Justin Cooper is the Founder and CEO of Layla Capital. Mr. Cooper began his career at Silo Financial Corp., a private commercial bridge lender based in Stamford, Connecticut, where he underwrote, sourced, and asset managed bridge loans. After Silo, Mr. Cooper joined Stabilis Capital Management, a $1.7 billion+ distressed debt and lending fund based in New York City. At Stabilis, Mr. Cooper managed a portfolio of 50+ assets across the continental U.S. He later worked with the firm’s managing principal to launch the fund’s private lending strategy, where he built a team and grew the originations business from the ground up. Following Stabilis, Mr. Cooper worked as Vice President of New Gables Capital, where he focused on originating senior secured first mortgage bridge loans, mezzanine loans and preferred equity investments in the $1M to $40M range. Mr. Cooper holds Bachelor of Science Degrees in Finance and Accounting, magna cum laude, as well as a Master of Science in Finance from Syracuse University. He resides with his wife and two children in New York City.

Peter J. Paladino


Peter Paladino has over 10 years of commercial real estate property underwriting and lending experience, as well as a successful track record in REIT portfolio analysis and asset allocation. Mr. Paladino has previously focused on commercial property transactions ranging from $20 million to $50 million in deal size, throughout the United States. His background as an attorney and financial analyst has allowed him to excel in roles that have involved both structuring and making investments throughout the capital stack. Mr. Paladino is responsible for lending and closing transactions totaling of over $300 million over the past 18 months. He has previously worked at Stan Johnson Company, as well as affiliates of U.S. Bancorp and American Realty Capital, LLC, in a management capacity, responsible for both lending and portfolio investments.

Mr. Paladino has earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from The Pennsylvania State University and a Juris Doctor, with a focus on contract and property law, from Villanova University School of Law. He is an active member of the New York State Bar, as well as the American Bar Association and an alumnus of the Urban Land Institute.



Jeff Grasso is Vice President of Investment and Development at Silverstein Properties, Inc. In this position, he is responsible for sourcing, capitalizing, and executing acquisition, development, and corporate investments in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Jeff also manages Silverstein Properties’ EB5 Regional Center. Prior to joining Silverstein, Jeff worked in the portfolio management group of ING Clarion Capital, a $5 billion AUM credit opportunity fund. He was responsible for the acquisition and asset management of an ABS portfolio in addition to acquiring and originating high yield whole loans. Jeff received a B.S. in Accounting, Finance, and Real Estate from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. He is a member of the Kuhn Real Estate Center Advisory Board at Syracuse University and a full member of the Urban Land Institute.