Meridith Baer Eric Clement Afshin Etebar Spencer Rascoff Zaya Younan
BUSINESS LEADERS WEIGH IN
From Las Ventanas to Clinique La Prairie, how global business is pushing through the pandemic C-SUITE QUARTERLY LOS ANGELES | NEW YORK REAL ESTATE & FINANCE Q2 2020
Fiona Ma, Treasurer, State of California, on how to reboot the economy
Visionary of the Year
MIKE MELDMAN From dealing cards post-college to founding Discovery Land Company— which operates 23 of the world’s most exclusive private club and resort communities—and a $1B celebrity tequila brand, Mike Meldman has recession-proofed his business and redefined the luxury real estate market
PLUS: More than a dozen escapes to find serenity—and space; how Kim Gordon elevates residential interiors; golf courses to play right now; Gail Simmons helps the at-home chef; what home looks like as the new office; and how the wealthiest are funding COVID-19 relief efforts OUR C-SUITE ADVISORS™: Protecting your financial health; remote-work insights; estate planning in a pandemic; new business opportunities in a crisis
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Features Q2 2020: Vol. 12 No. 2 Los Angeles and New York Real Estate & Finance
VISIONARIES 42 AFSHIN ETEBAR With more than 600 luxury residential units slated for completion by 2021, Afshin Etebar and Etco Homes are giving luxury an urban edge with creative designs and bold locations.
49 ZAYA YOUNAN Zaya Younan came to the United States from Iran alone and essentially penniless. Now his family’s buildings soar over American cities and their castles are the toast of France.
46 SPENCER RASCOFF Spencer Rascoff had incredible success co-founding tech giants like Hotwire and Zillow—all by age 30. Now, he’s combining his eclectic experience to propel his new endeavor: the Los Angeles–based tech news site, dot.LA.
VISIONARY OF THE YEAR
By Fiona Ma Treasurer, State of California
52 44 40
TOC - Visionaries
MERIDITH BAER How Meridith Baer created a home-staging business at age 50 that is now worth upward of $100M.
MIKE MELDMAN’S career has taken him from dealing cards to selling farmland, and most recently, to doing billion-dollar
34 COVID-19 IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO REBOOT MORE THAN OUR ECONOMY Working together during troubled times will do more than get us through the current crisis.
deals with George Clooney. But you’re most likely to know him as your favorite celebrity’s favorite real estate developer.
ERIC CLEMENT After doing private equity deals in places as remote as South Sudan, a jet-setting Oxford grad chose a government job in New York to be a part of a finance “SWAT team.”
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14 Tech and Gadgets These seven home-tech products can spice up your current routine and may be exactly what your life has been missing—even if you didn’t know it.
18 Water Incomparable amenities and a philanthropic mission make owning a piece of the world’s largest private superyacht an enticing proposition.
15 Cigars Honoring the theme of real estate, we have chosen five rare and distinct cigars, whose tobacco origins are exclusive regions where cultivation of the world’s finest tobaccos yields the finest smokes.
19 Air As the largest amphibious aviation company in the world, Tropic Ocean Airways specializes in getting travelers to far-flung places easily, quickly, and with little environmental impact.
16 Wine The president and principal of Wally’s shares his ideas for drinking and dining in the virtual space. 17 Spirits A distinct California gin is inspired by the gray whales that travel the Golden State’s coastline. 21
20 Watches These classic vintage wristwatches have withstood the test of time.
TOC - Departments
22 Land Chevrolet elevates the Tahoe and Suburban, transforming them into even more luxurious rides. 23 Furnishings From bespoke interiors to spec homes with a custom feel, designer Kim Gordon creates residential havens that defy market trends.
24 COVID-19 csq.com Special Edition: Business Leaders Weigh In We reached out to our community of leaders across a range of industries for their firsthand insights into how the crisis has affected them. More than 50 dynamic leaders have been profiled in our extensive web section. Preview it here.
28 Visionary Alumni in Real Estate & Finance 30 Of Note News and Briefings
35 Real Estate & Finance NG 10 Our NextGen 10 Real Estate and Finance class of 2020 honorees share the ability to act with fearless optimism in the face of uncertainty.
32 Innovative Office Home is the new office. Kim Gordon shares her eclectic Mandeville Canyon quarters while Visionary of the Year Mike Meldman lets us into his latest development, Silo Ridge, in the Hudson Valley.
33 In Every Issue 06 08 10 76 90 101 110 112
Masthead Founder’s Note Contributors C-Suite Advisors C-Suite Advisors Index The Network Advertiser Directory C-Suite Quoted
This edition’s lineup of C-Suite Advisors™
78 How to Protect Your Financial Health during the Pandemic Ryan Bristol JP Morgan Private Bank
66 Health Sensei, the new health-minded brand from Larry Ellison and Dr. David Agus, debuts Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort.
80 The 12 Reasons Owner Transitions Are Not Successful (and What to Do about It) Andrew D. Horowitz Rockefeller Capital Management
67 The Getaway LA Open exclusively during the summer, Mustang Monument offers an American safari in northeast Nevada that feels a world away.
82 Hiring a Wealth Management Team Brian Werdesheim The Summa Group of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. 84 Making Lemonade out of Lemons Lisa Helfend Meyer MOLM 86 How to Plan Your Estate amid a Global Pandemic Scott Rahn RMO LLP
68 The Journey LA Perhaps this isn’t the season to take that long-awaited trip across the world. For those who are looking to get out of town without getting on a plane, reconsider these drive-market destinations for more than a weekend getaway.
93 CULTURE & TASTE 70 The Getaway NY Two fabluleux hotels from two of the world’s leading boutique hotel designers opened their doors in the City of Light in early 2020, then quickly had to close due to the pandemic. Each offers an array of visual delights to savor now—and to add to your travel checklist for later. 72 The Journey NY As domestic travel seems increasingly appealing these days, now is an ideal time to explore the closer-than-youthink island of Oahu.
TOC - C-Suite Advisory 74 Meetings & Retreats Set in the heart of South Carolina’s low-density Lowcountry, Montage Palmetto Bluff provides an ideal setting for intimate corporate retreats.
94 Virtual exhibits this season in Los Angeles and New York. 95 Required Reading What our business leaders have been catching up on during quarantine. 96 Proprietor’s Profile Top Chef judge, food journalist, and cookbook author Gail Simmons. 98 Philanthropy Industry leaders and Fortune 500 founders are charting a new path in philanthropy by donating funds directly to the people and businesses that need help the most. 100 Social Responsibility From humble roots, Marty Davis grew up to become president and CEO of quartz giant Cambria—and now uses the company’s success to give back to his employees and community.
88 Financial Crisis Flashback: Dealing in Distress Sander C. Zagzebski Greenspoon Marder LLP
CSQ Q2 2020
On the Cover Mike Meldman Location Los Angeles Photo Amanda Friedman C-SUITE QUARTERLY
Founder and Publisher David L. Wurth
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Navigating a Crisis We began working on this issue, our eighth annual Real Estate & Finance–themed edition, in late February. COVID-19 hadn’t affected our daily lives yet. We were still going into the office. We still had a half-dozen events planned for the spring. My wife and I were even planning a long-overdue trip to Italy to see her family. Everything was business as usual. In the weeks that followed, COVID-19 officially became a global pandemic, and we adjusted to a new normal. While content is the main driver of CSQ, a large part of our business is the networking events that evolve from our content, which help build and support our business leaders and entrepreneurs. Immediately, our team huddled together (remotely) to pivot and build up our digital business, creating virtual events and online coverage of the crisis. I am eternally grateful for how quickly everyone at CSQ jumped into action to find new ways to support and engage our community—all while working from home. For starters, we launched our virtual event series with Dale Buckner, president and CEO of Global Guardian and a former combat commander, who shared how corporate leaders can use military-level knowledge to help solve COVID-19 friction points. Another virtual event with California State Treasurer Fiona Ma about the state of finance followed, as did a panel on philanthropy addressing civic needs during COVID-19, which included members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, like Peter Lowy. While we all miss the handshakes and casual conversations of our in-person events, we’ve also been thrilled at the insights and takeaways from what can be done virtually, and the enthusiasm of the CSQ community to evolve has been inspiring. Our digital business is stronger than ever. To date, we have interviewed more than 50 people and brands across the world in a variety of industries for a new section called “Business Leaders Weigh In.” While the section has been relevant during quarantine to hear how leaders were handling the crisis, we plan to make it ongoing to give the most up-to-date information about how businesses are operating in a COVID-19–concerned world. You can keep up with all of them on csq.com. When we launched the first edition of CSQ in 2008, it was right before the Great Recession, and I always had the intention of sharing inspiring stories from the most successful business leaders. I chose to omit the word “recession” in the magazine, so as not to reinforce the negativity of the then-current economic climate and instead focus on stories of success. Now, we find ourselves in a similar situation, with unemployment affecting close to 45 million Americans. While we are always interested in having our community share insights on current economic situations and providing their valuable thoughts for our op-eds and digital stories, we still choose to focus on stories of triumph. In this issue, we are proud to present an eclectic group of Visionaries. First, there’s Eric Clement, managing director of the
New York State Economic Development Council, who left a life of private equity for a government job helping his city do everything from creating jobs for New Yorkers to helping the city respond to COVID-19. In Los Angeles, Meridith Baer found new success at age 50 when she launched a furniture-staging business that, 20 years later, is valued at $100M. Spencer Rascoff, who co-founded Hotwire and Zillow before age 30, shares how he learned some of his most valuable business skills in his high school newsroom—an experience that is lending the foundation for his current venture, dot.LA, a news site dedicated to covering the L.A. tech scene. When it comes to developing real estate, how can anyone not be inspired by Zaya Younan, who came to the U.S. from Iran alone at age 13 and now owns more castles than any king in Europe? And, as all of us in Los Angeles drive past One Coast Pacific Palisades on PCH, it’s hard not to think about its developer, Afshin Etebar, and his jump from architecture to real estate. We are also pleased to celebrate Discovery Land Company’s founder and CEO Mike Meldman as our Visionary of the Year. As it turns out, bombing the LSAT was the best thing that ever happened to him, as it led him to selling real estate and eventually developing 23 of the most renowned private resort communities in the world. His recession-proof model is especially inspiring and beneficial to read about in the current climate. Finally, as we began to close this issue, the Black Lives Matter movement was moving us all to stop and think. I realize that many businesses have had to struggle with how to address the issues it raises, and I want to be clear: CSQ stands proudly with Black Lives Matter. We’ve always done our best to promote and celebrate diversity and inclusivity, but we also know we can do better. Our team has had open dialogues about what we can do in terms of our content, and, as always, we aim to involve our community— you, our readers. What can we do better? Who should we be reaching out to? Who are the leaders whose stories we should be telling? We are all ears and open to your thoughts and perspectives. As we navigate the rest of 2020 and the years that follow, we strive to do more and do better, both digitally and on the pages of our magazine, as well as through action. To start, we have set up a donation page for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where we are matching donations from our community. There is no time like the present to get involved by pledging your time and resources. Please visit csq.com/donate to participate. Thank you for your continued support and engagement. As always, I’m mindful of feedback and always reachable to discuss what else the CSQ team can do.
David L. Wurth Founder & Publisher david@csq .com
Plan today to make a difference tomorrow. Support BGCMLA L 's Great Future fu LA f nd and help sustain Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles mission fo f r years to come. Donors may a make a gift ay f through: ft Will/Bequest Monthly Giving Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
Gift f Annuity ft Charitable Trust Gift f s of Real Estate ft
Born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas, Sheean Hanlan studied English rhetoric and writing at Pepperdine University, graduating magna cum laude. While studying abroad in Florence, she covered cultural events in Tuscany for La Repubblica. She joined CSQ as the Content and Community Coordinator upon graduating in 2019 and, among other responsibilities, oversees the art, culture, and NextGen sections of the magazine.
Carolyn Meers is a writer and editor based in Christian Navarro is President and Santa Monica, Calif. She has contributed to Principal of Wally’s, the luxury, various regional and national lifestyle publi- wine-focused retail and restaurant cations—including Robb Report, 805 Living, operation. He began with Wally’s C Magazine, and The Knot—with a focus on in the early 90’s, and today, as design, jewelry, and health and wellness. a partner, has transformed the brand into a world-class, experiQuarantine accomplishments: I’ve been read- ential concept that includes a fine ing through a stack of great books by incred- wine retail store and cheese shop ibly gifted authors, namely Ellen O’Connell encompassed by an elegant resWhittet, Nicole Krauss, and Sally Rooney. I also taurant setting. upped my running game and subsequently improved my ability to make chocolate chip Quarantine accomplishments: walnut bar cookies. It’s all about balance, right? Kept my business going; found new ways to engage with our guests and clients; avoided Tiger
Quarantine accomplishments: I learned to cook Thai red curry chicken; picked up drawing with colored pencils again; and read far too many selfhelp books. NextGen 10, p. 36 The Journey NY, p. 70 Exhibits and Performances, p. 94 Required Reading, p. 95 Philanthropy, p. 100
Sea the Future, p. 18 From Paris, with Love, p. 72
2020 Vision, p. 16
Contributors MATT PRESSBERG
A partner at Vectis Strategies, Matt Pressberg was Throughout his journalism career, Shaun Tolson Shivani Vora is a New York–based previously managing editor of the Los Angeles has traveled to five continents, tackling a diver- lifestyle writer who regularly Business Journal and a business reporter at The se set of assignments—from desert trekking covers real estate, fashion, and Information, TheWrap, and the International Busi- through Jordan, fly fishing and white-water raft- trends for publications such as ness Times. He has covered finance, real estate, ing in Patagonia, and sipping single-malt whis- the New York Times, CNN, and infrastructure, the business of Hollywood, Chi- kies with revered master distillers in Scotland. Forbes. Her many global purna/U.S. economic relations. and the emergence Whenever possible, he tries to emphasize the suits (pre-pandemic, of course), of new digital-first players. Pressberg has broken people at the center of those stories, whose include covering the growth of stories including the collapse of Wanda Group’s ambitions, experiences, and personal journeys luxury real estate on Cabo’s East deal to acquire Dick Clark Productions and been bring life and meaning to the pieces that he writes. Cape, snowshoeing 10 miles a day in the Dolomites, and camping a finalist for Los Angeles Press Club awards for investigative journalism and commentary. Prior to Quarantine accomplishments: Laced up my with the Masai in Tanzania. his journalism career, he was a private equity ana- running shoes and recommitted to a training program; successfully prepared a slew of new Quarantine accomplishments: lyst in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. culinary dishes, exploring Japanese, Southeast Hiking the most challenging trails Quarantine accomplishments: Picked up a bunch Asian, and Spanish cuisines; and discovered in New York state parks; mastering of new recipes; upgraded my home office (like the added value that video calls can bring to the recipe for the perfect vegan almond pesto; completing a killer everyone else); and caught up on some quality long-distance friendships. Zoom workout with my longtime reading, including Ron Chernow’s Grant. Migratory Distillation, p. 17 trainer in my NYC city apartment. Timeless Elegance, p. 20 Urban Chariots, p. 22 Selling Points, p. 23 Deals, Development, and Discovery, p. 52
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14 Tech and Gadgets 15 Cigars 16 Wine 17 Spirits 18 Water 19 Air 20 Watches 22 Land 23 Furnishings
Tropic Ocean Airways allows passengers to charter an eight-seat seaplane and land in far-flung destinations. Find out where everyone is going on page 19.
CSQ Q2 2020
Desirables - Cover
These seven home tech products can spice up your current routine and may be exactly what your life has been missing—even if you didn’t know it.
TECH & GADGETS
By Ben Bloch
Who can resist this 360-degree, high-resolution camera, mic, and speaker combo? Both the Meeting Owl and Meeting Owl Pro are interactive video-conferencing devices normally meant for offices, but they can also be used at home for more professional-quality meetings and presentations without the shaky phone, poor video quality, or questionable sound you may have experienced with other formats.
This in-home dry-cleaning device acts as a freestanding closet within a closet, designed to clean and straighten your clothes after you hang them up and walk away. For difficult clothing items that manage to wrinkle no matter how or when you hang them, AirDresser eliminates the need for steaming, ironing, and dry cleaning. The machine doesn’t require a separate water line and, surprisingly, doesn’t require much space either.
