A Conversation with Ray Mathoda, Anchor Loans

A Conversation with Ray Mathoda, Anchor Loans

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Ray Mathoda is a seasoned CEO, social entrepreneur, and passionate visionary who now leads the charge at Anchor Loans, a lending giant with more than $13 billion in loans funded to date. Her upbringing in India, passion for genomics, identity as a member of the Desi LGBTQ+ community, and vast professional experience all give her a unique perspective on the real estate lending market. With a glance into the challenges of urban housing projects and the real estate investment landscape, this discussion sheds light on Ray’s multidimensional approach to lending and social entrepreneurship. You’ll find how her distinctive blend of passion, expertise, and empathy impacts Anchor Loans and all who cross paths with her.

Ray is a multi-time CEO and Independent Board Director with a strong track record of delivering transformational growth and exceptional value creation. In the last 10 years, Ray successfully led and transformed 5 different companies, 2 of which were subsequently sold to Fortune 500 buyers. She is currently Chief Executive Officer of Anchor Loans, a leading direct lender to real estate investors, developers, and home builders.

Ray is a social entrepreneur and business builder who co-founded a portfolio of ‘biotech for emerging markets’ businesses delivering world class genomics, synthetic biology, and clinical solutions affordably at scale to India and emerging markets in Asia, the middle East, and Africa. Companies created includes South Asia’s leading human and plant genomics companies Medgenome and Agrigenome, as well as a transformational regenerative medicine company AntlerA.

Ray is an Independent Board Director (QFE) for public and private firms leveraging 20 years of board experience spanning the public, private and non-profit sectors. Board Director at Mosaic Finance. Board Chairperson for Desi Rainbow Parents & Allies, the leading, and only national, 501c3 non-profit serving South Asian LGBTQ families and persons in the US. Prior board service includes Genesis Capital (PE, sold to Goldman Sachs in 2018), Global Property Exchange (op co Hudson & Marshall sold to Fidelity National Financial in 2017), the Housing Authority of the City of LA (2nd largest public housing agency in US), the Los Angeles LGBT Center (oldest and largest by funding LGBT non-profit in the US), and Planned Parenthood LA (non-profit).

Episode Transcript

Kevin Kim: You are listening to Lender Lounge with Kevin Kim, a podcast dedicated to helping those in the private lending industry grow, improve, and streamline their business. I’m Kevin Kim, partner at Geraci LLP, the nation’s largest private lending law firm. Join me as we chat with the best and brightest in private lending who are eager to share their years of wisdom and best practices with lenders, borrowers, brokers, investors and more. Subscribe to Lender Lounge on your favorite podcast platform and learn more about Geraci and how we can work with you at Geraci law firm. Check out the episode summary for other valuable resources.

Kevin Kim: Hey, guys, Kevin Kim here for another episode of Lender Lounge with yours truly, Kevin Kim. Today, we have the immense privilege to be interviewing our guest, Ray Mathoda, the new CEO of Anchor Loans. Thank you so much for joining the show.  Please, let’s get started right away. Introduce yourself to our audience, tell the uninitiated what is Anchor Loans, and we’ll go from there.  

Ray Mathoda: Delighted to be here, Kevin. Thanks so much for having me on. Anchor Loans is the oldest and one of the largest lenders in what is called the residential transition lending space. I have watched the company for many years from different perches, and I’m delighted to be in the firm now, leading the charge into the future.  

Kevin Kim: And please tell our audience more about yourself because a lot of us, when we saw some new different companies bring on different CEOs, they kind of brought folks that were somewhat within the industry, very well known. A lot of us don’t know who you are, Ray, so please tell us more about yourself and your background and what you’ve been doing over the years, and we’ll go from there.  

Ray Mathoda: Sounds great. So, look, I don’t know where to start here, but I’ll say I was born and brought up in India, but I am a passionate naturalized American because I’ve built a life here that I actually could not have in my home country because I’m LGBT. And that literally doesn’t work if you want to be a leader in business or politics or anything like that. Sadly, in South Asia, for now, my life is based on kind of an ethos around service and, of course, taking care of your family, but a larger focus on something called seva, or service to the community, humanity, the earth. And so I describe myself as sort of a social entrepreneur and also hired gun CEO who’s kind of had a dual career-focused, on the one hand, on healthcare. I came from a family of 40 or 45 doctors, so I’ve had a passion for biology and healthcare, and I’ve done some investing and innovation there along the US-India corridor. More for passion and doing good. My day job for the last 20 or so years after I left McKinsey has really been in housing. I’ve been in the mortgage finance industry. On the consumer side, on the business purpose side, I’ve been on the real estate side, running everything from foreclosure law firms to data and services companies and title and valuation and field services. And I have a real passion for affordable housing. I’ve been a commissioner at the Housing Authority for the city of LA and spent a few years working closely with the San Antonio Housing Authority. And so that’s an area of immense interest for me.  

Kevin Kim: What a resume. That’s a lot to talk about. I really want to kind of pick that apart. But before we do know, you mentioned Anchor being one of the oldest, and I do want to give a shout-out to the founder of Anchor Loans, who’s our very first interview on Lender Lounge, the esteemed Steve Pollock; we interviewed the very first time we did this show. It was a longer format thing, and if it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t be here today doing the show. So, I want to give a shout out to Steve for helping us get our start and be our first interview. And I’m so glad we’re able to talk to you today and for our audience, who may not be so familiar with the household name that is Anchor Loans, give us an idea of what kind of loans Anchor does, where you lend, that kind of just general kind of business perspective. And then we’ll start getting into the weeds on what your kind of focuses are going to be for the company.  

Ray Mathoda: Sounds great. I really enjoyed, by the way, that first episode of yours. I’d heard the story of Anchor for many, many years, and I’d never met this guy, Steve Pollock, because I wasn’t at Predium when the transaction happened a couple of years ago. So it was kind of a nice way for me to hear him speak about the company. So, testament to you for having this forum. So, look, Anchor operates in what I would describe as two core markets that comprise the residential transition lending market, fundamentally focused on serving developers and builders. So in a sense, we’re not quite a household name because that tends to happen when you’re a consumer lender, which we’re not. But we are very well known in the developer and builder community, especially in the markets where we’ve spent substantial time operating over the last few years. So we are big in fix and flip or renovation lending. America’s housing stock of about 100 million homes is very old. More than 50% of them are more than 40 years old. And so all of that housing stock needs to be turned and upgraded. And that upgrading of the housing stock is happening actually fairly slowly. So we see a huge opportunity in the long term opportunity to help America upgrade our housing stock because, guess what? When people buy a house, they want a fixed-up home now. The do-it-yourself generation kind of has gone. And so that’s one of our core businesses, and it feeds right into the core housing of America, and the second core business is really what I would describe as urban infill ground-up construction. And so those are the two areas we operate, and obviously, on the urban infill side, the focus was on finding these properties or pieces of land that were within urban areas but just little chunks that were undeveloped. That’s where we got our start today. We also make loans to small builders and aspire to make loans to all kinds of builders, small, medium and large. But that’s where we’ve cut our teeth, and that’s where we’ve kind of learned the market and gained market leadership.  

