Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc. on Friday said the Beverly Hills real estate investment and services company is starting a commercial lending program and has hired a veteran executive to manage it.

The executive, Joan Kramer, was hired to run what Kenney-Wilson termed its “debt origination platform.” Her responsibilities will include finding qualified borrowers and evaluating secondary loan purchases for the company.

Kramer has 20 years experience in commercial real estate, including originating, underwriting, workouts and portfolio management. Prior to joining Kennedy Wilson, she was managing director in charge of originations and asset management at Marathon Asset Management’s office in Los Angeles.

Kennedy-Wilson Inc. in September was acquired by a special purpose acquisition company, which brought a more than $248 million infusion. That money, combined with $83 million that Kennedy Wilson previously raised from institutional investors, is being used to purchase distressed properties.

Shares were up 4 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $9.31 in midday trading on the New York Alternet.

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