You can enhance everything from your home safety to the atmosphere in rooms with this smart custom-lighting line. Along with new indoor and outdoor products, Philips features the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, which allows you to sync color-capable lights with your movies, TV shows, and video games.
From $799; owllabs.com
From $1,400; design.samsung.com
From $50; meethue.com
AEROGARDEN FARM Whether you go with a Sprout, which holds three grow pods, or a Farm, which holds 24 grow pods, you will not be disappointed with quality, ease of use, and excitement of this countertop garden, complete with automated lights, nutrient and water reminders, modern design, and (depending on your model) even high-resolution displays and stackability. The joy of plucking cherry tomatoes or trimming some Thai basil to add to your simmering sauce is made even better by Aerogarden’s easy-to-use design. From $100; aerogarden.com
Desirables - Tech
JURA GIGA 6
AURA AIR PURIFICATION
Even coffee isn’t immune to an upgrade. Brimming with the latest technology and made of top-quality materials and Swiss precision, the Giga 6’s clear design features artificial intelligence via a self-learning algorithm that identifies personal preferences and adapts the start screen accordingly, showing preferred specialties. It also leverages Jura’s Smart Connect device with Bluetooth communication, allowing it to be used with the Jura Operating Experience (J.O.E.), an exclusive free app that allows users to easily operate the machine from a smartphone or tablet to personalize favorite beverages, initiate brewing, view maintenance instructions and videos, order filters, and more.
We each breathe in 3,000 gallons of air per day, and Aura has invested in smart technology so consumers can begin to understand just how impactful that number is, especially when 50 percent of illnesses are either caused or aggravated by polluted indoor air. This all-in-one, indoor, air-purification and quality-intelligence system filters and disinfects indoor air through a unique five-stage process while vigilantly monitoring quality in real time. When hazards are detected, Aura alerts you immediately, providing crucial intelligence about the origin of the problem, how to rectify it, and when immediate action or evacuation is required.
From $5,999; us.jura.com
LG CINEBEAM 4K LG recently announced the integration of Amazon Alexa with its award-winning CineBeam AI Thinq 4K UHD projectors, giving you access to more than 90,000 Alexa skills, voice commands, and
control of smart home products. There is no need for a separate device, which means all Alexa updates and features for the voice service will continue to be available to LG projector owners into the future. The projector is an impressive piece of smart home tech that
creates a rich theater experience through features like 140-inch display, 1500 ANSI lumens covering 92 percent of the DCI-P3 color space for brightness, and a four-channel LED light source. From $2,700; lg.com
Available later this year;
Honoring the theme of real estate, we have chosen these five rare and distinct cigars, whose tobacco origins are exclusive regions where cultivation of the world’s finest tobaccos yields the finest smokes.
Location, Location, Location By David R. Weiss, President and Owner, Lone Wolf Cigar Company, lonewolfcigars.com PARTAGÁS 150 RAMÓN Y RAMÓN The wrapper for this rare smoke was grown in the African nation of Cameroon and is almost 45 years old. The territory’s soil elements produce a smooth, sweet flavor. The Ramón y Ramón draws on the aforementioned Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco as well, this time used in the binder along with Piloto Nicaraguan filler, each over 20 years old. The result is a rich blend that yields an extraordinary and rare smoking experience. The Ramón y Ramón is one of the rarest cigars, and the most expensive, we have on offer at Lone Wolf. $150; partagas.com LIGA PRIVADA NO. 9 Fly over the Connecticut River Valley and you’ll notice huge swaths of gauze below. This is the home of Connecticut Shade, a mild, high-end tobacco. Yet there’s another leaf produced here, which was previously seen as the shade’s ugly cousin. The Connecticut Broadleaf was considered undesirable because it was so diff icult to work with and didn’t share its counterpart’s silky look and feel. But the one thing Broadleaf has going for it is intense flavor. Drew Estate took advantage of the chocolatey, nutty character to produce one of the most sought-after cigars in the industry. The famed No. 9 is a stunning cigar, packed with rich, complex flavors.
Desirables - Cigars $21; drewestate.com
ATABEY Mystery leads to intrigue. The makers of Atabey have taken this concept to heart, only informing consumers that the filler and binder leaves of this rich, beautiful cigar come from an “undisclosed location.” The only secret
CSQ Q2 2020
DAVIDOFF YEAR OF THE RAT
The Jalapa region of Nicaragua features a red-colored clay soil similar to that of Cuba’s storied Vuelta Abajo region. The Jalapa tobacco used in the Cohiba Spectre is heavily fermented to bring out the richest elements of taste. Each leaf in this cigar has been aged from four to 16 years, and a portion is cured in sherry barrels, yielding notes of molasses and cedar. Only 180 boxes were produced worldwide and Lone Wolf is proud to be one of the exclusive dealers that can offer a box for sale.
Nicaragua is a main destination for high-end cigar tobacco. The Davidoff Year of the Rat is blended from leaves cultivated from the Estelí, Condega, Piloto, and San Vicente regions of the country. The volcanic soil provides a unique concentration of minerals perfectly suited for tobacco and contributes to the refined power and complex, rich flavor of this cigar, one of Davidoff ’s annual editions produced to represent the current year’s Chinese zodiac symbol.
they will yield is that the Habano wrapper is cultivated in Ecuador. The refined flavors of the Atabey line include notes of brown sugar, maple, and lemon. Smoking one of these cigars is truly a mouthwatering experience. The flavor is juicy, sweet, and slightly tart. $31; atabeycigars.com 15
2020 Vision The president and principal of Wally’s shares his ideas for drinking and dining in the virtual space. By Christian Navarro
If someone with a crystal ball told me that in 2020 all wineries and restaurants would be closed, handshakes and hugs would be forbidden, and life as I knew it would cease to exist due to a global health crisis, I wouldn’t have wanted to believe it. However, here we are almost halfway through 2020, it did happen, it is hard, but we are surviving and rising above it. A large part of my nature is built for survival, resilience, and facing curveballs head on. This has helped me tremendously as a business owner in small and medium crises, and in the very large one we are currently facing. Our team has made a tremendous effort over the last couple of months to adjust as best we can while simultaneously helping our clients, friends, partners, community, and industry along the way. One of my favorite parts about the wine industry is that it is such a social business and 100 percent built by and for people. The pandemic has tested us tremendously in that way. The Wally’s team and I have had to figure out how to stay connected “socially” while physically
staying distant. One way we have achieved this is by hosting virtual tastings on social media with wine and spirits producers around the world. Our mission at Wally’s is first and foremost to provide people with an incredible wine and food experience. Now more than ever, this has remained our goal and mission. Through the virtual tastings, we provide people with good wine, good food, and some fun and comfort even for just a brief amount of time. The virtual tastings also enable us to connect digitally with our clients around the world in a way that we could not do before the pandemic. It has also been fun getting creative on the marketing side. For example, we hosted a virtual Cinco de Mayo party complete with tequila cocktail tutorials and an incredible Mexican feast (the best duck carnitas and mole you have ever had!). We sold the tequila cocktail kits and meal kits ahead of time, so that by 5:00 p.m. on May 5, our clients were able to tune in from the comfort of their homes, while still getting the “Wally’s experience.” It ended up being very successful, but more importantly, it was a lot of fun. Luckily for our team, evolving and adapting does not feel that foreign. As a brand, Wally’s has had to evolve in the last several years to stay relevant and survive. Because traditional wine retail was dying, we reinvented ourselves from strictly a wine shop to a hybrid wine retail/restaurant experience. Today, we are continuing to reinvent ourselves to adapt to the new normal, which is still evolving week to week. While we may not like the current situation, I try to instill in our team the importance of accepting and adapting to this new reality. I believe that even behind a mask we still show people who we are. While we are very excited to reopen for dine-in, we have used this time at Wally’s to learn, do better, be better, and focus on the future. We are all in this together and I am optimistic that we will all come back stronger than ever. wallywine.com
Here are some of the best wines I discovered during quarantine.
2018 Rumors Rosé ($35)
This is the newest superstar rosé on the block and a passion project of a longtime patron and friend of Wally’s. The grapes (cinsault, grenache, and syrah) come from vineyards planted more than 750 years ago in Provence. This stunning rosé has tremendous depth and sophistication, but it will immediately put you at ease with its refreshing, clean style. It’s perfect as an aperitif or paired with anything grilled. Wally’s is proud to be the exclusive retailer of this perfect summertime wine.
Desirables - Wine
2016 Lavinea Nysa Dundee Hills Pinot Noir ($60)
A sensational Pinot Noir from Dundee Hills (Oregon’s Pinot mecca). Expressive aromas of red berry and pepper delight your nose right off the bat. The palate displays flavors of black cherry, blood orange, earth, and subtle truffle notes. There is such an interesting range of depth and flavor to this beauty. Enjoy now and for many years to come. 2017 Memento Mori Vanitas Cabernet Sauvignon ($100)
Napa Valley cult sensation Memento Mori recently released its incredible 2017 Vanitas Cabernet Sauvignon. There are only 55 cases of this rare bottling, making this one of Memento Mori’s most exclusive releases ever. Sourced from elite vineyards in Napa, this beautiful wine is first-class quality all the way. Forward aromas of sweet tobacco, black cherries, and roasted meat jump from the glass. Rich, complex, and balanced on the palate, it provides a perfect combination of savory and fruity characteristics.
Migratory Distillation A distinct California gin is inspired by the gray whales that travel the Golden State’s coastline. By Shaun Tolson
Five years ago, Jan and Marsh Mokhtari sat on the cliffs of Big Sur, Calif., captivated by the view of the Pacific Ocean and a pod of migrating gray whales making its way north to the Arctic Ocean from San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja. Already inspired by their recent trip to Napa Valley, the Mokhtaris talked about a legacy project and their goals for the future. At the time, Jan had more than two decades of experience working as a creative director on marketing campaigns for some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Samsung and Google, while Marsh was an established television host for food and adventure shows across multiple cable networks, including National Geographic and The Food Network. Despite that success, the couple wanted to create something of their own, something that could help them provide for their children, support California conservation, and protect the state’s coastline. Ninety minutes later (and 65 miles farther south along the Pacific Coast Highway), on their drive home, the Mokhtaris purchased
the domain for Golden State Distillery and focused their initial efforts on making a spirit that could embody the entire California coastline. They soon settled on gin; however, it would be another two years before a smooth and balanced liquid flowed from their stills in Sonoma. During the time in between, the Mokhtaris visited hundreds of distilleries and surveyed many experienced distillers. “We had the confidence to take risks because we didn’t come from the spirits industry,” says Jan. “We decided that we were just going to make choices to make a product that we’re proud of. We’re also huge fans of gin, so from a taste profile every choice that we made was to make a gin that we would love. Sometimes we got feedback from advisors who were experts in the field who would say you shouldn’t use that botanical, or you shouldn’t mix with this botanical, but we were able to take those risks and move forward with what we felt was right.” The Mokhtaris decided to name the gin in honor of the gray whales that follow the
entirety of California’s coast during their annual migration. Despite that conviction, the journey the Mokhtaris took to create the gin’s unique flavor profi le was defi ned by trial and error—152 experimental recipes to be precise. In the end, they settled on six key botanicals that are either hand foraged or sourced from organic and sustainable coastal California farms. Wild juniper berries that grow along Big Sur’s rocky coastline serve as the foundation for this gin, but they’re expertly married with bright notes of citrus from Baja, subtly sweet and herbaceous characteristics of mint grown in Santa Cruz, and the crispness of fi rtree needles sourced from an organic farm in Sonoma Valley. When sipped, the gin’s remarkably smooth mouthfeel reflects the presence of almonds harvested from the Central Valley, while the spirit’s flavor delivers just a hint of the ocean imparted from the restrained presence of sea kelp (kombu seaweed) sourced from Mendocino. From the onset of Golden State Distillery’s existence and the conceptualization of Gray Whale Gin, the Mokhtaris have partnered with nonprofit Oceana, donating a portion of each sale to support the preservation of California’s coastline and the protection of the gray whale. That partnership—combined with the Mokhtaris’ ambition to create a gin that showcases the entirety of California’s maritime flavors—inspired them to limit the number of ingredients in the spirit’s botanical recipe. “We felt there was a quiet confidence in just putting six simple botanicals on the front of the bottle and being able to taste them in a spectacular fashion, and doing it the right way,” says Marsh. “If you go to any Michelin-star restaurant, they do things better than most and with fewer ingredients. They don’t need a lot of pomp and circumstance to make something spectacular. And allowing the botanicals to truly shine is our best way to celebrate the gray whale.” graywhalegin.com
Desirables - Spirits
1. Jan and Marsh Mokhtari created Gray Whale Gin after being inspired by the migration of gray whales they witnessed while on a trip to Big Sur.
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2. It took two years before the couple perfected the smooth and balanced gin from their distillery in Sonoma. The final product features six key botanicals that are either hand foraged or sourced from organic and sustainable coastal California farms.
Sea the Future
Desirables - Water
Incomparable amenities and a philanthropic mission make owning a piece of the world’s largest private superyacht an enticing proposition. By Carolyn Meers
When it comes to investing in a vacation home, committing to a location can be a daunting task. For those with a tireless wanderlust, opting for a residence on Njord, the world’s largest private superyacht, might be the perfect solution. Developed by Jean-Louis Stutzmann for Malta-based Ocean Residences Development Ltd. (oceanresidences.com) and designed by internationally renowned Espen Øino 18
(espenoeino.com), the superyacht boasts varied itineraries that circle the globe, skipping from the Azores to Antarctica, the Maldives to Papua New Guinea and beyond, promising its residents and guests fulfilling, philanthropic-driven global adventures in a fivestar setting. Slated for delivery in 2024, Njord (named for the Norse god of the wind and sea) will feature a wealth of comfort-enhancing amenities for residents and guests. The ship’s 118 residences are designed in 20 different configurations and range from two- to six-bedroom apartments, from 1,250 to 8,600 square feet. Crafted to provide comfort as well as privacy, each onboard estate features a living room with floor-to-ceiling sea views and a breezy, open-air terrace. Plus, owners can customize furnishings and decor. While onboard, bask in panoramic views from multiple outdoor terraces, kick back beside one of the two outdoor saltwater pools, dip into the steamy indoor hydro pool, book treatments at the 10,000-square-foot wellness facility, and spend evenings listening to fascinating speakers in the lecture lounge, taking in films in the theater, or grooving to live music in the jazz lounge. Equipped with a 311-member crew, the Njord promises top-tier service and a 1:2 guest-to-crew ratio. In addition to its luxe interiors and amenities—like the top-deck telescope observatory lounge—Njord will also be home to
two eight-seat, Airbus ACH 160 helicopters with a range of 400 nautical miles, as well as a full oceanographic laboratory. Staffed by scientists, the lab will collect environmental and marine data from the yacht’s various destinations and make it available to philanthropic missions and international research laboratories. Among its many technological features, the lab will be outfitted with a pair of submarines that can hunt down centuries-old shipwrecks and map the ocean floor using multi-beam echo sounders, underwater drones, and a gyroscopic telescope—the latter of which is Ocean Residences Development President and COO Alain Gruber’s favorite onboard amenity. The observatory’s self-leveling, gyroscopically stabilized telescope opens to the skies through a retractable glass roof, providing a totally unmatched stargazing experience. “My vision is to leave a lasting legacy in our wake,” says Kristian Stensby, founder and CEO of Ocean Residences Development in a statement from the company. Njord is “a luxury yacht with a purpose, which is meticulously designed by icons of the marine world and that takes personalized services to an entirely new level. As residents travel the globe, they are united in a philanthropic purpose, creating positive change where it matters most. They will explore the planet, enjoy it in all its glory, and at the same time … give something back.” my-njord.com
Tropical Getaway As the largest amphibious aviation company in the world, Tropic Ocean Airways specializes in getting travelers to far-flung places easily, quickly, and with little environmental impact. By Samantha Brooks
1. The eight-seat planes have a range of about 250 miles or 90 minutes. 2. Tropic Ocean Airways can land passengers directly in front of hardto-access locations, such as a yacht in the middle of the ocean.