Kevin Kim: Yeah, and kudos to you for the humility. I mean, in the private lending hard money sector in which I’ve been living and breathing for the past, god, I don’t even know how long anymore, Anchor has been kind of the 800-pound gorilla in the room, right, oldest, longest, run, now institutional and just storied history. But the humility on your end, like, hey, when it comes to the larger residential real estate market, and I definitely appreciate that humility because it’s easy for a company like Anchor with Predium behind you to say, hey, we are that 800-pound gorilla. But you’re being very humble about it, and I really do appreciate that. So, I’d like to get into your new role and the story behind your, I guess, appointment as CEO for Anchor Loans. Now, Anchor Loans, you give us a little bit of background, before your entry and then kind of how your entry happened and where we are today. Let’s get our audience kind of getting to know Ray, the CEO of Anchor Loans, because I’m sure everyone wants to know who you are and, what you’re going to be working on for Anchor and where you’re going to push the company.  

Ray Mathoda: So the story actually kind of starts almost ten years ago.  

Kevin Kim: Ten years ago, wow.  

Ray Mathoda: Yeah. I’ll tell you the story of how I got into the residential transition lending market. I had basically left. I was at a big bank called Indiemac which was one of the largest, what would now be described as non-QM lenders in the space. But it failed and was turned into One West Bank, et cetera. So after that, I decided to, I’ll call it, “work for America for free” for several years and did a bunch of activities, policymaking, you know, working with consumers, training programs, helping figure out how to people, get people out of their homes without a deficiency, judgment, things like that. So I did a bunch of stuff for about four years, contributing to America and the recovery. And then I realized, holy cow, I’ve got this family. My wife and I didn’t have kids at the start of the Great Recession, and then suddenly we ended up with we tried for one, we got two, we tried for another, we got another two. So that was sort of my holy shit moment. I’ll call it. I got to go make some moolah and make some things happen. And so starting around circa 2012, I became what I’ll call the hired-gun CEO, a hired-gun leader who would take, I will call, either stuck or underperforming companies and figure out how to fix them, scale them up, and create value for shareholders. So along that journey, I ran into the founders of Genesis, the lady who had founded it, Trixie Weiss, Trixie Castro Weiss, and David Smith and Raila. And they really wanted me to work with them. And so, actually, what happened was I was looking for a way to get back to LA, where I’ve lived for 27 years. But at the time, I was flying to Florida every week, working with Jim Albertelli in the law area and the legal data analytics area, actually going back to some of the Geraci work in your world. And David and Trixie found me, and I basically came on to help them run both Genesis Auction and Genesis Capital. So this is where I sort of had my AHA moment. I had some friends at Oaktree from my McKinsey days, and so I was equally, I would say, brought in by Oaktree as well as the founders. The charge was to figure out how to scale this company and create enterprise value and a great return for Oaktree’s investors as well as the shareholders of Genesis. And so that’s where I sort of went, Boom. Holy cow. At this moment. You’ve got people making consumer loans at the time at like 4% 90, 95% LTV, and I looked at this industry, and people were making 60% to 70% loan to value loans at ten and two, it was like twelve to 14%. So I literally thought, holy cow. I’ve stumbled into what I describe as the crown jewel of the mortgage market, and not to mention this is fundamentally affecting America’s housing. So, I spent a few years at Genesis. I worked with the crew there, as well as Robert Wozman, who became the CEO after I left, but figured out how to scale the company, build it up, collaborated with Oak Tree, collaborated with the founders and the new team. And we were one of the first to kind of institutionalize. I think that was the first major institutional deal. So, I see a lot of people that we interacted with back then in the industry today.  

Kevin Kim: It was in ‘14. I remember the transaction. We were all at the conference. We were all at the national conference of the American Association of Private Lenders. And the news hit, and we’re like, “holy crap” – because it was almost a level of recognition for the industry. Like, oh, okay, there’s actually possibilities now. We’re no longer just a bunch of entrepreneurs trying to figure this out. There’s institutional attention. Yeah, this is a legit industry.  

Ray Mathoda: This is legit.  

Kevin Kim: And from there, oh, my goodness.  

Ray Mathoda: From there. It was still extremely challenging, Kevin, until 2017, ‘18. I mean, warehouse finance, which is now so big in the sector. And it’s funny, Travis and Derek were the first warehouse line for Genesis from Wells Fargo, and here they’ve created, like, a world changing enterprise with those guys.  

Kevin Kim: In Churchill, man, those guys have done amazing things. It’s fantastic. That’s right.  

Ray Mathoda: So those people of Dash was over there at Wells Fargo, and now he’s over at Red.  

Kevin Kim: They double down on the industry, which I love, too, because they see the future and possibilities here, and it’s fantastic to see.  

Ray Mathoda: To cut a long story short, I wasn’t there to be in the industry forever. I had run many different kind of businesses, and I had a whole range of investments along the U.S.-India corridor and Biotech. So I had a lot of other things I wanted to do. But this one business was one that I worked on from circa 2014. And then I basically realized along the way and developed a plan to go build what I call a super prime business. I basically realized there was a lot of concentration; there were a few hundred developers that were doing a lot of business, and we kind of built the Genesis model, focused on that. Part of it was informed by my Indie Mac experience, where I really wanted to build a beautiful prime, super prime business. But, warehouse finance was such a challenge. I realized when rates started rising in 2017 that we needed to do something else to enable the company to succeed and actually invest to create what was possible. And so that’s where I kind of convinced Oak Tree it was perhaps time to exit, given the structure that we had. I led the process and actually sold the company to Goldman, a bank. I knew because I’d helped Mike Perry run Indie Mac, that banks got automatic leverage. You don’t have to go lever every file in this painful process and get 60% to 70% leverage. You could get 90, 95 plus percent leverage if you had good, clean files and you were making bank-eligible loans. So actually, literally, we signed the deal as a-non bank. The day we closed, we’d converted it to a bank lender. And so, at that moment, Robert Wozman was my co-CEO, and I felt like it was his turn to run the company. This was his world. He’s operated in it for decades. And so I kind of bowed out of the race, stayed for a few months to help with the integration, and then went and ran something else. And then eventually, once I ran something else, I went and sort of retired out of that, started to do my biotech stuff and started to join some boards. But along the way, life has its way. Along the way, the Predium crew who had actually admired for many, many years since Don Mullen founded it in 2012. They kind of came and found me, and I never thought I’d get back in the little sector here that I’d left in 2018. But I really was compelled by the Predium talent, the Predium vision and alignment around vertical integration into the space and owning a platform forever, not just for a few years, to squeeze, make some juice out of the lemons and sell it, but actually own it and really build it strategically for the long term. That was always a challenge because the balance sheet platform opcode mismatch was only lost on any particular model, in my view, for a few years. So you got to kind of build a different balance sheet strategy. Once I got in and talked to Andy Pollock, who was running it at the time, and the team at Anchor, I realized we had a very special opportunity, we had a very special culture and people a set of expertise. And with the alignment with Predium and, frankly, the shakedown in the market, which makes it much more interesting from my standpoint. Going in and fighting in a super clean market and just trying to compete on price and leverage is not my idea of fun, but a challenging market where things are breaking down the lower value-added players are perhaps shrinking or getting out of business.  And the weed is separated from the shaft was something that was very interesting to me. So I started consulting with Don Mullen and Predium for a few months. Then, I got convinced that this was going to be really fun, and it helps that it’s about an hour from my house, so I don’t have to get on a plane as I had to do for most of the last ten years, to either Texas or Florida or whatever. So that’s how I got to Anchor.  

