Paul Swenson

Paul Swenson, a partner at the Danbury law firm of Riefberg, Smart, Donohue & NeJame, has joined the Stamford office of Stewart Title Guaranty Co.

“Obviously, we have mixed emotions,” said Larry Riefberg, who has been a partner of Swenson’s since 1998. “We are thrilled at the opportunity for Paul to join the national underwriter and truly saddened that he is leaving us at this time.”

Swenson joins Houston-based Stewart as its Connecticut state underwriting counsel in Stamford.

“We are thrilled that such a prominent attorney and member of the community has agreed to join our team,” said Harry Hayes, senior vice president and manager of the Colonial Division of Stewart. “Paul will be an instant asset with his statewide contacts and intimate knowledge of the entire real estate and title process. We welcome him and are confident that Paul will assist us in our goal of servicing our attorney agents and expanding the Connecticut market.”

Established in 1893, Stewart provides title insurance and related real estate services through more than 8,000 policy-issuing offices and agencies in the United States and abroad. With its state office in Stamford, Stewart is an expanding global company committed to delivering state-of-the-art real estate information services, software and solutions to its clients.

Attorneys Swenson, Riefberg and Steve Smart all graduated from Danbury High School in 1976 and have remained good friends since that time.

Swenson graduated from Central Connecticut State University and the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, Calif., in 1986. While attending law school, Paul worked for the former INA insurance company (now CIGNA) and met his wife Shirley there.

“I am excited about joining the Stewart team in Connecticut and I will miss my friends at Riefberg, Smart,” Swenson said. “The great news is, I will be serving all the real estate attorneys in Connecticut and that includes Riefberg, Smart.”

Swenson joins the established legal team at Stewart’s Connecticut office, which includes attorneys Bruce Hawley, Christopher Lawrence and Al Strazza.

CBA Names VP

Stamford-based CBA Commercial has appointed Jeffrey Pirhalla vice president of its Mid-Atlantic Region.

In his new position, Pirhalla, 41, will coordinate CBA Commercial’s sales and marketing efforts in Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. His responsibilities will include developing strategic alliances with mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers and other financial institutions. He will be based in Charlotte, N.C.

Before joining CBA Commercial, Pirhalla was Southeast regional vice president for Tampa, Fla.-based Impac Commercial Capital Corp. and was responsible for loan production in seven states.

Prior to that, Pirhalla was first vice president for SunTrust Banks’ Commercial Real Estate Finance Group in Tampa. Previously he founded and served as president of LendingApps Inc., a Woodland Hills, Calif., commercial mortgage technology company. He also has held executive positions at JPMorgan Mortgage Capital and Provident Capital Funding.

Pirhalla is a member of the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. He is also a state faculty instructor for the Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers. He attended Pennsylvania State University.

“Jeff brings a multitude of skills to this position,” said Scott Rielly, executive vice president at CBA Commercial. “He will add tremendous value to our relationships with our banking partners.”

CBA Commercial is a specialized mortgage investment firm that purchases and securitizes small-balance multifamily, commercial and mixed-use mortgage loans. Its nationwide CBAC Authorized Lender program provides standard loan documentation, standard underwriting guidelines, online processing, appraisals and environmental insurance for loans ranging from $100,000 to $3 million.