3. Oil Nut Bay in the BVI is one of their more popular destinations. 4. Rob Ceravolo started his career in the navy. 1
Desirables - Air
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In 2011, when Rob Ceravolo was in the early the Southern Exumas; San Juan to Saint Bart’s; stages of Tropic Ocean Airways, one of his first and locations in the Northeast like New York seaplane charters aided in an emergency. “We City to the Hamptons. “We’ve also been workgot a call for a medical emergency that was on ing with real estate developments like Discova yacht in the Bahamas. We picked up a doctor ery Land Company and Oil Nut Bay, which are in Miami and flew him directly to the middle known for their remote settings. We can make of the ocean to board it,” the Fort Lauderdale– it much easier to get there,” he says. based Ceravolo recalls. “It turned out that the Ceravolo also points to the lower impact owners’ parakeet was having a stroke. It wasn’t on the environment that seaplanes have comquite the emergency we were expecting, but we pared to traditional runways. “You don’t have were happy to help.” to tear up a reef to put in an airstrip, so we’re Over the last decade, Tropic Ocean has also keeping a light tread on these pristine locontinued to carve its niche in the private cations,” he says. aviation market by transporting clients to Safety, of course, is important too. A navy hard-to-get places in a hurry, thanks to its fighter pilot for 14 years—as well as a Top Gun ability to take off and land on water. For in- instructor—Ceravolo operates the compastance, visitors to the British Virgin Islands ny with the navy’s efficiency and standards. (BVI) typically have to land on Saint Thomas “There’s always a two-pilot crew, and we caror in San Juan, Puerto Rico, take another plane ry the highest liability permits,” he explains. to Tortola, and then board a boat to arrive at “We’ve developed 90 pilots in the last two their resort destination. years, and we’re very careful about operating “One of our popular routes now is to the in saltwater.” Planes are washed every night BVI,” says Ceravolo. “We have a VIP service and never stay in the water overnight. “We flew in San Juan and Saint Thomas, which quick- more than 45,000 people last year and didn’t ly shuttles clients through customs and then have a single incident,” he says. drops them directly in front of resorts like Oil Pricing varies by destination, with schedNut Bay, Little Dix Bay, or Necker Island.” uled flights to/from Bimini starting at $250/ The range for most of Tropic Ocean’s person and charter flights between San Juan flights is about 250 miles or 90 minutes. “There and the BVI priced at $3,000 for the entire is no bathroom,” Ceravolo points out. The eight-seat plane. The price to fly directly to planes have eight single seats, making them a yacht in the middle of the ocean—for any ideal for families or groups to charter. Other reason? About $5,000–$12,000, depending on common routes include Miami to Bimini or its location. flytropic.com 19
Timeless Elegance These classic, vintage wristwatches have withstood the test of time. By Shaun Tolson GMT-MASTER ROLEX
ROYAL OAK “SERIES-A” AUDEMARS PIGUET
NAUTILUS PATEK PHILIPPE
Desirables - Watches
Initially designed for Pan Am pilots during the 1950s, Rolex’s GMT-Master (Reference 1675) represented an out-of-character approach for the brand, which up until that point had generally focused on austere designs set with white or black dials and steel or black bezels. This watch, by contrast, featured a red and blue bezel—now affectionately known as the “Pepsi bezel”—which allowed pilots to differentiate day from night in the watch’s second time zone, typically set to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), by rotating the bezel. “That splash of color in the bezel was something new and exciting for the company,” says Eric Wind, a former senior specialist at Christie’s, who now owns a high-end watch gallery, Wind Vintage, in West Palm Beach, Fla. “The usefulness of the GMT complication makes the GMT-Master model one of the most desirable and hottest watches today.” “The GMT is as popular now as when it was first introduced,” adds Sam Hines, worldwide head of watches at Sotheby’s, who saw a 1963 “Cornino” reference 1675 example sell for 625,000 Hong Kong dollars (about $80,000) during a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong in October 2019. “It is the ultimate sports watch.”
The night before the 1971 Basel watch show, Georges Golay, managing director of Audemars Piguet, approached designer Gerald Genta and issued a challenge. Golay wanted a watch that could disrupt the market and, in turn, redefine his brand. Overnight, Genta penned a design that took inspiration from steel diving helmets, featured a raised octagonal bezel with hexagonal screws, and included an integrated bracelet. Due to an initial lukewarm reception in 1972, only 2,000 “Series-A” Royal Oaks were produced, which makes them the most desirable of all model variants. “This model has been the inspiration for some of the most cutting-edge, limited-edition wristwatches of the last 10 years,” says Hines, who saw a 1972 example sell for 62,500 Swiss francs (about $64,000) during a Sotheby’s Geneva auction in November 2019. “Collecting one of these means owning a part of horological history,” adds Traber. “This watch single-handedly changed the luxury watch market.”
A few years after Audemars Piguet debuted its Royal Oak, Patek Philippe tapped Genta to design something equally sleek for them. The Swiss designer found inspiration from portholes on various ships that had windows hermetically sealed through a system of tension bolts against the glass. When it was unveiled in 1976, the Patek Philippe Nautilus (reference 3700) was the most expensive steel sports watch on the market. “Patek Philippe has always been known for its dress watches, and the Nautilus is a radical departure from the brand’s other designs,” says Traber. “Now, nearly 45 years later, this watch is often the first one that comes to peoples’ minds when they think of Patek Philippe.” The watch’s design, similar to the Royal Oak, also makes it a relevant fashion accessory by today’s standards. “The integrated bracelet has made it more suitable to the athleisure and casual-dressing trend of today than a gold watch on a shiny alligator strap,” Wind says. In December 2019, Bonhams sold an early example, circa 1979, for $88,928 in London.
When it comes to high-end timepieces, less can sometimes be more. While highly complicated and ornate watches seem to dominate the market, classic examples with an understated elegance can turn heads just as effectively. With that in mind, we solicited the insight of a handful of watch specialists to produce a short list of vintage timepieces that are perpetually in demand. “PAUL NEWMAN” DAYTONA ROLEX
PERPETUAL CALENDAR PATEK PHILIPPE
Desirables - Watches
When Rolex became the official timekeeper at Daytona International Speedway in 1962, the brand created the Cosmograph (Reference 6239), which was unveiled in 1963 and quickly was given the nickname “Daytona.” From the late 1960s through the mid-’70s, the watch house introduced to the Daytona a series of exotic dials, which were thought to appeal to race car drivers who could more easily read the times on the subdials. Initially, however, these dials failed to catch on with consumers. As Wind acknowledges, they were “an outrageous departure from the more common austere look of Rolex tool watches from that period of time.” However, in the 1980s, when old images emerged of actor Paul Newman wearing one a decade earlier, things changed. “Once Paul Newman was seen wearing one, the watch affectionately took on his name and the rest is history,” says Traber. According to Hines, the Paul Newman Daytona is the most popular vintage watch on the market today. “It is not limited to one geographic location,” he explains. “It is as popular in Italy as it is in Indonesia.” Sotheby’s sold a rare stainless-steel example, circa 1969, for $975,000 in 2018.
Some believe Cartier based its women’s watch, When it was introduced in 1951—and througThe Crash, on Salvador Dali’s familiar painting hout its 12-year production run—Patek The Persistence of Memory. Others suggest that Philippe’s reference 2497 was the horological a damaged timepiece pulled from the wreck- house’s first serially produced perpetual calage of a car accident provided the requisite in- endar wristwatch with center seconds. In fact, spiration. Either way, this watch was an instant it was Patek Philippe’s only model with such hit when it was unveiled in 1967. a distinction until the brand introduced the “The Crash was so groundbreaking that its reference 5050 in 1993. Wind says this classic case design is still as relevant today as it was Patek timepiece is “one of the quintessential, first seen in the late ’60s,” says Hines. “It rep- pure perpetual calendar watches that remains resents Cartier’s house style—not in its form, suited to today’s tests. It’s a wonderful example but in the brand’s philosophy to always push of Patek Philippe’s style at a time when watches the boundaries in terms of style.” were becoming more water resistant and peoTraber concurs. “This watch was a depar- ple wanted slightly larger and more aggressive ture from the classic designs of the firm, and watches.” yet its look is inextricably Cartier,” he says. According to Max Traber, a watch special“It is both avant-garde and representative of the ist at Bonhams, this particular model perfectly ‘swinging ’60s,’ all without sacrificing Cartier’s illustrates the quality of Patek Philippe’s engiaesthetic.” neering and construction. “They are both meEarly examples are most collectible, but chanical masterpieces and magnificent-lookyounger reissued models are also in demand. ing watches,” he says of these early perpetual As proof, Sotheby’s sold one, circa 1990, for calendars. HK$525,000 (about $67,000) during a Hong In May 2019, Sotheby’s set a world-record Kong auction in October 2019. Similarly, price for an example in pink gold. The watch Bonhams sold a 1990s reissue in June 2018 sold for 980,000 Swiss francs (about $1 million). for $42,213.
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Urban Chariots Chevrolet elevates the Tahoe and Suburban, transforming them into even more luxurious rides. By Shaun Tolson
Scan the busy downtown streets in major met- clusion of High Country, Chevrolet’s top-levropolitan areas across the United States and el trim package, which softens some of the you’ll find a common connector. Along Sunset vehicles’ previously bright chrome accents, Boulevard in Los Angeles, down Fifth Avenue particularly the grille. As Kozub explains, in Manhattan, and coasting up Chicago’s Lake “the satin chrome grille bars accented with Shore Drive, thousands of Chevrolet Subur- godric [bronze] inserts gives the Tahoe and bans and Tahoes are transporting discerning Suburban a more sophisticated, understated, executives in discreet comfort and style. That luxury persona.” trend is likely to continue—it might even inInside, High Country accents also enhance crease—with the launch of the new 2021 var- the cabin, reinforcing that these SUVs are built iants for both models. for discerning, luxury consumers. “The High “We’ve taken what people love about these Country offers a unique identity with exclupioneering SUVs and made them even better,” sive colors, perforation patterns, and a bevy says Barry Engle, executive vice president and of soft materials,” says Jerry Durkin, interior president of General Motors North America. design manager for Chevrolet SUVs. “A big inThose improvements are rooted in the compa- spiration for these ruggedly refined interiors ny’s new full-size truck architecture, as well was high-end furniture and the overall design as new driving and entertainment systems execution they offer.” tailored to meet the needs and expectations Numerous LCD displays throughout the of today’s motorists and passengers. cabin further elevate driver and passenger The upgrades begin with a longer wheel- experiences. These include a central, 10-inch base and greater overall length, two areas of color touchscreen; available 15-inch Head-Up growth that impact both models; however, the Display; and available dual, 12.6-inch, rear-seat Tahoe’s growth spurt is more substantial—the displays, which are connected to an advanced 2021 now features a wheelbase almost 5 inches media system. Viewing and interacting with longer than the previous model, and the vehicle the various LCD displays is made easier thanks has grown 6.5 inches from bumper to bumper. to smooth rides delivered via a state-of-the-art Those specs create additional legroom for pas- suspension system, one that utilizes new Air sengers in both the second and third rows. They Ride Adaptive technology and load leveling at also produce substantially more cargo room all four corners. The system can also adjust (23 more cubic feet in the Suburban and more riding heights by as much as 4 inches. than 28 additional cubic feet in the Tahoe). “We transformed the Tahoe and the SubThe Tahoe’s physical growth has also im- urban to offer all-new technologies and feaproved the vehicle’s curbside aesthetic. Ac- tures and deliver a better driving experience,” cording to Tim Kozub, GM’s lead designer says Tim Herrick, vice president of global for exteriors, the SUV’s proportions are now product programs. “With an increasing nummore upscale and streamlined. “The longer ber of SUVs on the market, we knew the allwheelbase allows for the main body sideline to new Tahoe and Suburban needed to reach stretch farther over the muscular wheel flares, higher than ever.” Pricing for the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban providing a more elegant appearance,” he says. The exterior appearance of both models starts at $50,295 and $52,995, respectively. has also grown more refined thanks to the in- chevrolet.com
Desirables - Land
Selling Points From bespoke interiors to spec homes with a custom feel, designer Kim Gordon creates residential havens that defy market trends. By Shivani Vora
of working for others and wanted to branch favorite pair of slippers. At the same time, this out on her own. entryway might have a fountain, diffuser, or “I didn’t want to come in at the end of the de- other feature that engages the senses. “You sign process anymore to work on a few aspects should be able to feel pleasure right then and here and there,” she says. “I wanted to shape an there that you’re home,” says Gordon. entire home from start to finish.” Today, the In all parts of the house, she says the ability industry veteran, who resides in L.A.’s Man- to manipulate the lighting with blinds, curdeville Canyon neighborhood, has a waiting list tains, and dimmers is a must. “You want to of high-paying clients and counts on a full-time control your environment depending on what staff of eight to help bring her visions to fruition. you want to do right then, whether it’s sleep, Her work is now a 50/50 balance of homes read, or entertain friends,” she says. that she develops from the ground up and cliGordon’s perspective on her work took ents who hire her for bespoke interiors. When a turn toward wellness following a bout with it comes to developing homes, a Kim Gordon aggressive breast cancer in 2018 (she’s now in project has an average time on the market remission). “I realized that having a healthy of less than a week, in up markets and down. home is as vital as its appearance,” she says. Gordon attributes this success to her focus “Through my cancer, I learned that your living on making contemporary design warm and space can be toxic or help in keeping you well.” inviting, not cold and severe. As a result of her experience, air and water “A lot of times you have a gender divide filters are now among her design signatures. with architecture: Men want super hard-edge And the residences she’s charged with buildcontemporary; women want a warmer atmos- ing use chemical-free, sustainable woods and phere that is often expressed with more tradi- natural paints without strong smells. Gordon’s journey has had challenges, protional design,” says Gordon. “I think my homes manage to appeal to both men and women.” fessional and personal, but she says the path Case in point: Most of her projects sell before has been fulfilling and well worth it. In a reverthe open house, and almost all sell for above sal of roles from her early days, she’s now the the asking price. one hiring artists and designers to work for her “In my opinion, it shouldn’t be too per- and makes it a point to seek out up-and-comfect looking, like a designer worked on it,” she ing talent, particularly women. “I encourage says. To achieve this lived-in feel, she relies on them to dream bigger and tell them that they details such as book collections, mismatched can achieve whatever success they envision for furniture, and unexpected tchotchkes like themselves,” she says. “I’m living proof of that.” an antique cuckoo clock in the living room kimgordondesigns.com of a contemporary residence. In the area where clients first enter their 2. One of her 1. Kim Gordon’s work is houses, for example, Gordon likes to build a 50/50 balance of bespoke recent projects a shoe storage where they change into their and spec projects. in Los Angeles.