Kevin Kim: So you just mentioned something that’s really interesting to me, and I’d like to get more color on it. The idea of entering this challenging market private lending is facing, I guess, its first real, meaningful long-term challenge since COVID really as interesting and fun, and it’s engaging you. Give me some more color as to what your thinking is on that and what is it that makes it interesting and engaging for you.  

Ray Mathoda: It’s just more challenging. It’s much more challenging, I would say. It’s like I don’t enjoy the notion that everybody’s doing great, the market is flying, and the way you win business is by fighting on rate and terms. I got the lower price; I got the best institutional balance sheet. That price term discussion and the lack of stickiness comes in when you’re in a booming market. And don’t get me wrong, I like making a lot of money and having the company grow easy. So I like tailwinds, too. But I’m just saying when I see something challenging like what happened now and what happened in the Great Recession. Even more than COVID, you get the opportunity to build a much more special company. I’ll give you an example. 2021, just two years ago, the market was booming. It was impossible to locate and attract great talent. Today that is a radical change. I feel we’re putting together some of the best-of-breed world-class talent, not just from residential transition lending but from other elements of the mortgage and finance and technology markets that can be applied into our market. And so it’s much more fun to hire phenomenal talent. It’s a time to create a differentiated platform. It’s a time to gain share. If you have that stability and that right, capital markets partner like Predium, you’re in a strong, stable ownership position and you can be more proactive in going out and winning business and creating a business; as I said, that is more differentiated than has ever happened. And so that is kind of what excites me about the challenge. Sure, there’s peril, too. I want to be very careful because it’s like Back to the Future from Indie Mac 2006 2007; we’re going there’s, this location, this is going to be an opportunity for us unless there’s a panic which brings us down. And lo and behold, in 2008, the panic brought us down. So I want to be very mindful that there’s a risk for everyone at some level in a market like this. But it’s just a time when you really get to differentiate yourself from your service, from your relationship, from your scale, through your innovation, through how you serve your customers, through the cycle and innovate. People are changing; the product types are changing. What worked and made money 18 months ago doesn’t make money anymore. So you got to build and develop new products to go along with your builders and developers and help them succeed along the way. So all of those things and kind of building a team with my kind of culture, that’s another exciting thing for me. I’ve done a lot of things that have been two or three years or four years long over the last ten or twelve years, and I just wasn’t interested in another trade. I really wanted to get in there and build something sustained, and go on a longer journey. And so the idea of going on a longer journey and since I’m the CEO now and I kind of get to institutionalize this business really for the first time in many ways, even though Anchor had capital from Wafra back before Predium, is very interesting because I get to build it with my culture. You talked about humility. I don’t like ego. I don’t think any of us are frankly all that special, regardless of how much money you’re making or how important people make you feel. So I think it’s a good time to build a culture around humility, around collaboration, around combining the expertise and the minds and the people that have been experts in just this one thing for a long time and don’t know anything else. And people that know a whole lot of other things but don’t know this business very well. If you can kind of get that chemistry going, I think it’s a pretty special moment to create a business like I said, that’s not been created yet. And that excites me. Creating something that’s not a copycat of something but devising new ways to build a business and create differentiation. That’s exciting, and I would call it fun.  

Kevin Kim: That sounds fun to me. I mean, I think that’s the beauty of the show is, like, a lot of the principals that we speak with, whether small or institutional, the idea of building, the idea of growing, the idea of scaling. And it’s just kind of fascinating to me because, to the vast majority of us in the space, Anchor has made it, right? Anchor has, like, what’s more for them to do? They’ve made it right. That’s the kind of perspective, at least from my eyes, my purview. But what you’re saying is there’s so much more for us to do, and there’s so many more mountains we have to climb. And I love that because the hunger is still there. And I didn’t expect this. I’m surprised, personally, because I would be of the mind like, well, okay, they’re institutional now. The only thing would be market share, I guess, right? Garner more market share and become the 10,000-pound gorilla instead of the 800-pound gorilla. Right. Do that instead. But you’re saying develop new products, expand culture and improve culture, build the long term. There’s a lot more there than just become bigger doing the same thing. And that’s really cool to hear, but at the same time, it begs the question, and I’ve had this debate with other people. I’d like to hear what you think about it is: this space is only so big, right? And I’ve heard some people estimate it to be 50 billion. I’ve heard some people estimate it to be in the trillions. I personally don’t have an opinion as to how big it is because when we started doing DSCR, it just kind of changed the map. Right? So, from our point of view, there are probably a handful. You can probably list them on one hand of big national dominant shops and Anchors among the in the conversation. So, from a growth standpoint and dominance standpoint in the sector, is there more for you guys to do, and is there more for you guys to achieve in the sector?  

Ray Mathoda: There’s a ton for us to do. I think we just scratched the surface.  

Kevin Kim: Okay.  

Ray Mathoda: So, first of all, it depends on how you define the market. The size continues to vary. Are we looking at just private, non-bank lending that might be closer to 50 billion when you’re looking at renovation, urban, infill, ground up? Well, the banks participate in the space, too. You start to include bank lending, which, by the way, we can compete with the market goes closer to 100 billion. Okay, well, if you start working and dipping your toes into multi-family, which a number of players in this sector have for better or for worse, by the way, because it’s a tougher sector right now, given some of the supply-demand dynamics, for sure very different from a single family. That’s another 100 billion dollar market, by the way, that’s equally fragmented. So both of these 100 billion dollar markets are comprised of thousands of players who are generally not as differentiated, not as a resource to really build the people process, technology, products, infrastructure and system that is world-class and compelling. That truly adds value to borrowers. People talk about adding value to borrowers, but it’s actually pretty hard to do when you think about the substantive ways in which you do it. And I think as you’re scaling and if you want to scale and you have the money to invest, you’re going to work hard to find those areas of differentiation, number one. Number two, what I would say is when you start to look at the builder space that is even larger than the two markets I just talked about, we should be building a million plus homes a year. We’ve been building less than that. So, depending on the number you build, that number varies. But you could apply your 60-70% loan to value on the exit of those homes. That’s a massive market. Now, that’s not a private lending market. Some of it’s been private, some of it’s been a bank, some of it’s been an insurance company, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But a lot of that is now shaking loose and changing hands. And at a big-picture level, what I would say is our industry has not been getting the job done for America. We are not renovating quickly enough to get all of our housing stock in good shape in a timely fashion, and we’re not building enough housing to meet the needs. That’s why home prices have stabilized despite rates having spiked more than doubled in the last twelve to 18 months. And so we need to do a better job of accelerating and catalyzing more of the right kind of renovation and building. And that excites me that’s I think, our bigger opportunity.  

