worked on significant high-profile transactions. He was later appointed to Fannie Mae’s board of directors and served on its risk committee. He also previously served as the primary regulator of the U.S. national banking system as Acting Comptroller of the Currency. In that capacity, he also served on the Board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and as a voting member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council. Earlier in his career, as vice chairman of OneWest Bank, Mr. Brooks played an instrumental role in its resolution and the sale of one of the nation’s largest portfolios of residential mortgages, paving the way for the bank’s sale to the CIT Group.

Meridian President Yoni Goodman, 41, will continue in his role and will work with Mr. Brooks in an augmented role that will include a focus on broker recruiting, retention and development; corporate M&A; geographic and business line expansion; investment sales strategy and growth; and retail leasing strategy and growth.

“As we look to institutionalize Meridian as a world-class company and further diversify our revenues, there is no better steward of our future than Brian. He is an outstanding and recognized leader in financial services, and I am excited to work with him to build on our firm’s foundation of unparalleled experience and market intelligence,” said Mr. Herzka. “Thanks to the work of our leadership and team, we are positioned well to stand tall and thrive in the service of our stakeholders as the real estate market and regulatory environment evolve.”

Mr. Brooks said: “I am thrilled to join a top-flight, innovative team in the commercial real estate industry and to partner with Ralph and Yoni to help Meridian build on its respected leadership position. I see great potential to revitalize the broker model and enhance the core engine of the firm while investing in adjacent commercial real estate capabilities and strengths. I would also like to thank my colleagues at O’Melveny for their support as I embark on this new chapter. It’s hard to leave such a talented group.”

Mr. Goodman joined Meridian in 2014 after previous positions in commercial real estate at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse First Boston. He assumed the role of President in 2019 after serving in a key leadership role leading the company’s expansion into investment sales and retail leasing. At Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, Goodman specialized in commercial real estate lending and securitization and in mezzanine and whole loan distribution.

Under Mr. Herzka’s leadership, Meridian has arranged more than $550 billion in commercial real estate financing for more than 11,000 customers since its founding. The company has repeatedly been the number one commercial mortgage broker by transaction count and a top-five broker by dollar volume.

About Meridian Capital Group

Founded in 1991, Meridian Capital Group is one of the nation’s leading commercial real estate finance, investment sales and retail leasing advisors. In 2023, Meridian closed over $27.4 billion in financing in 43 states across 269 unique lenders. Meridian represents many of the world’s leading real estate investors and developers and the company’s expansive platform has specialized practices for a broad array of property types including office, retail, multifamily, hotel, mixed-use, industrial, and healthcare and senior housing properties. Meridian is headquartered in New York City with offices in New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, Ohio, Florida, and California. Learn more at


Media Contact: Jeremy Pelofsky, FGS Global, 202-425-4643.


Media Contact: Jeremy Pelofsky, FGS Global, 202-425-4643.