Photo Credit: portrait — Dennis Provost, interior — Brandon Arant
Desirables - Furnishing
Whether it’s working on a $23M renovation of a Beverly Hills mansion or creating a look from scratch for a new build, $6M bungalow in Venice Beach, Kim Gordon is one of the most sought-after home designers in Southern California. A woman in a male-dominated industry, she makes it clear that it’s a status she fought hard to earn. “I was catcalled, berated, and generally disrespected by male colleagues,” she says. “Very few people took me seriously. It wasn’t easy to get to where I am now.” Currently, Gordon is working on an 8,700- square-foot compound in Pacific Palisades, complete with a series of swimming pools, sprawling outdoor rooms, and a two-story pantry with spiral-staircase access to a ceilingless room for growing vegetables. While still under construction, the home is currently on the market for $14.8M. Born in Long Island and raised in New Jersey, Gordon started her career in Los Angeles nearly 25 years ago as an artist who put finishing touches on homes—elements like dramatic lighting installations, mosaics, and intricate ceiling murals. Lead designers like Kerry Joyce regularly hired her for her talent and creativity, but she eventually got tired CSQ Q2 2020
csq.com EXCLUSIVE COVID-19 SPECIAL REPORT
Business Leaders Weigh In
Covid-19 Special Edition When COVID-19 caused businesses to press pause, and the entire world began to shift, we reached out to our community of leaders across a range of industries—from retail and hospitality to innovation and technology—for their firsthand insights into how the crisis was affecting them. More than 50 dynamic leaders have been profiled in our extensive online report, and we’ve packaged their responses and insights for a digital-only special section. Visit csq.com for the full experience. 24
Brands and people profiled include:
CSQ Q2 2020
Bacardi Limited Burgess Chris DeWolfe Chris Hollod Clinique La Prairie Dr. David Agus Elyse Walker Exclusive Resorts Heath Ceramics Hotel Bel-Air Kohanaiki Minotti LA Natalie Bloomingdale Neuehouse Special Edition Peter Lowy Rosewood Hotels & Resorts Sensei Spencer Rascoff Steven Ehrlich Toni Ko Visit Santa Barbara Vital Proteins Wally’s WeTransfer Wolfgang Puck Yu Tsai And more… 25
THE FUTURE OF REAL ESTATE [WEBCAST] FEATURING DON PEEBLES
CHAIRMAN & CEO, PEEBLES CORPORATION
CSQ - VE
NOTABLE EXECUTIVES IN ATTENDANCE
POLICYMAKERS, BILLIONAIRES, CEOs, ADVISORS, INVESTORS & EDUCATORS
Fiona Ma, Treasurer State of California
Jim Freedman, Chairman Intrepid Investment Bankers
Peter Lowy, Principal The Lowy Family Group
Mark Williams, CRO Datasite
Dale Buckner, CEO Global Guardian
Pete Peterson, Dean Pepperdine School of Public Policy
VISIT CSQ.COM/EVENTS FOR EARLY ACCESS TO UPCOMING CSQ VIRTUAL EVENTS
28 Visionary Alumni 30 Of Note OP-ED 34 Fiona Ma INNOVATIVE OFFICES 32 Kim Gordon 33 Silo Ridge LISTS 35 NextGen 10 VISIONARIES 40 Eric Clement 42 Afshin Etebar 44 Meridith Baer 46 Spencer Rascoff 49 Zaya Younan VISIONARY OF THE YEAR 52 Mike Meldman
Home is the new office. Read more about how Visionary of the Year Mike Meldman’s Discovery Land Company is catering to workfrom-home life at his Hudson Valley development, Silo Ridge, on page 33.
CSQ Q2 2020
Real Estate & Finance
Real Estate - Cover
Visionaries in Real Estate & Finance
DTR ALUMNI COMMUNITY AND UPDATES:
VISIONARIES OF THE YEAR 2019
DON PEEBLES Founder, Chairman, and CEO, The Peebles Corporation
THERESE TUCKER Founder and CEO, BlackLine (NASDAQ: BL)
RICK CARUSO Founder and CEO, Caruso
The Peebles Corporation has established a $500M investment fund for minority and female developers in New York, Los Angeles, and Florida to diversify the real estate industry.
BlackLine’s European user conference attendance more than doubled, as more than 1,000 finance and accounting professionals attended virtually. The conference was originally scheduled to take place in London in March 2020.
Real Estate - Alumni STEVEN F. UDVAR-HÁZY Executive Chairman of the Board, Air Lease Corporation
SCOTT MINERD Founding Managing Partner and Global CIO, Guggenheim Partners
THOMAS BARRACK JR. Founder and Executive Chairman, Colony NorthStar (NYSE: CLNS)
Minerd joined the International Monetary Fund’s external advisory group to help develop global policy that mitigates the economic impact of COVID-19.
CHARLES S. COHEN CEO and President, Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation
RUSSELL GOLDSMITH Chairman and Former CEO, City National Bank
TOM GORES Founder, Chairman and CEO, Platinum Equity LLC, Owner, Detroit Pistons
REAL ESTATE & FINANCE
VISIONARIES BENY ALAGEM Owner, The Beverly Hilton and Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills CLARENCE DANIELS President and CEO, CMS Inc. DORENE C. DOMINGUEZ CEO and Chairwoman, Vanir Group of Companies JONATHAN EMMETT Principal and Design Director, Gensler Sports Practice ALAN FUERSTMAN Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Montage International MICHAEL FUERSTMAN Co-founder and Creative Director, Pendry Hotels and Resorts
to the demand for emer gency personal protection equipment. Its office produced nearly 500 face shields in three weeks to deliver to local hospitals to protect those on the front lines. HKS also transformed a public exposition center in Detroit into a 250bed COVID19 field hospital in about two weeks. ANDY COHEN Co-CEO, Gensler ROB JERNIGAN Co-regional Managing Principal, Southwest, Gensler RENÉ GROSS KAERSKOV Co-CEO, HBA
PAUL SCIALLA CEO, Delos SANDY SIGAL President and CEO, NewMark Merrill SHIVANI SIROYA Founder and CEO, Tala JEFF STIBEL Vice Chairman, Dun & Bradstreet Founding Partner, Bryant Stibel KEITH WASSERMAN Founder, Gelt Inc.
DEBORAH ALE FLINT Former Executive Director, Los Angeles World Airports
JOHN KILROY Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO, Kilroy Realty Corp. (NYSE: KRC)
In January, Gelt acquired the 472unit Kallisto Apartments in Lakewood, Colo., for $145.5M, the largest apartment acquisition in Gelt’s 12year history.
TOM GILMORE CEO, Gilmore Associates LLC
MICHAEL KOSS Founder, Koss Resource
NADINE WATT President, Watt Companies
Real Estate - Alumni LES HISCOE CEO, Shawmut Design and Construction
DAMIAN LANGERE Co-founder and CEO, Domuso Inc.
MARK WEINSTEIN Founder and President, MJW Investments
Shawmut released Shawmut Vitals, a new platform that checks for COVID19 symptoms and manages contact tracing to minimize the spread of the virus within its team. Employees and subcontractors can selfcertify regular health screenings by scanning a QR code and completing a health survey.
JAIME LEE CEO, Jamison Realty Inc.
MJW Investments launched a $500M fund to invest in valueadd multifamily and student housing, as well as joint ventures, distressed debt, and note sales that could eventually lead to ownership opportunities.
LEWIS C. HORNE President, SoCal and Hawaii, CBRE SCOTT HUNTER Principal and Los Angeles Office Director, HKS Architects
SoFi Stadium management is researching the future of sports venues and how they can be adapted to meet social distancing and enhanced operational guidelines. HKS is working with developers to adapt unit layouts and amenity spaces, as working from home conditions are becoming the reality for the foreseeable future. In partnership with Make4Covid, HKS responded
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JOHN SCARDINO Founder and President, JHS LLC
PAMELA LIEBMAN President and CEO, The Corcoran Group GINA MARIE LINDSEY Former Executive Director, Los Angeles World Airports BRUCE MAKOWSKY Founder, BAM Luxury Development CHRISTOPHER C. MARTIN Chairman and CEO, AC Martin DOUGLAS MERRILL Founder and CEO, ZestFinance CHRISTOPHER RISING Co-founder and CEO, Rising Realty Partners NELSON RISING Co-founder and Chairman, Rising Realty Partners MARK ROSENTHAL President and CEO, Raleigh Enterprises
Real Estate - Of Note OF NOTE
BETTER BY DESIGN
News and Briefings By James Faris
DREAM COME TRUE In April, Swedish luxury bed manufacturer Hästens unveiled Grand Vividus, a new luxury bed crafted by celebrity designer Ferris Rafauli. Composed of fine all-natural materials, it comes in black shadow, traditional blue, phanthom charcoal, and natural shell. Top-tier leather, opulent polished wood, suede, and brass ornaments complete the immaculate continental bed. Rafauli, who’s worked with high-profile clients like Drake and Wayne Gretzky, set out to design what he deems the “world’s most comfortable bed” with a company pursuing sleep perfection for over 168 years. The price tag of comfort? $390,000.
REAL ESTATE & FINANCE
With a few clicks, your wish is renowned interior designers’ command, thanks to The Perfect Room. The online design service offers high-quality home products and phone consultations with experts to find the right fit. Users can ditch hours of scavenging stores for furniture by selecting high-quality products online to remake their living room while sitting in it. The Perfect Room also offers plush design packages handpicked by acclaimed designers like Kathryn M. Ireland, Robert Stilin, Alessandra Branca, Robert Couturier, and Jeffrey Alan Marks (example shown here), and users can choose what suits them and have the design experts source the rest. Pieces are woven together like a tapestry and tailored to fit the rooms, seamlessly blending the touch of designers and the convenience of e-commerce. Clients’ perfect rooms then materialize before their eyes as professionals install furniture and bring the space to life.
FAR EAST UPSIDE LaSalle Investment Management brought in $681M for its newly launched the LaSalle China Logistics Venture (LCLV), which will invest in key Chinese cities like Shanghai and Beijing. The LCLV aims to invest in China’s economic growth, which has outpaced the U.S. every year since 1977, through a diversified portfolio focused on logistics facilities with appealing development margins. Two development sites in Shanghai belong to the LCLV, as do three logistics assets in smaller Chinese cities. The fund saw strong demand from investors across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, according to LaSalle. The Chicago-based firm has $59B in assets under management, and it’s completed more than $1.5B in Chinese transactions since 2018.
HELLO HAMPTONS Hotel giant Marriott International is moving into the cutthroat Hamptons rental market as its Homes & Villas short-term rental initiative partners with StayMar-
quis, a New York–based firm. While hotel chains, including Marriott, were crushed by nationwide quarantines, the Hamptons rental market saw spikes in demand from New York City inhabitants. In response, Marriott joined with StayMarquis, which
Real Estate - Of Note
has about 600 properties, to deliver hotel-quality properties and services. Marriott developed Homes & Villas in May 2019 for its 140M loyalty program members after travel disruptors like Airbnb exploded in popularity.
TRAVELER’S SOUL MATE Janu, the Sanskrit word for “soul,” is a new sister brand from international luxury hotel group Aman Resor ts, which has amassed a cult following, attracting stars and sophisticated travelers alike with minimalist design, exceptional service, and remarkable locations. Janu shares these traits while focusing on connecting guests and providing personal fulfillment through shared experiences like art tours, wine tastings, and yoga classes at beautifully designed resorts in picturesque destinations. Three Janu hotels will launch in 2022, in Montenegro; Al Ula, Saudi Arabia; and Tokyo. All will feature contemporary, spacious designs and social areas. Janu differentiates itself with social wellness to put the soul at peace in a home away from home.
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Home is the new office. Since we’re all working from home indefinitely, this Real Estate & Finance issue asked some industry leaders profiled on these pages how they are handling the new normal. Here, we look at the #WFH life of Kim Gordon, the home design and real estate star profiled in Furnishings. Gordon moved into her 3,600-square-foot abode in Brentwood’s Mandeville Canyon about a year ago. “My regular office was a small mid-century house in the outskirts of Venice. Still a home, but the feeling was more of a busy beach city,” says Gordon. Now, she is able to hike just outside her door and enjoy the mountain views. “It’s like camping,” she says. kimgordondesigns.com By Samantha Brooks
Industry Interior design and real estate Location Brentwood Scope 3,600 square feet Interior Design Kim Gordon
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1. A mix of eras, styles, and textures converges in the dining room, which includes a blackand-white photo by Australian artist by Greg Nagel. Below it, Gordon collects miniature houses by Japanese-English artist Yukihiro Akama. 2. Gordon in her “cloffice,” the office she created in the master closet, where she also keeps jewelry, design books, and stacks of international design magazines.
3. The home has views of the Santa Monica Mountains. 4. A profusion of plants surrounds a portrait of a homeless person by Cristian Strittmatter that Gordon purchased at an auction for Safe Place for Youth. 5. Gordon is still in the process of renovating the property, which she saw as a blank canvas to put her mark on.
REAL ESTATE & FINANCE
Photo Credit: Kim Gordon — Michael Brager Photography, Silo Ridge — Discovery Land Company
Notable Features • Gordon describes the aesthetic when she moved in as, “grandma’s midcentury with brown and beige mushroom tiles and spring onion wallpaper.” • With her two sons homeschooling during quarantine, she had nowhere to work quietly, so she cleared a corner in the oversized bedroom closet, which features views of the Santa Monica mountains, to create her “cloffice.” • Because of the slight slope of the property, she designed a series of decks and little houses for various uses: a writer’s cabin, a sauna, a grow house. • Gordon salvaged the pieces of a fantastic kitchen from one of her other projects and they miraculously fit into the kitchen here. • The house butts up against federal land so no one can build a house adjacent to hers.
When New York closed its offices and forced everyone to work from home, flocks of city dwellers suddenly rethought their living quarters. Those with homes outside the city immediately took to them, and those without were suddenly reconsidering their living arrangements. Located just 90 miles north of the city, Silo Ridge features 245 homes over 800 acres—as well as a host of amenities including an 18-hole golf course, horseback riding, hiking, and river rafting. The project is located just outside Millbrook and Amenia and has been developed by our Visionary of the Year Mike Meldman’s Discovery Land Company. Pictured here, is a four-bedroom home on .3 acres with views of the 18th green and fairway. Completed in 2019, it’s priced at $6M. siloridge.com By Samantha Brooks
Silo Ridge Industry Real Estate Location Hudson Valley Scope 4,134 square feet Architect Hart Howerton Interior Design Rona Chowenhill, RC Interiors by Design Notable Features • More than 100 members were on property throughout March, April, and May. To keep members—and their children— entertained, Silo Ridge offered virtual bingo, a photographer to take photos of residents on their porches, plenty of provisions, member contests including “chopped challenges” and a tie-dye challenge, Zoom workouts with experts, a cookie bake-off, and more. • When it comes to work, high-speed internet is available throughout the property, and as members are considering staying at Silo Ridge full time this fall, Silo Ridge will offer private conference spaces, which can be used for conference calls, Zoom meetings, or even tutoring sessions for the younger members.
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1. The home is full of private, light-filled spaces overlooking the golf course. 2. Backyard views from the home. 3. The home features contemporary fixtures.
4. The home’s two stories provide ample space for work and homework from home. 5. Interiors were designed by Rona Chowenhill. 6. Light, natural materials are used throughout. 7. The home has vast outdoor space. 8. Architecture is by Hart Howerton.