Kevin Kim: And then we’re starting to creep into kind of policy issues associated with kind of where we’re at as a country when it comes to supply and demand of housing and APL as part of its government relations committee. We’ve had discussions with congresspeople and their staff, and it seems to me that they’re very unfamiliar or ignorant to the sector at and, which makes sense, right? Compared to the banking industry, we’re a sliver, right? But on top of that, they’re not even aware. Why can’t you guys just build more? Why can’t you guys just build more? But I’d like to hear your take on what are those roadblocks to getting that done, right? Is it the availability of capital? Is it the availability of resources to the builders? Is it regulation? What is the big roadblock for our key borrowing demographic? The house flipper, the developer, the home builder? What is the roadblock for them, pragmatically speaking?  

Ray Mathoda: I mean, look, the reality is it’s all of the above plus plus. Yeah, if it was simple to solve, we would have solved it. I mean, the first thing is home builders got crushed in the Great Recession. That’s the root cause of where we are. Before the Great Recession, they were building over a million properties a year, but they got crushed so bad. This is the dislocation element that a lot of the builders went out of the space, and that were very hesitant to build after that because of what they’d experienced in the Great Recession. So I think it starts with psychology and market capacity, but then it’s all of the above. It’s a steady flow of cost-effective financing that is stable and helps you at all stages of your development, whether it’s the land piece, which is super dislocated right now. Nobody wants to lend on land. It’s a very high yield right now, whether it’s the vertical construction, whether it’s the stabilization or the long-term loan. And so there’s kind of the financing issue. There’s an issue of costs, construction costs, and construction labor. It ties right in with immigration. A lot of the people who were working in construction prior to the Great Recession left America. They were kicked out. And then, we put in place a policy that made it harder for them to come back in to provide cost-effective construction labor. So construction costs have gone up, and there have been supply chain issues as well recently. And then, of course, policy is a huge part of it. And unfortunately, a lot of the politicians you speak with cannot do much about it because there is so much local control, local NIMBYism, and local just bureaucracy, it almost seems like, and it’s interesting. I’m building a house in La Canada, in the LA area, personally with my wife, and we have had a good flavor of what is broken about the system. We bought the property three years ago, and we literally just got the final permits to start building like two months ago. Are you kidding me? That’s so uneconomic. Who’s going to hold that property and go through this excruciating development process? My neighbor could protest and slow my process down by six to twelve months. Why? I like the blue sky above your property. So, I want to take away your right to build a second story even though you own the land. He can delay my development by six months for that. Just a second story. And it’s by right, by the way. That’s my right to build. That’s right. I paid for that land if you like. The sky above it. Go buy the land, right? And you can enjoy the sky above it. You know what I’m saying? And there are mountains to look at. So I don’t know why somebody would turn left and kind of look up my house.  

Kevin Kim: Well, that seems to be the challenge we’re facing in major metros, right? And every single city that I talk to, clients that are big metro, big MSAs, are saying it’s impossible to build, not because we can’t get it done, I can build a house like that. And they always say we can get the capital to even do the land. It’s not even that being the issue; it’s the same that local regulatory zoning boards and permits, and it just takes too long to do anything. And then there’s also kind of you also have these insurance issues on top of that. But the idea of, like, I can’t get the permits to build, and then you see markets, know, Houston, Texas, where you don’t need any kind of permits to build anything. So you have divergence in the country as to where to see. And that’s kind of why you see a lot of attention being made to Texas because it’s much easier to build in Texas or Arizona as opposed to California. And I think it’s feeding the problem because I don’t want to leave this state. I love this, can’t. I can’t afford to buy my next house because the prices are too high. And then I go thinking about building my own house, and I’m like, you’re telling me it’s going to take me three years to build something? No way. So you’re right. I just don’t know. As capital providers in the private lending industry, ultimately, we are providing capital to the builders providing capital to the real estate investor. We can only do so much. I guess as someone who’s played, I was listening to some of the content you put out before, and it sounded like you had done some work on the Hill and in Washington and consulted on the issue and also in LA, it sounded like. What can our industry do to help mitigate some part of this kind of resistance or a roadblock to make it easier for our clients, the builders, to be able to do what they want to do and build more housing stock, right? What can we do as a means?  

Ray Mathoda: It’s really mean. Look, I think in a way the problem is getting so bad that politicians and policymakers are spurred to invest a lot of money. I mean, look at the bonds that California raised for homelessness and housing and look at what Gavin Newsom’s done around opening up the zoning and trying to really give people the opportunity to build by right. It’s not working everywhere. But what happens in the capitalistic market, just like you said, is things flow. The water flows to wherever. It’s downhill. If it’s uphill, it doesn’t flow that way. And so the good news is I think there is water, more water flowing downhill. And I, for the first time really in 20 years, am starting to see, I’ll call it, innovation in single-family products. There’s SB 9, which allows you to do stuff. There’s the adu laws, and they’re not solving the problem in a macro way as you’d like to because there’s so much local politics and local uphill. I’ll call it local uphill battles for people to fight. So, the good news, on the one hand, I think there is a lot more energy behind this because it has become a macro issue. I mean, even in the latest inflation data, housing is one of the biggest drivers of inflation. Why? Because there’s a lack of supply.  

Kevin Kim: People can’t afford to buy a house here. It’s simply put, they can’t. I have friends who make really good money.  

Ray Mathoda: I think the trade association in our industry can advocate for this.  

Kevin Kim: But you’re saying do it at the local level, right? Do it at the state level; do it at the local level.  

Ray Mathoda: It has to be at the local level, the mayoral level, planning commission level. And it’s a matter, and I think we should experiment a little bit. I think we should find the ten areas in the country that have the greatest need for housing that are the slowest to help us create it. I think we should figure out strategies to go attack that. And through that, we’ll build other models to be able to stimulate the same kind of activity elsewhere.  

Kevin Kim: You know the GRC is going to be giving you a call, right? They’re going to ask you for your ideas. LA is a good place to start. I mean, LA is the hardest place to start, but it’s also a good place to start. We have every single national shop in the country lends in California lends in LA County. It’s the biggest market for our space, and I think it needs a lot of help. Okay, I want to switch gears a little bit. I want to kind of get into where your views as the CEO of Anchor, and also as kind of, like I said before, the 800-pound gorilla, we’re headed into a really interesting future for our sector from a capital standpoint. As you may know, Morningstar put out their guidance for ratings. My understanding is all the investment banks are hustling and scrambling to get this, the first one out with a rate of securitization for RTL. What is your view on asking? I asked Arvind over at Kiavi, and I asked a few others lately. I’d like to know what your view on this is because you’ve got different perspectives that are unique. You have a different view on this industry than anyone I’ve ever interviewed before. So, I’d like to hear your thoughts on this incoming change. I guess you can call it for how we flow capital into the sector.  

