Private Lender Law revamps Pitbull Conference, popular private lending event

Jonathan Hornik, the managing partner of Private Lender Law, the practice group of LaRocca Hornik Rosen & Greenberg, and mayor of Marlboro, purchased the Pitbull Conference late in 2022. Now, as the owner of the largest, private real estate lending conference in the country, Hornik has revamped the event to focus on networking for deal-making, education and entertainment.

The first conference to reflect these changes will take place March 25-27 in Key Biscayne, Florida.

New additions have been implemented to the 57th edition of Pitbull Conference.

“The redesign of the conference agenda comes from feedback from a lot of people in the space — private lenders, sponsors, brokers and real estate investors — those who want to do business,” Hornik said. “To do that, you have to create the right environment. People come to conferences to meet others who will help and improve their business opportunities, and the only way they’ll meet them is if they’re all in the same place at the same time. We want to fill the conference hall with people who want to make deals.”

Hornik shared that two exclusive networking sessions were added to this year’s program.

“We’ve added two exclusive networking sessions,” Hornik said, “so, for those who are there to do business, you’ll do business.”

Hornik also said this year’s educational opportunities — another area in which Pitbull Conference is regarded as a paramount private lending industry event — are the best yet. In particular, Harry Markopolos, the forensic accounting investigator who uncovered Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, will speak at the conference and talk about fraud in the industry. Chris Porter of John Burns Real Estate Consulting will provide a state-of-the-market presentation, and there will be marquee panels on capital markets, direct lending and service spaces.

“Attendees can expect to meet and learn from top professionals in the private lending space,” Hornik said, “Aggregators, investors, originators, direct lenders, service providers, borrowers and brokers. Everybody attending is looking to see what’s going on in the space and open their eyes to new possibilities. When you’re talking to like-minded colleagues within your space, you can learn, and that’s the point.”

After Pitbull Conference wraps up each day, Hornik said there will be plenty of opportunities to network and continue conversations at cocktail parties and an all-inclusive afterparty at El Tucán in Miami.

While the conference has historically traveled to different locales throughout the U.S., Hornik said Pitbull Conference is returning to Florida because of the state’s active private lending market.

Hornik and Private Lender Law acquired Pitbull Conference and the National Private Lenders Association in late 2022. Pitbull’s founder, Leonard Rosen, also founded the NPLA, through which members collaborate and exchange ideas and information on the role of private lending in successful real estate opportunities both in the U.S. and abroad. Hornik said the NPLA will play a substantial role in the 57th Pitbull Conference.