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Working together during troubled times will do more than get us through the current crisis. By Fiona Ma
COVID-19 Is an Opportunity to Reboot More than Our Economy
COVID-19 has sparked an urge in each of us to seek meaning and significance in our lives—lives that have been profoundly affected by a disease we know so little about and that seems to perplex too many of us. Defeating the effects of the virus on our economy will require teamwork, perhaps at a level that we have not required of ourselves in recent history. But what does the teamwork we desperately need at this moment really look like? Undoubtedly, it must reflect a rethinking of our social values and demonstrate that the common good of our fellow citizens is our shared value. It also needs a renewed sense of the incredible power we have as humans to accomplish unimaginable things if we bring effective teamwork to bear on the vexing problems we face in the moment. Consider teamwork in nature. a hive of honeybees can consist of tens of thousands of individuals, each with a specific role to play and all focused on the preservation of the hive and the propagation of the species. The structure of the work in the beehive is both ordered and hierarchical. Each bee is hardwired by Mother Nature to perform a specific task that contributes to the common good. In our American culture, we are steeped in a rugged individualism that is uniquely our own. We struggle to accept the idea that we need to work together and cooperate with one another in order to achieve lasting results that benefit all of us as a society. Yet, our society is experiencing a common vulnerability to an enemy that we cannot see, but that brings the potential of life-altering illness to each of us. In the COVID-19–driven world, we chafe at stay-athome orders and not being able to go to the hairdresser. We lament the loss of life we see each day on the news but retreat into a “It can’t happen to me” mindset. That needs to change. Plenty of hierarchy, not much order. The perspective we should embrace should be understood as part of the higher goal of promoting the common good, just like the beehive. Success in the beehive is not measured by individual accomplishments, but by the success of the hive itself. Our economy is the beehive. FIONA MA This view or perspective is common in human Treasurer, State of California activities that require teamwork, whether in sports, Fiona Ma is California’s 34th state business, or government. Success in these fields is not treasurer. She was elected on Nooverly impressed with individual accomplishments. vember 6, 2018, with more votes As an elected office holder, I know that I must work (7,825,587) than any other candidate individually to convince the voters and my constitfor treasurer in the state’s history. She is the first woman of color and uents that I am up to the tasks they elect me to do. the first woman certified public acI also know that none of us can discharge such duties countant elected to the position. responsibly without developing highly functioning California is the world’s fifth-largest economy and Treasurer Ma is the teams where individuals work well with one another state’s primary banker. She was in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. a member of the State Assembly There is an oft-quoted African proverb that states from 2006-2012, serving as speaker “It takes a village to raise a child.” The fundamental pro tempore from 2010 to 2012.
meaning of this dictum is that it is not enough to simply work together toward a shared goal—we must also have a deeply embedded sense of purpose about why we share that goal and why the goal is important. Defeating COVID-19 will require a bundle of activities, including greater testing, development of a vaccine, and contact tracing, to name a few. Performing these activities will require agreement to a common purpose—defeating the virus—and willingness to place the common good ahead of the transitory detrimental effects on our economy. Hardly an easy choice. But an equally large prize is the healing of our economy. Acceptance of our collective social responsibility and the effective application of it to activities that promote the common good is the essence of our form of government. Promoting the common good, through public safety and social welfare, is our common goal. That is what drew me to seek elective office and what guides me each day in my work. These principles must be applied to healing our economy quickly and effectively, once the immediate crisis of the pandemic passes. Confidence in our various units of government has eroded in recent years, often with good reason. That situation presents us with an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the common good—a heathy society with a vibrant economy. Far too often our public servants disappoint, frustrate, or even deceive us. Those experiences are as old as humankind. To accept these infirmities in a defeatist attitude, however, is to provide oxygen to the air that catastrophic events like the pandemic need to defeat our spirit. We distinguish ourselves as persons and as government officials when we renew our commitment to a purpose and structure of the public’s welfare. At no time in recent history has this been more critical than it is now. Public service, when understood in the context of this collective responsibility, is to be admired, not distrusted or maligned. Teamwork fulfills the purpose. Teamwork will restore our economy. The pandemic will demand that both the public and private sectors pivot to this new way of doing things. If we succumb to the temptation to go back to doing our daily activities the way we have always done them in the past, then we shouldn’t be surprised if we don’t get the outcomes we seek. On the other hand, a renewed emphasis on developing and supporting highly functioning teams will give us the opportunity to hone our skills, better serve our customers and stakeholders, and arrive at a better place in our relations with one another. The result: a restored economy that enables each of us to realize our dreams, support our families, and flourish—and to enjoy good health. The stakes are too high to try this individually. end
Real Estate - OpEd
REAL ESTATE & FINANCE
ASHLYN GENTRY, PHD
REAL ESTATE AND FINANCE
Our NextGen 10 Real Estate and Finance class of 2020 honorees share the ability to act with fearless optimism in the face of uncertainty. They may not always have the answers, but they’re finding creative ways to support their teams, advance their company missions, and rebuild the economy against all odds. These risk-taking under-40 leaders are raising millions in equity capital and hiring thousands of new employees while other companies are cutting staff. They’re funding COVID-19 test centers and innovating new real estate closing processes to keep clients safe. They’re connecting founders with investors to raise capital for trailblazing tech startups. And they have been helping people to find community and save money on housing in big cities. If you’re looking for an indication that things will get better, that there’s still a light at the end of the 2020 tunnel, take a moment to learn more about these inspiring entrepreneurs on the pages that follow. By Sheean Hanlan
CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGING PARTNER, ATTENTION CAPITAL Age: 35 About: I am an academic turned executive. After a decade of working in and studying politics, I shifted to consulting, applying the strategies I learned in politics to corporations and leadership teams. Company: We are a holding company that buys, builds, and operates media and technology companies with innovative approaches to community and curation. Attention Capital’s portfolio includes notable brands like the Tribeca Film Festival and Girlboss. Residence: New York Company HQ: New York Education: BA and MA, political communications, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; PhD, political communications, University of Texas at Austin. Industry: Media and technology. Notable projects: Executed a company-wide initiative in six months that had originally been a five-year plan. Advice: Treat leaders like any other colleagues you have respect for, but also recognize they’re human. Don’t be a yes wo/man. Speak up when you disagree, and
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create a relationship based on honesty. You’ll get their respect in return. Success: In my experience, successful people rarely believe they’ve reached success. There’s always more to achieve. That said, I’ll be satisfied with my career once I’m convinced I’ve created real change for the better in the world. Mentors: Rick Cherwitz (doctoral advisor), Lisa Gersh (former CEO of Alexander Wang, Goop, and Martha Stewart Living), Jack Martin (former boss; global chairman and CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies). Local companies you admire: White Ops, Rent the Runway, Meetup. First job: Worked on political campaigns in my home state of Nevada, which is a swing state, so we always had great exposure to presidential candidates. Guilty pleasure: Cronuts In the morning: Guzzle water and check email. Before bed: Listen to ASMR videos to unwind while reading fiction. What keeps you up: Thinking about the best way to get women in business the resources and connections they need to be “in the room” and even the playing field. Year ahead: I’ll be moving to Los Angeles in 2020, so I’m focused on creating a network of interesting business, private equity, and VC leaders in the area.
FOUNDER AND CEO, COMMON Age: 33 About: I am a visionary entrepreneur with a tech-forward approach toward solving modern issues such as access to education and affordable housing in cities. Company: Common is the nation’s leading residential brand and operator that designs, leases, and manages multifamily properties to appeal to today’s renters. Launched in October 2015, Common operates buildings in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., and receives over 15,000 new member applications per month. Residence: New York Company HQ: New York Education: BS, molecular biology and economics, Yale University. Industry: Real estate Notable projects: Before founding Common in early 2015, I was the co-founder of General Assembly, a global education institution with campuses in more than 15 cities worldwide. Advice: It’s never as good as it seems, nor as bad.
Success: Having a meaningful, positive impact on others while keeping myself hungry and driving to do even more. Mentors: My grandfather was a lifelong entrepreneur who built great businesses despite growing up in difficult circumstances. He did so through a lot of very hard work and personal sacrifices. Local companies you admire: Camp, a new experiential toy store in New York City. It’s a great reimagination of a very old concept and a wonderful place to take the kids. First job: I worked for a biotech company selling genome sequencers. I was in college so they gave me the accounts no one wanted. I sold a lot of sequencers at 3 a.m. to scientists in Japan. Guilty pleasure: Slow-strategy video games and road trips. In the morning: I pour a big cup of coffee and get my two toddlers out of bed. Before bed: I’m meeting with people almost all day, so (as much as I wouldn’t recommend it) I’m usually cranking through email right up until bedtime. What keeps you up: The lack of entrepreneurship. Without robust entrepreneurship, the American economy will slow, and economic gains will accrue to fewer and fewer of us. Year ahead: As I write this, our entire corporate team is working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is a remarkable and strange moment to be running a company. My goal for 2020 is to be able to look back in a year and feel that I made the right decisions for our company, our team, and our customers through this very unique time.
CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER, BETTER.COM Age: 28 About: As chief product officer, I help to shape, develop, and launch the operational structure and strategy that has led to Better.com not only attracting and raising over $254M from investors like American Express Ventures, Citigroup, Ally Financial, Goldman Sachs, and Kleiner Perkins, but also to growing the business 10x in three years. Company: Founded in 2016, Better.com is a digital-first homeownership company whose services include mortgage, real estate, title, and homeowners insurance. To date, Better.com has done $12B in home loans, $500M in title, and $60M in HOI. Residence: New York Company HQ: New York Education: BA, global investment strategies and contemporary China, New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Industry: Financial services Notable projects: At Better. com, my first major highlight was securing partnerships with Tesla and Ally Bank when no one thought we could. Advice: My mom always told me, “You can do anything.” Success: When what you’ve built can run without you.
Mentors: Maria Cuomo Cole is my superhero! I am constantly blown away by her tireless dedication to making our world a better place through many different outlets, all while being an amazing mother and making it all appear effortless. Local companies you admire: Universe, the Apple of websites. They’ve designed a simple, beautiful product that addresses a real gap in the market. And Lemonade! They understand their customers, and how to impress them, better than anyone. First job: When I was 10, I helped run yoga birthday parties (I was in it for the ice cream cake). Guilty pleasure: Binge watching Rick and Morty. Latenight mac and cheese. Even better if both are combined. In the morning: Drink an entire bottle of water, then call my dad. Before bed: Arrested Development on repeat. There’s always money in the banana stand! What keeps you up: The horrors of a nonzero inbox. Year ahead: Actually plan my honeymoon! Launch an amazing experience for real estate agents on Better. com’s platform. Design a big vision with my Burning Man camp for 2021.
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FOUNDER AND MANAGING PARTNER, ARCADIAN FUND Age: 37 About: I help companies in and around the cannabis and hemp industries looking for growth equity to continue scaling into new markets. To date, I have been involved with over $1B in transactions and I maintain a portfolio of over 30 companies. Company: Arcadian is a leader in cannabis venture capital that manages investment vehicles providing limited partners diversified exposure to the ancillary sector (the infrastructure backbone of the industry), ensuring that all portfolio holdings comply with both state and federal law. Our talented team, proven strategy, and strong moral imperative to build ethical companies with ESG best practices allow us to create an ecosystem for value creation. Residence: Los Angeles Company HQ: Los Angeles Education: BA, government and business, University of Texas at Austin; MBA, University of Dallas. Industry: Venture capital Notable projects: Inspired by my belief that education and athletics can open doors for at-risk youth, I launched The Leadership Foundation— an organization committed to giving back to nonprofits whose purpose is to empower youth through sports and education. Advice: Believe in the power of prayer. When you pray, you are placing your worries in the hands of the power above, and if you hold onto those worries after your prayer, your belief in it comes into question. Let go of your worries and let the powers that be guide you. Success: I feel the happiest when a perfect balance of homeostasis is achieved mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Mentors: My father, George
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Nordgren, and football coach Mack Brown. Local companies you admire: Companies we work with like High Times and Kush Bottles, and companies we look up to like Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital. First job: Managing partner of a family office in Texas. Guilty pleasure: Dark chocolate and cherries. In the morning: Take a nice shower, have a good prayer, and assess and analyze the day’s schedule. Before bed: A great TV show or movie. What keeps you up: Constantly thinking about how I can do more, be more, and give more. Year ahead: Be able to look back at the end of the year and know that I poured 100 percent of my heart and soul to build Arcadian with the team.
my time there. Company: Founded in 1986, Hackman has invested more than $4B in properties across 41 states—having owned, through our affiliated entities, over 400 buildings totaling 35plus million square feet. Recognizing the growing demand in urban markets, we were one of the early pioneers of converting industrial properties into creative office and media spaces in Southern California. Residence: Los Angeles Company HQ: Culver City Education: BS, business administration, Indiana University; JD, Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. Industry: Real estate Notable projects: The Beats by Dre corporate HQ in the Hayden Tract of Culver City, which was the toehold for Apple’s expansion within Culver City. The Culver Studios and The Culver Steps, the current and future home of Amazon Studios (the studio is under construction), and 888 Douglas, a 400,000-square-foot creative office campus currently being developed in El Segundo. Advice: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now. Success: Finding an industry that excites me and a career path that challenges me. It’s being in a position where the only cap on my personal and professional growth is my own drive and desire. Mentors: Our CEO Michael Hackman, and John Rosenfeld of Elkins Kalt, my attorney for over a decade. Local companies you admire: Beyond Meat, Riot Games, and Clutter. First job: A stock boy at See’s Candies. I was 14 years old, and while most of my friends were at summer camp I was stocking candy shelves. Guilty pleasure: Cartoons. I’m nearly 40 years old and I still watch an episode of The Simpsons, Futurama, or Rick and Morty nearly every day. In the morning: Email
Before bed: Email What keeps you up: Other than my kid, not much. I learned a long time ago to compartmentalize and that the issues that would otherwise keep me up will still be there in the morning. Year ahead: My answer would have been different [before the pandemic] but with COVID-19 changing the world in ways we are only beginning to understand, I am revisiting and reassessing my goals. I am keeping my eyes open for those opportunities in whatever form they may take.
Real Estate - NG10
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, HACKMAN CAPITAL PARTNERS LLC Age: 39 About: I started my career as an attorney working insurance defense. I then transitioned to in-house counsel at a real estate investment firm and quickly realized I wanted to be on the business side of the transactions. I ended up with Hackman in late 2008 and have grown within the organization that has also grown exponentially during
MANAGING PARTNER, ROCA PARTNERS Age: 38 About: Before founding ROCA Partners, I was a private equity investor at Ares Management and Bain Capital and a consultant at Bain & Company. Company: ROCA Partners is an L.A.-based private equity investment firm focused on providing leading technologyenabled services and healthcare services companies with flexible capital and operational resources to accelerate growth. Residence: Los Angeles Company HQ: Los Angeles Education: BS, electrical engineering and MS, management science and engineering, Stanford University; MBA, Harvard Business School.
Industry: Investment management Notable projects: Partnering with innovative companies in the healthcare industry that are both improving quality of care and lowering healthcare costs, including Oceans Healthcare and The Oncology Institute. Advice: My dad is a professor at UCLA and he researches happiness. His advice? Happiness = Reality – Expectations. Success: Being happy with what I’m doing and who I’m spending time with. So far in life, I’ve been lucky to feel successful. Mentors: My mentors are my former colleagues from Ares and Bain Capital. Local companies you admire: Everytable, Headspace, Participant, and XPRIZE Foundation. First job: Local newspaper delivery in Chapel Hill, NC, while in elementary school. Guilty pleasure: Thrifty mint chip ice cream cone from Rite Aid near our office. In the morning: Quick workout Before bed: My girlfriend and I share what we’re grateful for. What keeps you up: The latest investment I’m working on. Year ahead: Support our portfolio companies so they can continue to grow despite the challenging environment.
MANAGING PRINCIPAL, SILVERBACK DEVELOPMENT Age: 36 About: I founded Silverback Development to deliver developments that incorporate modern design along with thoughtful amenities that cater to future lifestyle trends and long-term livability within the built environment. I am also the founder and chairman of the Bicol Clinic Foundation, a nonprofit that constructs free medical clinics in developing countries and has raised more than $4M to build four clinics in the Philippines, Haiti, and Nepal. Company: With a current pipeline of projects valued in excess of $2B stretching across four states, Silverback employs a robust investment strategy and pursues groundup development and adaptive reuse opportunities coast to coast. Residence: New York Company HQ: New York Education: BA, political economy, Tulane University. Industry: Real estate Notable projects: Closed more than $2.5B in real estate deals by the age of 36. Co-founded DHA Capital, leading the development of luxury developments in NYC, including 50 Clinton, 535 West 43rd, and 12 East 13th. Acquired 75 Kenmare in Nolita and collaborated with celebrity Lenny Kravitz on the interior design. At Silverback we have developed Long Island City’s first Art Moderne condominium, known as “Hero,” and broken ground in Gramercy Park for a project designed by architect Isaac Stern. We are also building a 500-foot-tall condominium on East 47th. Advice: Don’t let the victories get to your head, and ensure that the failures never get to you heart. Success: It is met and measured in every goal achieved, at which point a new one is set.
Mentors: My physician father taught me compassion when he would take me on trips to Haiti post-earthquake to deliver food and medical supplies. My grandfather taught me that strength and confidence come from knowledge and experience, not simply from age. My original business partner Jeff Gershen died while scuba diving just two months into our partnership. His death taught me how to survive and succeed when facing obstacles that could mean certain failure. Fear can motivate. Like water, it can float a ship just as easily as it can sink one. Local companies you admire: I admire hard work. What really comes to heart are the men and women who set up curbside fruit stands at the crack of dawn and sit for 16 hours a day selling produce. First job: A busboy cleaning tables at a local restaurant in Florida. Guilty pleasure: I enjoy dressing up in costumes (dinosaurs, transformers, Jedi knights) in order to play with my kids in fantasy worlds they create. In the morning: I go to the gym at 6 a.m. It’s my meditation and my “prebattle” preparation. Before bed: Read work documents or two to three fiction novels on Kindle. I took a speed-reading course, so I can cover a lot of material. What keeps you up: How I could have done better, whether professionally or personally. If I didn’t do something that produced growth, then I am frustrated with myself. Year ahead: To continue to grow Silverback, support healthcare causes, and see my family stay safe and healthy.