Ray Mathoda: Look, I think rated Securitizations will be wonderful for our industry. Having an unrated Securitization is a pretty big challenge. There’s a lot of people that won’t buy that stuff, and even the securitizations that happen are often sold to a pretty narrow band of buyers. So I do think that’ll be a sea change. But I do think that’s just a continuation of the trend that has been occurring already. I mean, we’ve already got a bunch of REITs buying this product. We’ve already had banks originate the product, even Goldman, and there’s a ton of life insurance. At one point, life insurance was sort of like the new horizon of bringing funding into the marketplace. But the reality today is a lot of life insurance companies are playing in the space. So I think when the bond market comes back, it’s heavily dislocated right now, and it got worse, not better, in the last 30 or 60 days from a cost of funds and liquidity standpoint. But when the market comes back, those rated securitizations will give a huge tailwind and expand our liquidity in the industry substantially. And it’s that expanded liquidity that has really spurred the growth. I mean, I see that the sector has at least tripled in size, doubled or tripled in size just in the last five years. And that’s all been driven by the institutional capital coming in to expand the lending ability of lenders.  

Kevin Kim: Do you have a response to some of the critics out there have said this might be too much capital and start creating this almost race to the bottom mentality we saw hints of during the first entry of institutional capital into the sector? Right. We had a lot of price competition and a race to the bottom on leverage and really aggressive lending back then. Critics have said that this is heading in, that it looks like they’re heading in that direction because if you open up the bond market to every fixed-income investor that can buy this stuff now, that just means so much more capital. And is there a possibility there’s too much capital coming into the sector?  

Ray Mathoda: I don’t think that we’re going to have a problem with too much capital coming in. I’ll just say that, like, at just a very simple level, I would say it’s going to take us 100 years to renovate all of the aged housing in America if we continue at today’s pace. To catalyze more of that, more capital needs to come in. And like I said a little bit earlier, we’re only building 500 to 750,000 houses, and we’re way undersupplied, maybe by four or 5 million houses. So we got to build like a million and a half houses for a few years and then come back to a million. So I think the phenomenon you’re talking about will hopefully help to address that long-term drag that we’ve had on the undersupply. I do agree with you that the first wave of institutional capital that came in led to a race to the bottom. And frankly, I don’t think that’s good for the industry at all. It’s not that it’s bad for borrowers, by the way. They got more money for cheaper. They were able to do a lot more risky loans for cheaper.  

Kevin Kim: But we’re paying for that now.  

Ray Mathoda: The value equation shifted so that more of the value shifted away from the lender to the real estate investor. And I think that became out of balance. And so I do think there needs to be a better balance. And I think people need to retain pricing so they can have long-term healthy businesses and not just short-term businesses that then flame out, which we had a lot of that. You had a number of players and marketplaces that were adding zero value. They said if there’s a buyer on the back and I’ll originate it, well, it smells like 2006. If there’s a buyer on the back and you’ll originate it, what are you applying? Where’s your underwriting coming into play? What’s the value you’re adding? So hopefully, that kind of player won’t come back into the market and we’re only going to have value-added players, whether it be a relationship credit and underwriting asset management, whatever those expertises are. I think it’s important that we don’t have a race. I mean, there are people making 100% LTC loans. Is that even a loan?  

Kevin Kim: It’s not.  

Ray Mathoda: How is it a loan when you’re funding 100% of somebody’s business?  

Kevin Kim: You’re basically the equity.  

Ray Mathoda: Yeah, that’s right. And there are people, leaders in the industry that are doing that today.  

Kevin Kim: And that’s the interesting part. We’ve seen that situation happen before. The one thing that gives me peace of mind to some degree is the guidance on the infrastructure of the business that needs to qualify to be rated. So those loans need to come from a legitimate business with a real infrastructure, with, like you said, value add asset management, a balance sheet, blah, blah, blah. So there’s a lot of that comfort, but it still kind of gives me a little bit of I was sitting down with a client of ours who comes from Wall Street, and he’s got his own private shop now. He made that comment. I was like, you make a good point. It’s kind of scary, actually, when you think about it. But I’d like for you to expand, especially from Anchor’s standpoint.  

Ray Mathoda: But Kevin, right now I would say the lending industry needs that capital. It’s a capital constraint. In theory, there is a lot of capital out there; they were very interested, and today, there’s, I would say, less strategic capital focused on the space. There’s trading capital. People will buy loans with these incredible yields, but that’s because of the market dislocation. So, we do need more capital efficiency back in the market, and hopefully, the rated utilization will aid that.  

Kevin Kim: To stabilize the space in the long term. And you’ve been repeating that statement, right? So you’ve been repeating this concept of long-term and value-added and all that kind of tell me, what is the vision for you for Anchor to add more of that to the business, right? Because you mentioned earlier, you want to be here for the long haul, and you want to concentrate on expanding, and innovating and adding more value add. As a market leader, what do those initiatives look like for you guys?  

Ray Mathoda: So I’ll talk a little bit about the way we’ve done it in the past, and maybe I won’t talk too much about the way we’ll do it in the future because that’s a little bit of our special sauce. It takes a lot of innovation.  

Kevin Kim: Can’t let everyone know, right? Yeah, I got you.  

Ray Mathoda: Exactly. So that’s where the heart of the business is, and that’s some of the hardest stuff to do. So I’m not saying we have it all figured out, but I’m saying we got a lot of good ideas, and we got a lot of resources, and we’re going to plot and iterate and find that so far the value add has been stability, which is crucial. People step in and out. So, being a stable partner, because our developers and clients have stable operating businesses, an operating business needs steady access to capital and scalable capital. We have given people a lot of scalable capital and helped people grow. Oh, you’re doing three flips a year; let’s take you to six. You’re doing six; let’s look at your infrastructure. How do you get this business to a place where you could scale it to ten, and so on and so forth. So, we stay with people through their lifecycles and help them scale their businesses. The third thing I would do is innovate, and we’re flexible on our products and underwriting so that we can meet all of the needs of a borrower and also meet the changing needs of a borrower. The reality is that the product and the nature of the renovation that needed to happen in the depth of the great recession when there was a ton of foreclosures, was very different than what needed to happen from circa 2014 to 2018. And a lot more value add needed to happen and ground-up construction became a bigger deal. And so kind of going there and being able to people are doing small multifamily because you need density plays in a lot of urban areas, the single-family won’t work. But some of that multifamily has been being built on single-family lots. Well, that’s untraditional. That’s not true multifamily. So it’s really around sticking with that borrower, understanding that borrower’s business and being able to support them as they migrate and evolve and scale their businesses, but also providing them valuable information on maybe risk of projects or projects that don’t look good. This is something a little contrarian do you really want to tell the borrower not to do a loan because you were going to get that loan and make money off of that loan? But we sort of have the point of view that we want our borrowers to be successful, and sure, sometimes they’ll want to do deals that are less profitable just to sustain their business or because there’s a bigger reason involved. But every decision like that should be made with eyes wide open, and we want to be very careful with pointing out risk to our borrowers where we see it.  

