April 30, 2012 at 12:12 PM EDT
The Beacon Council Honors Benworth Capital Partners as Financial Services Company of the Year

The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade’s official economic development entity, honored Benworth Capital Partners as Financial Services Company of the Year at the 10th Annual Beacon Awards, held on April 25th at a dinner of nearly 1,000 business, civic and government leaders on the field of the new Marlins Park in Miami. Headquartered in Coral Gables, Benworth Capital Partners is a privately-held real estate investment and management firm focused on asset-based lending and real estate services, and is among the region’s largest private mortgage lenders. The company provides services to clients, investors and borrowers across Florida to finance, acquire, manage and develop residential, commercial and income-producing property.

The annual Beacon Awards recognize outstanding businesses and organizations for their significant contributions to the local economy in the areas of job creation, business expansion and investment, corporate citizenship and industry leadership. Along with Benworth Capital Partners, University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala was honored with the prestigious Jay Malina Award, presented to a local executive who has done the most to enhance Miami-Dade through professional success and civic participation.

Benworth Capital’s strong growth in South Florida’s real estate finance and real estate services sectors, its business expansion, ability to attract top talent, and its strong record of impactful community leadership all contributed to the firm’s selection, according to Alan Becker, chairman of the Beacon Council. “As an industry leader in financial and real estate services, Benworth Capital is making significant contributions to Miami’s economy through its industry stewardship and vision. Its business approach is one that leads the way for other companies in the sector, and Benworth’s leaders are among the finest professionals and corporate citizens in our community,” said Mr. Becker.

Since its founding in 2008, Benworth Capital’s real estate finance division has pursued a business model designed to mitigate risk and, as a result, has built one of the most successful private lending entities in Florida. The company has since expanded its lines of business to include real estate-related services. Benworth Capital Partners was founded by Bernie Navarro and the firm has quickly become one of Florida’s top real estate finance and investment firms. In 2011, Jeff Bartel, a former senior corporate executive at NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE) and its Florida Power & Light (FPL) subsidiary, joined the firm as chairman. Mr. Bartel also currently serves as managing director of Hamptons Group LLC, a private equity and private debt firm based in Coral Gables.

“We are pleased that, in the past year, Benworth Capital’s assets under management have doubled, and we anticipate continued organic and opportunistic growth, fueled by a gradually improving economic picture, rising demand for capital, and the addition of seasoned team members to service our growing clients and investors in our lines of business,” said Jeff Bartel, chairman of Benworth Capital Partners.

As part of its core business values, Benworth Capital is focused on “doing well by doing good,” and its executives are passionate about community service and citizenship. Benworth Capital’s president, Bernie Navarro, serves as president of the Latin Builders Association, the largest Hispanic construction trade and real estate association in the nation. Jeff Bartel, Benworth Capital’s chairman, serves on the boards of numerous statewide and regional non-profit entities including the United Way, the Collins Center for Public Policy, the Orange Bowl Committee and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. Benworth Capital’s senior vice president Henry Jimenez serves as president of the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana, the second largest Kiwanis chapter in the world.

Benworth Capital envisions continued growth and the firm is looking forward to providing additional investor opportunities in the near term. “With many borrowers still unable to secure traditional institutional financing for sound investments, our real estate finance and private lending division is originating loans for purchase, development and construction of single-family homes and commercial properties. As we see heightened interest among international and domestic investors and as the economic picture in Florida continues to improve, we believe Benworth Capital is well-positioned both as a preferred source of financing for qualified borrowers and as an opportunity for qualified investors in the real estate sector,” said Bernie Navarro, president of Benworth Capital Partners.

About Benworth Capital Partners

Benworth Capital Partners is a privately-held real estate investment and management firm focused on asset-based lending and real estate services, and is among the region’s largest private mortgage lenders. Headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida, the company’s private lending division is among the region’s most dynamic, offering individuals and businesses that meet the firm’s strict lending criteria and underwriting standards with alternative and conventional financing for the purchase and development of residential, commercial and income-generating assets. In addition to asset-based real estate finance, the company provides real estate services to help clients acquire, capitalize and protect the value of real estate. Benworth’s disciplined approach to real estate assets and private lending creates investment opportunities for strong returns with a low risk profile in today’s ultra-low interest rate environment and volatile stock market conditions. For more information about Benworth Capital Partners, visit www.benworthcapital.com.

Contacts:

For Benworth Capital Partners
Schwartz Media Strategies
Tadd Schwartz, 305-807-3612
or
Aaron Gordon, 305-962-3292
or
Yudi Fernandez, 305-725-8262
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