Real Estate - NG10
FOUNDER AND CEO, SKYA VENTURES INC. Age: 34 About: I started my career during the 2008 recession as an office sales and leasing broker at Colliers International. In 2012, I purchased an off-market, single-family home that I renovated and sold. The home made it into the Los Angeles Times as “Home of the Week,” the first home under 4,000 square feet to be featured. I then started my own real estate development company, which I have grown into over 400 multifamily units in Los Angeles over the last six years. Company: Skya Ventures Inc. is an urban infill real estate developer with a keen eye for recognizing undervalued markets. Skya apartment communities focus on designcentric living, technology, and niche sectors. Residence: Los Angeles Company HQ: Los Angeles Education: BA, communications and urban planning, minor, economics, University of California, San Diego. Industry: Real estate Notable projects: Entitled a 23 RV pad expansion located in Coastal Commission and broke ground within 12 months from acquisition.
The previous owner had the property for 10 years and was unable to get entitlements. Advice: Patience is concentrat ed strength that pays dividends. Success: When I get both of my kids to sleep at 7 p.m. Mentors: My husband Keith Wasserman, his father Steve Wasserman, and Roger Beck. Local companies you admire: Lambda School and Prenda School. They are changing the way education is seen and done as we know it today. First job: Cashier at Gap. I was 14 years old. Guilty pleasure: I’m ashamed to admit it, but I watched Love Is Blind and liked it. In the morning: Writing down my evergrowing todo list in my notebook and what I want to accomplish for the day. Before bed: Reading one of the many books on my nightstand. Loved Fair Play and A Man Called Ove. Currently powering my way through The
Gambler, Red Notice, A Tale of Love and Darkness, and Living, Loving and Learning.
What keeps you up: A crying baby and whether or not I am raising my children to be good people. Year ahead: A new multifamily concept specifically geared to ward families with young kids.
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DIRECTOR AND HEAD OF VENTURE GROWTH, SEEDINVEST Age: 30 About: At SeedInvest, I helped create the process by which startups fundraise from both unaccredited and accredited investors. Outside of work, I am the chair of The Jed Foundation’s Young Leader ship Council and on the Young Leaders Advisory Council for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation. Company: SeedInvest is a leading equity crowd funding platform that provides individual investors access to vetted startup investment opportunities. We were instru mental in the passage of the 2012 JOBS Act, which changed 80yearold U.S. securities laws to make it possible for entrepreneurs to raise private capital over the internet for the first time. SeedInvest has funded over 185 startups with a growing network of over 300,000 investors. Residence: New York Company HQ: New York Education: BA, American stud ies, Georgetown University. Industry: Financial services Notable projects: Launching our first publicequity crowd funding campaign on the platform back in 2015 is cer tainly a career highlight. It’s wild to think that one quickly became 10, and now five years later, we’ve helped hundreds of startups raise capital from the crowd! Advice: Always be prepared. The best way to deliver some thing unscripted is to know it by heart. Success: The point when you reach a goal you set for yourself. Mentors: My parents. They both taught me the impor tance of working hard and working compassionately as a valuesdriven leader. Local companies you admire: Sweetgreen. It was local to me
in D.C. for many years and started by fellow Georgetown alums! Its purpose is authentic, which I feel is not always the case. Also, what Sweetgreen is doing with FoodCorps in helping reimagine school food programs is amazing! First job: A sales associate at one of my mom’s retail stores in my teens. I begged her to let me start working the floor during my school breaks. Guilty pleasure: Chocolate chip cookies and TV. In the morning: A workout of some kind. Before bed: I hate to say this, but I check my email. What keeps you up: I spend a lot of my free time volunteer ing for The Jed Foundation, which is a nonprofit protect ing the emotional health and preventing suicide for young adults and teens. Suicide rates around the country have climbed 35 percent in the last two decades. I see it as a pan demic in its own right. Year ahead: Read more books. I recently joined a book club, which 2019 me would never make time for.
Real Estate - NG10 ZACH ZALBEN
CEO, BLACK EQUITIES LLC Age: 33 About: Outside of Black Equities, I spend as much time as I can being involved with a variety of charities (FIDF,
Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts, and The Stanley and Joyce Black Family Foundation). Company: Black Equities consists of real estate owners, developers, and managers. We have a portfolio of more than 300 buildings located in over 20 states with a majority of our portfolio in Southern California. Residence: Los Angeles Company HQ: Los Angeles Education: BA, urban studies, Loyola Marymount University. Industry: Real estate Notable projects: Involved in over $500M of acquisitions and dispositions, worked on over 250 leases, and entitled and built a variety of developments. Advice: A good deal is good for you and good for me. You can never do a good deal with a bad person nor a bad deal with a good person. Success: When you are able to be fair to people in all aspects of your life and be of service to your community. Mentors: Stanley Black, Jill Black, Meyer Luskin, Thomas Safran, and Michael Kaplan. Local companies you admire: Beta Agency, Thomas Safran & Associates, ARKA Properties Group, Simantob & Associates, and Sands Investment Group. First job: Assistant property manager at Charles Dunn Company. Guilty pleasure: The Bigg Chill on Westwood and Olympic. In the morning: 20 minutes of transcendental meditation. Before bed: Relax and unwind. What keeps you up: Not much. I’m an easy sleeper. Year ahead: Continue to learn about the everevolving world and how best to prepare for changes.
NEXTGEN ALUMNI UPDATES DONAHUE PEEBLES III has been promoted to chief of staff of the Peebles Corporation.
Hometown New Rochelle, NY Residence Long Island City, NY Family Wife, Arsha
VISIONARY NEW YORK
ERIC CLEMENT MANAGING DIRECTOR NEW YORK CITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
After doing private equity deals in places as remote as South Sudan, a jet-setting Oxford grad chose a government job in New York to be a part of a finance “SWAT team.” By Matt Pressberg
Cazazian-Clement Education BA, history, Lehigh University; MBA, finance and strategy, Oxford University First job Wealth management at UBS
Mentors David Laffey; Ray McGuire
NEW YORK CITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION Founded 1991 Employees 550
Eric Clement left a high-flying private equity career to return home and run the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s (NYCEDC) Strategic Investments Group. Now, instead of making big deals around Africa and the Middle East, he’s helping the Big Apple get back on its feet by financing its recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. Clement tells CSQ how he got the job and why he left the gilded private equity life behind. Were you always interested in finance and markets as a kid? Were you one of those high schoolers looking at stock charts?
No! I was always interested in making money, but more importantly, I’ve always been curious with why things are the way they are. But to tell you the truth, when I was younger, I wanted to play baseball. I got a full scholarship to college and I played pro baseball for a little bit. After baseball is when I really started to get interested in financial markets and how things work—how everything is tied together globally.
Real Estate - Clement
Once you were done with baseball, you wor ked at some of the most respected firms in America, including Citigroup and JP Morgan. What was that like for you?
I was at JP Morgan and Citigroup during the last financial crisis. I worked on the special situations desk at Citigroup. That was when all the banks were getting hit hard, and their stock prices tanked. New rules were instituted because of the type of business the banks were doing, like the Volcker Rule. I was on one of the proprietary trading desks for Citigroup and that entire desk is now disbanded. During that time, I learned a lot at work, but what really sticks with me from that time was just how an economic recession can impact people’s lives. At the height of the recession, I would see 20 to 40 people let go from the trading floor daily. I would think to myself “Are these people going to be OK?” I will never forget the clapping and cheers for all of the people that were tapped on the shoulder during those times and let go from Citi. You left Wall Street and got an MBA from Oxford. How was that experience?
I didn’t get my master’s when a lot of my work colleagues got theirs (in their 20s). 40
REAL ESTATE & FINANCE
When I was younger, I didn’t know what I wan ted to do, or what I wanted to be, so it didn’t make sense to waste money on a degree. I was 36 years old when I decided to go to business school, and I knew at the time that after work ing in the U.S. for so long, I wanted to work overseas. I figured I might as well try to get into one of the best schools outside of the U.S., and fortunately it worked out. How did you get into private equity?
I got lucky is the short answer. It happened around the same time I was accepted to busi ness school. Some very good friends of mine had started a firm—an infrastructure develop ment company. They were engineers and pol iticians and had connections in Africa. They said, “Hey, we want to build infrastructure and we don’t know anything about finance but you do, so do you want to join us?” Building in frastructure in remote areas of the globe was appealing since I had never worked in emerg ing or frontier markets. What I didn’t realize was how much this experience would have an impact on me. Being able to play a small part in transforming people’s lives, allowing them to be able to work more efficiently and feed their families, gave me a sense of purpose and has always stayed with me. Since I was already going to be spending a lot of time in the United Kingdom (which is where their office was going to be), I said “Why not? I’ll take a flier. I’m in school any way.” At the time, the opportunity was very appealing, and given it was a startup, I was able to attend school while helping to build the company. I would also travel to Africa when needed. The company started with just the four of us, working day and night with the hopes we would land an infrastructure construction project in a part of the world none of us had ever been. It was exciting.
We built the company to 250 employees and completed projects across the continent. We traveled to places like South Sudan, Ugan da, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya, and built infrastructure that made it easier for people to live. In many of these places, the roads were not usable. For miles, people would carry their goods to local markets on their heads. Building roads finally gave locals the option to drive (or ride motorcycles) to the market. This not only improved the quality of their lives, it also gave them an opportunity to make multiple trips to the market and sell more goods. It was a humbling experience and it felt good to be making a difference. Eventually, the firm was acquired, which was great. From there, I started a private equity firm at age 38 with some other partners, and we kept on doing business in emerging mar kets. It was really lucky, to tell you the truth.
New York City has been hit hard in 2020. You’re in a position to make a big impact. What are some things you’re doing, or what people with power in politics or finance can do, to help the city recover?
Within NYCEDC, we’re working on tack ling largescale problems like the building and maintaining of our infrastructure, cre ating more affordable housing, investing in goodpaying jobs, finding alternative ways to pay for education, in addition to everything the city is doing with respect to COVID19. This includes sourcing and standing up local manufacturing lines to produce PPE and other medical equipment, and capitalizing a multi tude of investment vehicles so that small busi nesses, which are part of the heart and soul of New York City, can access capital. Moreover, the Strategic Investments Group is right in the middle of it. We’re using our abilities to financially structure transac tions that make sense to the private sector, while simultaneously meeting the city’s policy goals. As an example, at NYCEDC, when COV ID19 hit, we literally stopped all investment activity and we started redirecting all our resources and talent to support in the city’s response. This included activating our sites to support the city’s immediate response, manu facturing face shields and gowns, developing a “bridge” ventilator in less than a month, and building a local supply chain for tests. In our efforts around gowns, there were 2,200 jobs preserved or created with almost 60 percent of gown manufacturers qualified to register as MWBEs [Minority and Woman Business Enterprises]. At the same time, we were also supporting small businesses and preparing for the longterm recovery. We stood up grant and loan vehicles where in some cases we gave money away to eligible businesses because we knew economic activity In NYC had come to a halt. Throughout this crisis, it has been amazing to see the innova tion and resilience of New York City. end
Real Estate - Clement
1. Eric Clement at an event with his wife, who encouraged him to join the NYEDC. 2. Clement’s role at the NYEDC sees him building infrastructure, creating affordable housing, and handling crises like COVID-19.
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You could have landed a cushier gig after leaving your last private equity position. Why did you take this job?
I moved back permanently in 2017 because I got married and my wife and I decided to build a life in New York. She had actually recommended EDC— I didn’t even know what the EDC was. My wife is the global head of real estate for a big law firm, so she knows the real estate industry well. She said, “Look, you’ve been away for a long time. If you get a job at EDC—especially this one, running this group—you’re going to be in the middle of everything that happens in New York City.” Which at the time, I didn’t fully appreciate, but coming up on three years, that’s exactly what’s happened. I went from being a “Wall Street guy” to now being part of the EDC senior staff, work ing on Hudson Yards, LifeSci NYC, and Cyber NYC—major initiatives to diversify the city’s economy and create goodpaying jobs for New Yorkers, and new ways to finance education so more people could have access to it.
VISIONARY LOS ANGELES AFSHIN ETEBAR PRESIDENT AND CO-FOUNDER ETCO HOMES
Age 52 Hometown Tehran, Iran, and Newport Beach, California Residence Beverly Hills Family Wife, Marjaneh, and three sons, Jordan, Ethan, Jayden. Education Some classes at Orange Coast College. First Job Junior draftsman at Dorius Architects. Mentor Father
Founded 1998 Employees 100
Building on the Family Foundation With more than 600 luxury resi dential units slated for comple tion by 2021, Afshin Etebar and Etco Homes are giving luxury an urban edge with creative designs and bold locations. By Jason Dean Growing up in Newport Beach, California, in the early 1980s, Afshin Etebar dreamed of being an architect. Today his dreams are reflected in the palatial residences and multifamily dwellings created by Etco Homes. Etebar, 52, now serves as president of the company that he, with his brother, Bob, and father, Nasser, launched in 1989. Over 30 years and more than 1,500 residences later, the company now builds homes throughout Los Angeles County in sought-after locations, including Pacific Palisades, where it is currently completing its flagship, one-of-a-kind community, One Coast. In addition to One Coast, Etco Homes is building in Beverly Hills, Pasadena, West Los Angeles, Downtown L.A., West Hollywood, and the San Fernando Valley. CSQ caught up with Etebar this spring to learn more about his journey and what keeps him grounded.
Real Estate - Etabar
Architecture was my passion during high school. One of my teachers recognized my passion and encouraged me to pursue it. Immediately following high school, I started taking classes at Orange Coast College in preparation of moving forward to architecture school. At the same time, I began working with a local Newport Beach architecture firm by the name of Dorius Architects, as a junior draftsman. This was back when everything was done by hand rather than computer-aided drafting (CAD). But the industry was changing rapidly, and everything was going to CAD. Around that time, my father, then nearly retired, was looking for new endeavors to pursue. That is when we decided to look for opportunities in the development world, and my father and I formed Etco Homes and started to build homes together. What was it like working with your father?
REAL ESTATE & FINANCE
It was probably the single best period of my life. Today I look back and think how fortunate I was to have the ability to have that time and connection with my father, both in my business and personal life for over 20 years. Whether at home, in the car, or at the office, he guided me calmly through life’s trials and tribulations. I was fortunate that I had my father helping me from the start and it was even more
Photo Credit: DavidGoldmanPhoto.com (1)
How did you gravitate from architecture to development?
helpful that we were very like-minded with the “just do it and do it right” attitude from the first day. Prior to starting our company, my father had previously co-founded an RV sales and service company that went on to become one of the biggest RV dealers in California. Your brother joined the company a few years in. How have your roles developed and what is your priority now?
Just the same as my relationship with my father, my brother and I deal in the same regard. It is nice to be in accord with him and it has been that way ever since the beginning. Although we are both fully involved in every facet of our business, we do tend to favor some aspects of the business more. For example, my brother tends to deal a lot more with our partners, finance, and construction costs, and I deal more in the location selection, acquisition, design, construction, sales, and marketing aspects of our business. I personally don’t like to think about the financial aspects as that may distract me from my vision. I enjoy visiting construction sites, fixing problems, and finding solutions. Our company is focused on luxury condominiums, three to eight levels. We’re in niche markets, other than our Downtown Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley communities, and our prices currently range from $2.5–$7.5M, depending on location. We currently have nearly 600 units under construction that are expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
How do you stay nimble in uncertain times?
1. Afshin Etebar’s latest project is One Coast Pacific Palisades.
We stay true to our core values. We don’t jump and react without fully digesting the conditions in the local economy and on the ground. No one can see uncertainty or down markets, but I think what we do best is to acquire in the best communities and build the best quality in that community. That, combined with that fact that we build our own buildings, has always been a cornerstone to our values and I believe is the main ingredient in keeping us nimble.
Real Estate - Etabar
At what point did you start to feel you had turned a corner to a successful venture?
I have always felt that we have been successful even going through tough times. I would say that a turning point was when we became a partner of Lennar Homes in 2018. That propelled us to a new level, with a national, public company behind us. We are poised to grow and maintain our dominance as a home builder in the Los Angeles market.
2. The project over looks the beaches of Santa Monica. 3. Interiors feel beachy and sophisticated.
What do you do to unwind?