Kevin Kim:   I’ve actually seen that firsthand. So I have a conference friendship one of your Los shout out to Lauren, and she was telling us we actually are told we can tell our borrowers, hey, that’s a bad deal, maybe you shouldn’t do that one. Here are the reasons why you shouldn’t do it and kind of work with them in that way. I was shocked, I was shocked. 

Ray Mathoda: We have a whole internal valuation group that does their own valuation on every loan that we bring in, like an appraiser. There’s also an inspection performed where somebody actually goes to that house and brings photos of the state of the interior. And so we have a pretty good idea of the value of that house and where that value is way off from the borrower that promotes a conversation.  

Kevin Kim: Every I mean, I have also seen the whole idea of helping your borrowers was. I have a client of mine on the real estate side who’s one of your guys’ borrowers. And then she had an event up in San Jose. I was there, Andy was there, Andrew Jewett was there. And we were just talking, and the story of their relationship was being unfolded to me. And I was like, this is really interesting because the flexibility and the terms of the loans were like, in these types of parameters. We’ll make these deals, we’ll look at the deal together, and we’ll figure out how to do it in the way that needs to be done. And that’s kind of what was kind of strange to me because I was like that’s usually something that a smaller shop would do in my mind, right? A smaller shop would do, a more local shop would do. I didn’t expect a shop like Anchor to do that, being institutional and national. Right. And that begs the question. 

Ray Mathoda: By the way, this is a really important point. I think that relationship with that borrower, hand-to-hand combat, actually spending 3D time with them, is crucial. There’s only so much you can do through a computer. I could tell you if I spend a few hours with the borrower, I will know with many of my borrowers whether they will do the right thing and pay us even if they go and lose money on a project or several projects.  

Kevin Kim: Right.  

Ray Mathoda: You can only know that when you’ve spent time with the borrower, you can’t know it for sure because people’s behavior could change, but there’s a different texture that comes in from the relationship standpoint. And as we institutionalize and scale nationwide, I do think that’s one of the important elements for borrowers to consider. Because when it’s a computer-driven relationship, it can go just as quickly as it comes. But when it’s a human being that’s dedicated to being with you and has the stated agenda of being with you and supporting you, it kind of becomes a different texture and relationship and it should be less price and term-sensitive.  

Kevin Kim: Well, to me it sounds like you’re bucking the statement that commoditization is important to the sector. Right? The idea of widgets and doing it through a computer and automation and all that is what I’ve associated with the institutional shops and the national shops because they want commoditization. That’s what I’ve been thinking. That’s what I’ve been told, really. Right. And they’ve been echoing that sentiment because they want to be able to fit it in that box. But that’s not what you’re saying. And how does a company that your size manage that?  

Ray Mathoda: That’s right. You won’t have quality and efficiency on the front end if you don’t do the pieces that we’ve kind of talked about. So I do think you need that standardization on the back end so people can trust what they got. But I do think you got to keep to build a great business on the front end. You can’t just go; everyone’s a cookie-cutter. The truth is we’re a small business lender. These are all small businesses, and each one’s a little different and each sponsor is a little different. And so there’s a combination of that. It’s not just a cookie-cutter thing. Everybody’s business model is a little different. How they do it is different. How they have their teams and labor is different. Are they in-house? Are they outsourced? Do you have them locked and loaded so they just work for you, or are you sharing teams? There’s so much nuance there. So I think it’s important that we don’t lose our focus on that nuance even as we create the backend standardization at scale.  

Kevin Kim: Okay. Okay. And that begs another question, is a lot of us don’t know the current structure of Anchor. We don’t really know when Steve Pollock was at the helm. When we did the interview, It was kind of widely known that it was mostly balance sheet, defund driven, then Wafra some Securitization work and he kind of laid it all on the table once the Predium sale happened. It’s unclear as to how is the company primarily balance sheet? Is the company primarily capital markets securitization driven? What’s the structure from that standpoint?  

Ray Mathoda: I think the key from here, Kevin, for us, and it’s an evolving landscape on where we exactly land is actually there’s not going to be one simple strategy, multiple verticals because none of that works. Yeah, it works for two or three years and it doesn’t work. So you have to have what I’ll call it diversity and stability and liquidity non-bank lenders go away because that one source of funding doesn’t work. Then you’re crushed and unless you find another source you’re going to die.  

Kevin Kim: Well that’s the lesson learned from COVID right? In this current cycle, even if one.  

Ray Mathoda: Of the exits is your best option, how do you keep some other exits and strategies? Whether it’s securitization, whether it’s balance sheeting doesn’t have to be with us, it could be in a premium managed fund or vehicle for somebody else third-party loan sales. It’s frankly all of the above from here on and it’s more a matter of dynamically adjusting and iterating on that strategy so that you build sort of the best, most solid, most reliable and scalable source of balance sheet funding on the back end.  

Kevin Kim: Well, I want to shift gears a little bit and kind of get more into you Ray. First of all, I’m really excited because now this is the fourth interview I’ve had with an Asian American of all the shows that I’ve done. So as a Korean American myself, I can name them, and it’s great and it’s fantastic to see Asian Americans in C-level positions but even more fantastic to see someone who is leading the 800-pound gorilla in the industry. And how’s that like for you? Is there anything that you bring from your heritage and your culture to leading an organization like Anchor? Right.  

Ray Mathoda: Deeply I would say my leadership style is deeply affected and informed by my Asian and Asian American background. And it’s really the combination of the Asian and the American where I think that exciting special sauce comes in. I mean, the leadership culture. Start at the top. I was talking about; I’m a big believer in kind of the Vedism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, ilk of not just spirituality but living life and leadership. And that goes to fundamental principles of how I conduct myself from an ego ability access standpoint with the team. It’s a more humble Asian culture that we’re building. It’s less of a swashbuckling American culture in some way. And more of a deeper, humble, family-oriented growth mindset kind of Asian leadership culture in many ways, other ways. Frankly, the way I look at the business is totally informed by again some of those Buddhist Yogic principles. There’s this adage, I mean actually Yoda, even Yoda comes into it because he used a Yogic line. But there’s sort of this notion of live in the market, living in reality as it is versus as you want it to be. That’s kind of one of my mantras because very easy to get into the reality you wish and start to see everything with a lens. And so a lot of what I do is try to focus on that Buddhist Hindu, you can call it. It’s all eastern kind of mindset of trying to stay back a little bit and observe reality as it is. And then there’s another Asian principle around that Yoda that I mentioned, around Yoda where he said do, there is no try. That’s a very Eastern way of thinking. I was telling our COO I have a phenomenal COO that I was able to bring on, I think, one of the best construction leaders in the nation, Jim Fraser, all the way back from indie Mac to being at banks and non-banks and then being at Built, a tech company. And we were talking about some of the challenges in the market. And I said, I talked about sort of the ocean and waves analogy, which is very, very common in mindfulness, and some of the Eastern ways of thinking. And that’s a lot of what we’re doing. Living in the moment, riding the wave, thinking long term, humbly, without thinking we’re better or smarter. And so I actually think the Asian American thing has a pretty big influence, and I think it’s interesting. In California, our employee base is so diverse.  

Kevin Kim: I love that, too.  

Ray Mathoda: There are so many people from so many different cultures, and it resonates with them. There’s sort of an equality and a lack of ego and inclusion. I met somebody the other day. She works in our data analytics team, which is one of our more interesting and exciting efforts. And she talked about how she was stressed, but she didn’t feel it in her body. She was enjoying it. There’s a lot of pressure because I think data has a lot of value in the business, so there’s a lot of stuff they have to do. But she sort of made the statement, this is a slightly more mature person who said, but I really like it. I really like it. I feel like I want to do it. And that’s a very different culture than even the culture. It’s interesting for me to contrast it with my start in the mortgage industry 20 years ago with one of the best leaders I ever worked with, Mike Perry, who fundamentally created that and, frankly, got unfairly crushed at the end. But that culture was tough. It was a work hard, play hard, but people didn’t respect other people’s time. I show up on time to my meetings. I don’t show up five minutes late. I don’t think it’s okay for me to make everybody wait five minutes at every meeting. And so a lot of those subtle things, I think, add up to help create a more healthy, human-oriented culture that is still very ambitious and wants to achieve great things, but do it in the right way.  

Kevin Kim: Yeah, and I saw it firsthand when I saw Lauren at a conference. She was just glowing about you joining the team, and she was telling me, yeah, I’ve sat down with you. Sat down with what? Because I’m thinking more, my brain is going more like, okay, they’re like a bank now. Right. And then obviously, as a former loan officer, I never got to sit down with the CEO of a bank. Right.  

Ray Mathoda: I interview every originator we hire.  

Kevin Kim: Right. And she said I can talk to her. I’ve had meetings with her. I’m like, this is fantastic because of that level of humility in the organization. And I’m really impressed by it because in our sector, there’s a lot of ego and there’s a lot of this kind of Wall Street mentality, kind of I call it the rose-colored glasses, thinking that, yeah, the reality that they want you said it before.  

Ray Mathoda: Exactly what I was referring to.  

Kevin Kim: Oh, yeah. This is how I view the world. Therefore, it must be that it’s really not that man. And there’s a lot of challenges that you’re going to face, and you did face because of the way you think and have an open mind as to kind of how this business can be run and how this business can scale and how this business can succeed. It was really cool for me to hear from you because it’s very rare for me to interview another Asian American on the show, let alone a CEO, but also just kind of expressing that level all the way through the organization of imparting those values. So, thank you for sharing that. Another big thing is you’ve been really active outside of real estate. It’s almost like you have there’s two versions of Ray, right? There’s the real estate Ray, and then there’s the medical industry. So, this is more of a personal question: tell us more about that biotech and all that because you were very involved. And I started looking at your bio, and the majority of the information out there was about your involvement in biotech and involvement in India. And what is all this about? What are you doing on that side of the world?  

Ray Mathoda: You know, what happened was, like I was telling you, I grew up in a family with a lot of doctors only because there was no capitalism in India in the 80s. Very little. So the doctor control C, control V was like my family’s formula.  

Kevin Kim: Same thing with my family. I’m the first lawyer in my family. They’re all doctors.  

Ray Mathoda: Yeah, right. So it kind of started there, and actually, I was headed to med school, but my dad was in the IRS, and he used to run the IRS eventually, and through my conversations with him, I realized how broken our Indian economic system was. So I got more interested in how do you grow the size of the pie? What was happening in India pre 1990s and really 2000s when the capitalism really kicked in was the pie was fixed. It was growing very slowly. So everybody’s fighting over the same scraps. I gotta move your cheese to have any cheese. Well, that’s a. Pretty unhealthy environment, zero-sum game. But if that pie can grow, then you can get some cheese, and I can keep my cheese and maybe have a little bit more, and it all becomes a much more healthy, positive reinforcement cycle. And so I came to America to study capitalism and then eventually ended up staying here because I fell in love with a woman and realized I’m LGBT. And one of the negative sides of our Asian and Asian American culture is we’re not very accepting, on average, of LGBT people. So what that did was I was planning to go back to India, run a business, run for office. I grew up in a part of India that was very politically sensitive. I come from the Sikh community. I had been part of riots that happened that were very, very unfair in 1984, where thousands of people from my community were killed and abused with no support from the police or the army. And I felt I wanted to become part of that system and change it. But that was taken away from me when I decided to live my truth as a lesbian executive and entrepreneur. Since that was taken away, I became an American, and I built a whole different life. And I would tell you, I’m more passionate about America than I think first-generation immigrants tend to be very passionate because we see that stark contrast in many ways. And certainly, I would not be a CEO. I think it would be very challenging to be a lesbian CEO in India. So I built my journey here, and that journey happened to be around housing, completely coincidentally. And so I got involved in all aspects of housing mortgage, real estate, affordable housing, to have kind of a 360 view. But I still had this desire and love for India. I love my family. I love my friends, even though some of my family rejected me for many years. I have this great love for India and a desire to make a contribution to that great country that I grew up in. It’s not my home now, but it’s my mother, right? And so what eventually happened was actually toward the back end of that Great Recession, one of my business partners and colleagues that I’d had for a long time, who I trusted, decided to form a genomics company with another one of his tech partners. And the reason this made sense was because with the advent of genomics, AI math technology became a core part of biotech and that world. Each genome is so much data you actually need technologists, mathematicians, statisticians, and AI machine learning specialists to actually analyze that. And so the feeling was, with the genome, technology and biology have intersected. I always had a passion for biology. I started to read up and understand this genomics world, and the idea was, let’s go innovate and create solutions, genomically driven solutions, now that we can map the code of humans and plants and animals to make a difference for India because this technology is so expensive, it’s not going to be available to the people at the bottom of the pyramid. And so we ended up creating I became a founding investor in company called MedGenome, which was set up to figure out how to deliver value from human genomics to Indians. Then, we ended up creating a company called AgriGenome, which was focused on trying to create better plants and seeds, like rice that’s more durable or more productive. Actually, that’s something that we created a rice that was like 40% more productive than one of the most commonly eaten rice in South India. Or tomato that looks better and has better flavor, or gluten-free rice. So we started to work on those kinds of things, and then that just spun out. We started to work on drugs. There’s something called bio betters. There’s been a big trend into biologics and injectable drugs, but those drugs are incredibly unaffordable for Indians. So we thought now, with protein engineering technology, again technological advances, we should be able to apply protein engineering to create a better version of an expensive drug, cheaply in India, to offer it to Indians. And so I got it. So that was really what it was. I was mostly a funder, but because I had been McKinsey and I’ve done a lot of healthcare at McKinsey, in fact, I was a co-leader of their healthcare practice on the West Coast. Before I came to housing. I knew a lot of people in the sector. Yeah, I did that at McKinsey as well. So I was kind of able to connect the dots of India, my family, my McKinsey network and knowledge with this new technology wave and opportunity to try to make a difference for India and Indians, because I really couldn’t go and move there. And so that was sort of what happened, and it sort of ended up being a parallel track. And I got really passionate about it because a lot of it started to succeed. And I would say MedGenome is India’s leading human genomics company today.  