Because I enjoy the process of homebuilding, on weekends I like to get up early in the morning, put on my jeans, get coffee, and either drive and walk the sites or literally walk to the sites. Since it is quiet, I can not only relax but I can make mental notes and get ideas for certain features of a property. It is not only relaxing but a very effective way for me to see everything firsthand. Is there any advice you have for someone who has a desire to get a foothold in real estate development?
3 CSQ Q2 2020
This is a very tough and financially strenuous business. I would encourage aspiring developers to team up with people that think alike. Also find financial partners that are open to some risk. People that have staying power. Then, I would say, start small, so that you can have your hand in every aspect of the business so that you can learn every part of the homebuilding process. end 43
VISIONARY LOS ANGELES
Scaling the Stage
MERIDITH BAER FOUNDER AND CEO MERIDITH BAER HOME
How Meridith Baer created a home-staging business at age 50 that is now worth upward of $100M. By Jessica Ferguson
Meridith Baer, founder and CEO of the luxu- $100M, has expanded from its Los Angeles ry home-staging enterprise bearing her name, headquarters to major metropolitan locales did not set out to be an entrepreneur, design- along both coasts, and often has some 850 er, or pioneer in an industry that has rapidly houses installed at any one time. When asked become an essential factor to the success of how she managed to scale the business to such real estate transactions. The former journalist, a degree, she does not offer any hard or fast actress, and screenwriter initially just needed rule other than the power of leaning into that a place to put the 250 potted plants she had ac- which thrills you. She describes having felt cumulated after she discovered that gardening like she’d utterly failed at life, or the way we was a key therapeutic catalyst for her writing think life should be lived, and how she first career. The astounding sale of the empty home felt the freedom to start living on her own she moved them into made history, and in one terms. Here, she walks us through how she serendipitous moment, both elevated and val- “accidentally” shifted one of the world’s leading idated the art of home staging. industries and achieved immense success by Today, Meridith Baer Home is valued at following her heart.
MERIDITH BAER Age 72 Hometown Born in Los Angeles but grew up until age 13 at San Quentin Prison, as my dad was associate warden and we lived on the prison grounds. Residence Los Angeles Family Single since I started the business and live with the funniest cat you’ve ever met. Education Bachelor of science in journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder.
First job Assistant to the editor at Penthouse magazine. Mentors James Good, editor at Penthouse magazine, who prior to that invented the Playboy interview and was editor of Stars and Stripes during World War II.
MERIDITH BAER HOME Founded 1998 Employees About 250
You are regarded as a champion and pioneer of the home-staging industry. How does it feel to have played such a pivotal role in an industry that accelerates the experience and sale of real estate on an international scale?
Real Estate - Baer
It has a surreal feeling to me, because it all happened organically—I can even say, accidentally. One day, I just started doing it, without knowing exactly what “it” was yet. Suddenly, I realized I fell into a huge need, one that was very fun and easy for me to start filling up. In a way, I started doing something accidentally for fun that turned out to be a massive tool to help the industry market homes. And I find the discovery and variety of the process very exciting.
As a trailblazer in your field, how did you first define, monetize, and scale the process of staging?
In the beginning, we just started working with what I owned in my own home. A buyer would walk into a [staged] house, and see the home, as I like to say, “loved.” We’d see it elicit a romantic feeling, an affection the buyer would feel for the home that they wouldn’t feel for an empty house. I came up with a number that allowed me to pay all the people I needed to help me, buy the supplies, rent the truck, and still make some money to live on. That’s how I came up with the pricing initially, and wrote my first contract. As for my design knowledge, it’s the oddest thing. I honestly don’t know where my style came from, having grown up on the grounds of San Quentin Prison, where my dad was an associate warden. 44
REAL ESTATE & FINANCE
I always loved design, but I never gave it any importance, nor did my family ever think I should pursue it. It was just this background thing. Now, I spend half of my days looking for new designs, new ideas. Everywhere I travel, everything I do, I’m looking. I’m seeing what’s in the background. Looking for fresh ideas. Whether it’s art or furniture, the arm of a sofa, anything. Walk us through the business logistics of home staging.
Generally, homes sell at least 20 percent faster, and for 20 percent more. It is not unusual for a home that’s been sitting on the market to sell in the first day (and have multiple offers) once we’ve staged it. It is very impactful—the difference in perception that an empty home gives versus one that is dressed and loved. Our goal is to help someone fall in love with the house that day. You started Meridith Baer Home by staging of a friend’s home in Los Angeles. How has the city influenced your brand and its evolution over time?
I think trends are started in Los Angeles, and people follow. People take risks here in ways I don’t think they do in other places. They’re
always looking for a new, modern edge here. It’s ever changing. There are also different parts of the city that demand different styles. Bel Air is going to want one certain style, which can be very different from West Hollywood or Venice. Our California style—the clean, neutral palette with some pops of color—has really traveled well to other parts of the country. We are in the midst of an unprecedented and undefined time in business, and in life. How has the COVID-19 crisis impacted your business and your industry?
So many businesses are impacted by this. We manufacture both locally and overseas.
Everything is shut down. Everything is on hold. We’ve been able to do what we call a “luxury lease,” which is furnishing homes for people to live with, not sell. These fall into the “essential” category. So, we’ve donned masks and gloves to install those at this time. And, oddly enough, we have a lot of homes selling. I think my biggest question is whether this crisis will have a lasting impact on people’s ability to buy a home. Maybe more and more people will have to sell their homes, flooding the market. It looks like interest rates will go down, but it’s hard to see until it all plays out. Tell us about your formative years. What was it like growing up in San Quentin?
As a child, I lived on the prison reservation with just a handful of kids. We had one teacher who taught everybody, from first through 1. Meridith Baer founded her eighth grade, and I was often the only kid in company at the age of 50. It is my grade. As you can imagine, there is literally now worth more than $100M, nothing to do, so you have to create someabout 22 years later. Here, a penthouse she furnished in thing to do out of nothing. When I was 12, we New York’s Greenwich Village. moved to Des Moines, Iowa. They didn’t really know what to do with me there, having gone to 2. The bar area of a home she staged in Tavernier, Florida, a one-room schoolhouse, so they put me in the which is listed for $24.5M. “dumb kids” class. I did not do well. Then one day, a substitute teacher asked me to write up 3. Her recently renovated Los Angeles offices. some assignments for him. After reading what I wrote, he had me transferred to the “talented kids” class, where I became an A student. Again, it was an accident that that happened. I think I was bored, and it was interesting to try something new. Based on that experience, I decided I wanted to be a writer. Writing was always the plan for me, until one day, I was walking along my college campus and Jerry Bruckheimer walked up and asked me to be in a Pepsi commercial. I then went on to work for magazines, act in movies and commercials, and write screenplays for 20-something years.
Real Estate - Baer
What advice would you give to other multipassionate people who are struggling to find their identity?
3 CSQ Q2 2020
I think the key is to follow your passion, what really interests you. Passion is fuel. Throwing yourself into something, dreaming about it, driving around thinking about it—that’s what creates success. It’s like love. When you’re passionate about a subject, you find yourself wanting as much knowledge and experience of it as possible. I strongly believe in fluidity. Following what interests you in life, and not putting limits on the definition of who you are. My mentor, Jim Good, taught me that I don’t have to think of myself in just one way all the time. So much of how we live our lives is based off how we picture ourselves, and it’s very hard not to be slotted by society or defined by who you think you should be. Any way a person can free themselves of that thinking is key. Find out who you are and what you believe separate from everything you’ve learned in life. That gives you the freedom to start taking some risks and doing what you actually want to do. end 45
4 SPENCER RASCOFF
Age 44 Hometown Los Angeles Residence Los Angeles Family Wife, Nanci, and Sophia (15), Luke (11),
VISIONARY LOS ANGELES
SPENCER RASCOFF CO-FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN DOT.LA
Spencer Rascoff had incredible success co-founding tech giants like Hotwire and Zillow—all by age 30. Now, he’s combining his eclectic experience to propel his new endeavor: the Los Angeles–based tech news site, dot.LA.
and Katerina (8) Education BA in government, Harvard First job Goldman Sachs investment banker in M&A
By Samantha Brooks
After decades spent running tech companies, Spencer Rascoff is returning to his early roots in journalism and fi nance to launch a site dedicated to covering the Los Angeles tech scene. It’s the latest endeavor for someone who’s used to taking big leaps. CSQ talked to Rascoff about his formative experiences, the ups and downs of running startups, and what comes next.
Founded 2020 Employees 15
You’ve founded several dot-coms, but your background is in finance. How did those two worlds come together for you?
Actually, I wanted to be a journalist. I grew up in Los Angeles and went to Harvard-Westlake, where I was the editor in chief of the school paper, Th e Chronicle. I went on to Harvard University and did summer internships at Bloomberg and NBC News. Based on that, I realized I was more interested in business than journalism, but journalism always stuck with me. I ended up on Wall Street after college, in 1997 working in M&A at Goldman Sachs. I loved the fast-paced, high-stakes environment, but I decided I didn’t want the life of a banker. I was always looking at the people who were 10 years my senior, and when I looked at the lives of those bankers, I knew it wasn’t for me. I left New York and moved to San Francisco, where I got a job at Texas Pacific Group [TPG]. I had a similar experience, where I realized I didn’t want to be in private equity, mostly because I wasn’t interested in the complex financial structuring of private equity returns. I was more interested in company and team building. Fortunately, while I was there, we were incubating an idea for a discount travel company. This was in 1999 around the first internet boom. Priceline was huge at the time, and to get started, they had given around 25 percent of the company to Delta Airlines in order to get inventory. Once Priceline went public, other airlines were interested in getting into the space. TPG had bought Continental and America West airlines and owned part of Northwest too. We worked to build partnerships with six airlines—all of the big ones but Delta—so that we’d have their preferential inventory of tickets. That’s how we started Hotwire. I left TPG to launch it, along with one of my colleagues, who became the CEO. My job was everything else.
Real Estate - Rascoff
REAL ESTATE & FINANCE
1. Spencer Rascoff co-founded Hotwire, Zillow, and now dot.LA. 2. Rascoff with his wife, Dr. Nanci Rascoff.
3. At the dot.LA launch event with Mayor Garcetti in January, hosted at the offices of Fab Fit Fun.
I think my official title was co-founder and VP of corporate development, which sounded vague enough to allow me to do anything, which is what’s required at a startup. We launched in 1999, and things were pretty good until 2001, when the bubble burst, and there was a lot of second-guessing around working at a startup. Things got worse for the travel industry around 9/11 too. Also, this isn’t something that I talked about until a few years ago, but 9/11 was a dark time for Hotwire. The hijackers had used the site to purchase their tickets. Only our senior leadership knew this because the FBI had come to us about it. I had an awful sense of guilt over it, which was exacerbated by the fact that I had given a speech at the Hilton that was crushed by the Twin Towers and flew home on 9/10 on the same flight that was hijacked the next day. From a business standpoint, things were hard too. In 2001, we laid off a significant portion of the company. We did a down-round with TPG, which wiped out a lot of employee ownership and was an important lesson for me. Hotwire rebounded by 2003 thanks to a lot of hard work and employee grit. We retained Goldman Sachs to go public, but during the IPO process, Expedia, which was being run by Barry Diller and IAC, came to us and wanted to buy it for $685M, which was the largest all-cash purchase of an internet company at the time. About two years before that, my girlfriend, who is now my wife, Nanci, moved from San Francisco to Seattle for medical school, so it worked out well that a Seattle-based company like Expedia had acquired us. I moved there to work at Hotwire’s new parent company, but after a couple of years, I wanted to do something more entrepreneurial.
It’s actually not so different. I left Expedia in 2006 with a few other executives, and we spent a couple of months in a conference room thinking about ideas. We had two, both of which were born from personal frustrations and experience. We were buying homes at the time and were frustrated that basic info like what the seller paid for a home was inaccessible. It was public but locked up. We wanted to put a light bulb over real estate, which is similar to what we had done with the prices of airline tickets at Hotwire. Previously, only travel agents had had access to special fares, and we democratized those. Our other idea was essentially a file-saving cloud—basically Dropbox. We were all moving hard drives of family photos and were in need of file transfer and storage. “Cloud” wasn’t an idea yet, but we decided against it because we thought that the big tech companies like Yahoo, eBay, and AOL would offer it at a low price we couldn’t compete with. We never thought it would actually be Amazon, Google, and Microsoft to lead the way with cloud, but we knew it would be too hard for a startup to compete with giants. Amazon has essentially won in the cloud space because of their huge scale. Dropbox and Box are successful but can’t compare. We chose real estate because we thought the industry lacked transparency. Before Zillow, only real estate agents had access to sales prices and listings data. We thought we’d put everything on the web and people would use it—but we had no real business model. We knew though that real estate was 20 percent of the GDP, and the business model would emerge.
users in the first day. Even by today’s standards, that’s big. Zillow came out with such a bang because it’s voyeuristic. You can Zillow your girlfriend’s house, your boss’s house … people wanted to look up the houses of everyone they knew. The first two years were great. By 2008, we had 200 employees, but then the financial crisis hit. Right in our industry. It was almost like Hotwire all over again, and we had to lay off about 25 percent of the staff. However, we avoided a down round this time. Our employees locked arms and stuck with it. Their grit served us well, and by 2011, we went public. How did Zillow evolve?
In 2006, I started as the CMO at Zillow and was CEO by 2008, and our entire team was extraordinary. To build Zillow, we tapped into thousands of different records, MLS feeds, census data, and various industry databases. We bought a lot of transaction data and put it online. No one had ever done that. That innovation was eye-opening to early users. The big accelerator though was mobile. In 2006, there were no smartphones, but in 2007, Apple launched the iPhone’s app store. I remember I was at my desk and saw Steve Jobs talking online about the app store and explaining how companies would be able to offer their own apps for iPhones. As soon as I saw that, I ran over to my co-founder, and we quickly pivoted to mobile. We switched the whole model and dropped “.com” from the name. We were the first major real estate app on iPhone. Everything took off more from there. During my time there, we acquired 16 different companies, including Trulia, for $2.5B, grew the team to 4,500 people, and expanded the value of the company to over $10B.
Real Estate - Rascoff
It’s a big jump to go from a travel-booking site to a real estate–listing site, with the launch of Zillow. How did that idea come to you?
CSQ Q2 2020
What were the early days of Zillow like?
When we launched in 2006, we had 1 million
You have tremendous drive. Where does that come from?
I was a straight-A student in school. Total nerd. I had great relationships with teachers, and several of them are still my friends. My high school journalism teacher, Kathy Neumeyer, put me in touch with another Harvard-Westlake graduate, Sam Adams, who was also the editor of The Chronicle, who is now my co-founder and CEO at dot.LA. A big thing I got from school was teambuilding and work ethic. Hitting deadlines and working hard under pressure. Some people get that in sports, but I got that in the newspaper. (Although I did play sports too—tennis, cross-country and track. So not a total nerd, I guess.) Being editor was about a five-hour-a-day job. This was pre-technology too, where we were cutting columns with X-Acto knives and sticking them to boards using hot wax. We had a staff of about 40, which were also my peers. That was an important skill I took with me to Hotwire, which I started when I was 23. (I was 30 when I started Zillow.) At Hotwire, I was managing people decades my senior. What I learned from the paper is that you earn respect by working hard. Another big drive for me was losing my brother when I was 15. He passed away the day before graduating Harvard School [before it merged to become Harvard-Westlake]. He was also the editor of the Harvard News and had pulled an all-nighter to wrap up the last issue. He got into a car accident on the way to the printer. I really kicked things into high gear after his passing. I became even more performance driven following his death.
Real Estate - Rascoff
What lessons learned from your previous companies are you taking with you to dot.LA? 4
When did you feel successful?
Only very recently. Two years ago, maybe, the tide started to turn for the word “Zillow.” In the early days, I used to have to explain what it was. Then, maybe five years ago, people would recognize it. But only about two years ago did it enter the mainstream lexicon, and it tipped as a brand. When you start to see unpaid product placements for it on TV and film, it means some writer and director chose to keep it in, and that means it’s a product that people know and love. You recently retired from Zillow, and you’re only 44. What do you do next?