Kevin Kim: And I mean, my understanding is the advancements in, I guess you can call it, it’s not medicine, it’s more long-term health and preventative medicine because of our understanding of the human genome, particularly for pockets of the Asian world, because we have different proclivities have come from this type of research. So you’re not only creating opportunity in your motherland but also creating a means for people to better understand their health and India and Korea have similar proclivities for diabetes, high blood pressure and all that kind of stuff. And it sounds like this is going to help in the long term from a preventative standpoint, because now we understand proclivities and genomes.  

Ray Mathoda: That’s right. It is one of the contributing factors that’s actually a really nuanced and important point you made I mean one of the big businesses of MedGenome is simply providing genetic testing. Turns out us Asians, certainly Indians, we married into super tight bands. Like in my family nobody had ever married anybody other than a Jut Sikh, one kind of Sikh. And there are people who basically wouldn’t marry their cousins, which they do in Pakistan and other parts of the world but in India, they would marry in closely knit villages and communities and it turns out what happens because of that is two very important things. One very bad thing, which is that you have a vast increase in the incidence of rare disease. So that’s very painful because people have these horrible conditions, and they don’t know what it is. So one of the things we do is alleviate that pain and provide people transparency on what their problem is. We work in rare diseases, we work in cancer. I mean, cancer has become basically a precision medicine game now it’s not about the organ where you got the cancer it’s about the genetic mutation that you have.  

Kevin Kim: You can predict it in the cancer.  

Ray Mathoda: So that’s sort of like driving a lot of the medical advances in that arena. Neonatology when you’re having a baby I got four babies out of assisted reproduction you want to know if your baby’s healthy or not and certainly infectious disease. We have the only test in India that checks for all forms of TB and gives you a comprehensive result. Otherwise, TB is one of the very challenging things.  

Kevin Kim: Absolutely.  

Ray Mathoda: On the one hand you can do that type of stuff but you’re exactly right even though we have different phenotypes, we look different, we have different diseases, we have different variants that are in us. Our biology works the same, whether you’re Asian, African, Caucasian, et cetera, Hispanic. And so the findings, it turns out, by studying cohorts of people from South Asia over a period of time, you can now make novel discoveries that you could not make in European populations because those variants are not seeable. But you can make discoveries that then could result in a brand new solution. And actually, we’ve got just that kind of work going on at Met Genome, like you described, and we made a discovery in one of our collaborations in Parkinson’s. And so it’s a long game. I mean, making a discovery and making a drug out of that shit just making a drug is ten-plus years, so once you’re going from the discovery side, it’s a very long game, and that’s not steady cash flow. So actually that’s exactly what the business is doing, combining the more steady diagnostic business with the less steady but potentially very high-value research, genetic research and drug development business.  

Kevin Kim: So cool and it’s very rare to see whenever I interview people in the space. I don’t see this difference in what they’re doing beyond they’re primarily in real estate; they kind of live and breathe real estate. But this is a divergent thing. But it’s a cool thing that you’re doing because it’s not only impacting your home country for the better but also could possibly cure some, I mean, possibly cure cancer. Who knows? Right? So fantastic.  

Ray Mathoda: Yeah, absolutely.  

Kevin Kim: Well, last kind of area I want to get into is you individually; what does Ray do personally? What do you do in your downtime when you’re not running Anchor or being in this investor in India for this genome company? What are you doing in your own time and what gets you excited these days?  

Ray Mathoda: I’m blessed with just kind of an incredible life. I have a wife that I never thought I could have, and I have four children, which I never thought I would have.  

Kevin Kim: A lot of kids.  

Ray Mathoda: And so we have a dog. We sadly lost one. We used to have two. We have two African sulcate tortoises. We got a rabbit.  

Kevin Kim: Wow.  

Ray Mathoda: Family is expansive and interesting and my first priority. Nothing more motivational in your life than having kids. If you’re not that money-motivated, you will become more money-motivated. That’s kind of what happened to me. I was like, holy shit, I got a lot of bills. I got to go make some moolah.  

Kevin Kim: Sure. How old are your kids, by the way?  

Ray Mathoda: The kids are we got two sets of twins, so we got 13-year-olds and almost eleven-year-olds. Wow.  

Kevin Kim: Oh, you’re in it now. You’re in teenage years.  

Ray Mathoda: Big time.  

Kevin Kim: Big time.  

Ray Mathoda: So family, I would say, comes first and then I love doing, I love my friends. Indians tend to be very friend oriented and so I’m really into my kind of friendships and having fun and drinking and partying. I come from the part of India that parties.  

Kevin Kim: Oh, I know.  

Ray Mathoda: And so I got to fill my own cup and so I fill my own cup with working out to feel healthy. I’m now in my late 40s, and so it’s that time where it’s important to build that strength and stability. So I enjoy working out. I meditate every day, big into meditation and mindfulness. And I think that’s one of the key ways to destress and kind of keep your eye on the ball and things like that. And the last thing I’ll say is I absolutely love Bollywood movies and music. I listen to it every day, and I watch a lot of Bollywood movies. And I also love sports content. Actually, one of the things that’s come up in the last ten or 15 years is that I didn’t grow up around American sports, but I’m very sporty. In fact, I was a national-level swimmer in India in the 80’s, so I have a great deal of interest in sports. And so there’s been an explosion in content, sports-related content, which we were watching the Beckham series yesterday. About David Beckham, the soccer player. And there’s all these all or nothings or whatever. So I love watching that kind of stuff. Sports or Bollywood that’s my jam.  

Kevin Kim: All right. I love it. Fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing all that lovely information about you and your family and also your passions outside of real estate. And it’s really cool to learn more about CEOs and principals on the show beyond their views in the market. And you gave us such interesting views and unique views. So I really, really want to say thank you for joining us on the show today. That’s about all the time we have for this episode of Lender Lounge.  

Kevin Kim: So, for our audience, please tune in for this episode, and I will see you on the next one. Thank you very much, Ray.  

Ray Mathoda: You bet. Look forward to it. Thanks, Kevin.  

Kevin Kim: Cheers.  
Kevin Kim: You’ve been listening to Lender Lounge with Kevin Kim, brought to you by Geraci LLP, the nation’s largest private lending law firm. Geraci is the leading legal resource for specialty lenders, asset-based lenders, private lenders and non-bank institutions. Learn more about the firm at www.geracilawfirm.com. Check out our episode summary to subscribe to our Lender Lounge newsletter and our law firm newsletter, where you can get notified about new episodes and recent content directly from our expert attorneys. In addition, we’d love it if you follow Lender Lounge with Kevin Kim on YouTube, your favorite podcast platform, and on LinkedIn, where you can also check out updates from Geraci LLP. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time on Lender Lounge with Kevin Kim. This is Kevin Kim signing off.