In February 2019 I finally retired because my family had moved back to Los Angeles in 2016, and I was tired of commuting back and forth from Seattle. I stayed “retired” for about five minutes though. I immediately started investing in early stage tech companies, and I taught a course at Harvard Business School about 48
REAL ESTATE & FINANCE
how to run a tech company. Earlier this year, I launched dot.LA, which is a news site about the tech industry in Los Angeles. The more I got familiar with the L.A. tech scene, the more impressed I was. There’s a huge number of unicorns, incubators, and a lot of VC capital, yet very little journalism about it. There’s almost nowhere to read about it. Our goal is to be the town crier for L.A. tech. There’s a huge period of growth in L.A. tech, and we’re covering everything from fundings, new feature releases, M&A, trends, events, webinars. Right now, dot.LA is the most widely read tech publication for Los Angeles. It’s a low bar, but we got it. Separately, I’ve started another company, which is still in stealth mode. My goal is to start more companies, maybe three to five per year, and act as a one-person venture studio in an active co-founder role, and get a broad purview across multiple companies.
Any wrong decisions I’ve made in the past have been generally caused by overreacting to nearterm information. Jeff Bezos talks a lot about two-way-door decisions and one-way-door decisions. You can either go through and come back, making a decision that can be undone, or make a decision that there’s no going back from. It’s important to know which kind you’re making. With dot.LA, we were planning on building an events business for revenue, but Covid upended that. So we shifted to free webinars that will eventually be supported by sponsors. If it’s not working, we can revisit. It’s a two-way decision. We’ve raised enough money for about two years of runway, so we’ll see how a business model emerges from that. end
4. Rascoff and his Harvard-Westlake journalism teacher, Kathy Neumeyer, in 2014.
VISIONARY LOS ANGELES
Grit and Guts
ZAYA YOUNAN CHAIRMAN AND CEO YOUNAN PROPERTIES / LA GRANDE MAISON YOUNAN COLLECTION
Zaya Younan came to the United States from Iran alone and essentially penniless. Now his family’s buildings soar over American cities and their castles are the toast of France. By Andrew Dalton ZAYA YOUNAN Age 57 Hometown Tehran (Iran) and Chicago. Residence Los Angeles Family Sherry Younan, wife of 30 years. They met at church and married six months later. They have five children: David (28), Daniel (27), William (25), Alexandra (23), and Andrew (16).
Education BA, mecha nical engineering, University of Illinois. First job Mechanical engineer, General Motors. Mentors Selfdriven YOUNAN PROPERTIES/ LA GRANDE MAISON YOUNAN COLLECTION Founded 2002 Employees 2,000
Hearing the life story of Zaya S. Younan can be a tonic in troubled times. From coming to America alone as an near penniless child to trying to take his company, Younan Properties, into an IPO just as the 2008 crash hit, he’s had to draw on resilience and determination that stand in contrast to the business towers, converted-castle hotels, and fine wines that he now provides to his clientele. After graduating at age 19 from the University of Illinois and working several low-level jobs, he spent more than a decade as a young executive with companies across the business spectrum, including General Motors, Johnson Controls, and TRW. In 2002, at age 39, he founded Southern California–based commercial real estate company Younan Properties, where he remains chairman and CEO. The company has a portfolio of high-rise office buildings in the United States worth $2.8B. Having moved recently into Europe and the business of luxury hotels, golf courses, cigars, and wines, with plans for broader expansion, Younan Properties became part of the larger Younan Company, the eponymous family business where his employees include four of his five children. (The fifth is still in high school.) The 57-year-old Younan sat down to talk with CSQ about his life’s journey.
Real Estate - Younan
You came to the United States from Iran by yourself as a 13-year-old boy. What motivated you to do that and what was it like?
1 CSQ Q2 2020
We were Assyrian Christians, a small minority in Iran. I lived in a tremendous amount of poverty. My father was a truck driver. At an early age, I learned that it was very frustrating for me to live in that country. 49
1. Zaya Younan came to the US alone and near penniless at the age of 13 and now has a portfolio of high-rise office buildings across the county worth $2.8B.
5. The opulent interiors at Chateau de Beauvois. 6. Domaine de Vaugouard features its own golf course.
2-4. Younan always wanted to own castles in Europe. “Today I’m able to say I own more castles than any king in Europe,” he says. Pictured here, Alexandra Palace.
I met some tourists that came to our house and needed to use the bathroom and drink some water. They turned out to be Americans. So, I developed a huge interest in going to America. I saved up my money, got my own airline ticket, and got my own visa, without telling my parents. I headed to America alone. The trip took 48 hours! I had so many connections with the ticket I could afford. Tehran to Amsterdam to Frankfurt to New York JFK to LaGuardia to Chicago. When you’re a kid you don’t really think in terms of how long it will take; you think about the endpoint. I had an uncle who lived in Chicago, so I lived there first. Obviously, you’re scared, you’re a little kid. I was very scared, but I was very happy to change my life and to come to the place that I had heard so much about. I was very excited to get here and to start my life here. And my parents joined me a year later.
1. Zaya Younan came to the US alone and near penniless at the age of 13 and now has a portfolio of highrise office buildings across the county worth $2.8B. 2-3. Younan always wanted to own castles in Europe. “Today I’m able to say I own more castles than any king in Europe,” he says. Pictured here, Alexandra Palace. 4. The opulent interiors at Chateau de Beauvois.
How did doing something that big, bold, and risky shape the rest of your life and career?
That’s the personality that usually succeeds in life—they push envelopes and take risks. I wanted something different, something better, but then it becomes a part of your personality. You still take risks. That passion
gives you the energy. It’s always easier to find a closed door than an open door. Every time you are planning to do something, you are going to find a closed door. The way I think about it, I look until I find a door that is open. You need that perseverance in trying to always get to the final goal. I think that’s very very good for anybody to have. I had it from a very early age.
Real Estate - Younan
Once you were in the U.S., how did your education and your early years of work shape you into the CEO you are today?
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I looked at education as a tool for me to get where I wanted to get. I couldn’t wait to finish high school. I couldn’t wait to finish college with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. I graduated from the University of Illinois when I was 19. My graduation was on a Saturday, and I was working on Monday. I did engineering for a short period of time. I went to production, to purchasing. I went to advertising. I was able to be well rounded. I was a senior executive for General Motors. I worked for many different companies with different products. By the time I was 35 years old, I had held a couple of CEO jobs with major companies. I did not waste my youth; I optimized it. I knew it was important for me to have a lot of experience. I was able to do what it takes. I promised myself I would be the first one in in the entire company, and I would be the last one to leave. People would ask, “Why are you working when you’re not getting paid?” But I wasn’t just working for the company, I was working to mold myself.
best thing that happened to us. We were able to survive during the recession without evaporating. And now we are more of a private equity firm, so we have transitioned ourselves. You’re able to move faster than all the restrictions and obligations that come with being a publicly held company. It worked out better for us. What has it been like to move the company into Europe in recent years? You’ve bought nine castles that you’ve turned into hotels. What motivated that?
Well, growing up in such a tremendous amount of poverty, I was fascinated with the idea of castles. I always wanted to own castles in Europe. Today I’m able to say I own more castles than any king in Europe. [The castles, all acquired quietly in France and Portugal since 2016 and quickly transformed by the Younan Company into four- and five-star luxury hotels, include Alexandra Palace in Mazières-en-Gâtine; Château de Beauvois and Château Le Prieuré in the Loire Valley; Château de La Perrière, a wedding and events venue in Avrillé; Domaine de Vaugouard in Fontenay-sur-Loing; Hotel Saint-Martin in Saint-Maixent-l’Ecole; and Malibu Foz in Figueira da Foz, Portugal.] We wanted to expand on our luxury hotel
business there. We got into spirit making, wines, and producing some of the best wines in the world in that region. [Younan has two wineries in the Bordeaux region, Chateau La Croix Younan and Chateau Zaya, which produce merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet franc; he also owns four golf courses in France.] We wanted at our hotels something very exclusive to that hotel, so guests can experience that. We bought a tobacco company, El Septimo Geneva, which produces some of the best cigars in the world. Next we’re buying a Champagne house, so we can start making our own Champagne, in the actual Champagne region of France, for the market and for ourselves. What is it like working with your children?
I was very fortunate that my kids have joined me in business. I always told them that they should pursue their dreams. That’s why I changed the company from a real estate company to a private equity firm and so forth so they can do different things. They’re learning a lot. I love and I enjoy working with them every day. As children they try to impress their father, and as a father I’m working very hard to impress my children. It creates incredible self-generating energy. end
And after all of that, how did you end up with your own company in real estate and property management?
Real Estate - Younan
Around 2001, I came back from working for a cyber company in France. We were tired of living abroad. I had built a fortune. I had enough money to be able to invest it in properties. I had never had a vacation. I wanted to find a property, go there, and read all the books I had never read. And looking to buy properties got me interested in the property business. I never really anticipated that Younan Properties would be so successful. Our first building was small, like 20,000 square feet. And five years later we had one at 1.8 million square feet. As I bought and I sold, I constantly upgraded myself. Everything I do next would be much bigger and much grander. Your company was about to go public in arguably the worst possible business to be in, real estate, when the 2008 crash hit. What did you take away from that experience?
The recession was very difficult for us. We did not know we’d have a headwind that was so bad for so long. We were approached by some of the big companies telling us, “You guys have a great story. You guys have a great portfolio product.” So, we started a prospectus, and we got our IPO approved by U.S. government auditors. Then the market started to collapse. We thought, “We’ll wait for a couple of weeks, after that we’ll be fine.” So, we waited. And when you are going public, nothing should change about your company, so we couldn’t do much. For the longest time we thought it was a bad thing, but now looking back it was frankly the CSQ Q2 2020
Real Estate - Meldman
VISIONARY OF THE YEAR
Words by Matt Pressberg
Deals, Development, and Discovery A combination Real Estate - Meldman of gut instincts and hard work has brought Mike Meldman success on his own terms. CSQ Q2 2020
to be where the cool people are. And Discovery Land Company has the coolest. “The network and the brand has been a huge, huge asset for us,” Meldman tells us on a phone interview during quarantine from The Madison Club in La Quinta, Calif. That cachet and brand loyalty have allowed Meldman to be the rare developer who hasn’t belly flopped during a market crash. Discovery Land Company knows how the most famous people in the world want to vacation. And even during the COVID-19 pandemic, when he builds it, they will come. “We take land development—probably the riskiest, hardest part of the real estate business—and we de-risk it because we know what we’re doing. We have the experience, equity in our brand, and more than 15,000 members, who, when we start a new project, are ready to buy in,” he says.
MIKE MELDMAN Age 61 Hometown Milwaukee, Wisconsin Residence Scottsdale, Arizona Family Sons Hunter (32), Will (29), Max (6) On my wrist Patek Philippe; Apple Watch Favorite book When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi by David Maraniss Education BA, history, Stanford University Go-to spot for business drinks Craig’s in Los An geles; The Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills; Conca del Sogno in Nerano, Italy Awards and distinctions Course record holder at every Disco very Land Company club (“Usually lasts until my latest putt”); Boys & Girls Club Tournament hole in one at Cypress; Heart Foundation honoree Philanthropic causes Discovery Land Company Foundation, The Abaco Relief Fund, The Heart Foundation Can’t miss conferences and events Milken Institute Global Conference; US Open; annual Casamigos Halloween party Mentors George Burns, Jerry Weintraub, Burt Meldman (my dad)
Real Estate - Meldman
REAL ESTATE & FINANCE
Meldman grew up in a close-knit family in Milwaukee, Wis. His father sold life insurance, and his mother stayed at home and raised their kids. He had a self-described “Norman Rockwell” childhood, spending time with his large family and playing every sport. The family moved to the Phoenix area when Meldman was 12, like so many other Midwestern families did at the time, looking for sunnier skies and brighter opportunities. Meldman adjusted well to the cross-country move, making lots of friends and doing well enough in school to get into Stanford University, destined for a career in law. His father
DISCOVERY LAND COMPANY Founded 1994 Employees 5,000+ Notable projects Kuki’o, in Kohala Coast, Hawaii; Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Mont.; Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club in Great Guana Cay, Bahamas; El Dorado Golf & Beach Club and Chileno Bay Golf & Ocean Club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; The Summit in Las Vegas, Nev.; Silo Ridge Field Club in Amenia, New York Notable upcoming projects CostaTerra Golf & Ocean Club in Comporta, Portugal; Playa Grande Golf & Ocean Club in the Dominican Republic; James Island in British Columbia (Canada)
Photo Credit: Andy Carlson (1)
Mike Meldman’s career has taken him from dealing cards to selling farmland, and most recently, to doing billion-dollar deals with George Clooney. But you’re most likely to know him as your favorite celebrity’s favorite real estate developer. He’s more comfortable in jeans than tailored suits, but don’t let the casual, fun-loving facade and colorful backstory distract from the serious powerhouse underneath. Meldman is a self-made real estate mogul who has built his Discovery Land Company, where he serves as chairman and CEO, into one of the biggest resort-community developers in the country, with 23 luxury communities built or under construction. From its start with the Estancia Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., Discovery Land Company, which has offices in Scottsdale, Ariz. and Beverly Hills, has established an empire stretching across the country and beyond, to the Bahamas, Mexico, and Portugal. Its latest development is Meldman’s first in the Northeast, Silo Ridge, in New York’s Hudson Valley. The first buyers there: the power couple of supermodel Gisele Bündchen and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. Owners at Discovery Land Company’s other properties include a roster of similarly familiar names, including Meldman’s business partners, actor George Clooney and nightlife impresario Rande Gerber. How has Meldman become the resort developer of choice for some of the most pampered and demanding customers anywhere? The same principle any high school or club operates under: Everyone wants
held a law degree from Marquette University, and there were lawyers throughout the family. There was just one problem: Meldman bombed the LSAT so he didn’t even apply to a single law school out of embarrassment, forcing him to find a plan B. “It was probably the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” Meldman says. It didn’t seem that way at first. Instead, while his Stanford classmates followed the well-trodden—and well-heeled—path to white-shoe law firms and Silicon Valley startups, Meldman headed east on Interstate 80 toward Lake Tahoe, where he took a job dealing blackjack at Harrah’s. “That didn’t sit well with my parents after all the money they spent on Stanford,” he says. His next step didn’t make them feel much better, as Meldman took a job as a broker for a real estate startup, Bishop Hawk, working on commission only. Until he started making deals, he continued dealing cards in Tahoe and bartending on weekends. But this was the break that would put him on the map. Bishop Hawk assigned Meldman to the East Bay town of Fremont, which he says was at the time “a bunch of farmland.” But it was primed to take off, turbocharged by tech money, and Meldman would be at the heart of it. As Silicon Valley expanded south and east from Palo Alto through Mountain View and 1. Mike Meldman’s develop ment Silo Ridge in New York’s then into much more distant San Jose and Hudson Valley has been Milpitas, Fremont’s location across the Dumpopular with celebrities barton Bridge from Palo Alto became much like Tom Brady. more attractive. Meldman followed the real 2. In addition to real estate, estate rule of getting signs up, and people came Meldman has also cofounded calling almost immediately. the tequila brand Casamigos. His first year in the business, Meldman made a lot of small deals—some as little as two figures after commissions were split with I’d commit to something and put a lot of work other brokers. But he learned a lot. into it and the guy had no intention of really “The positive part was I was making deals,” doing anything.” Meldman says. “I kind of had a knack for makMeldman had plenty of intentions of doing deals.” ing much bigger things, starting just down the Soon, those numbers began to get much road from his alma mater. bigger. “All of a sudden, all these farms I had signs Golden Road on, developers started buying,” Meldman says. Meldman’s first development project would “My second year in the business, I ended up have been the last for most developers: an 18selling all of Fremont. It was a huge success year odyssey in Northern California. But he’s for a young guy one year out of college making not most developers. all these deals.” When Meldman went out on his own He then went to work for one of the as a developer, he had enough money to be developers he’d sold property to, handling comfortable, but not to do his own deals. He marketing and interacting with brokers. The knew that land that had been entitled was money was great, but after about his third year, more valuable than unentitled land—he had Meldman wanted a piece of the action instead seen that firsthand selling farmland to big deof just helping make it happen. When the de- velopers—and he made that the cornerstone veloper imploded during the savings and loan of his strategy, recruiting a friend to partner up. crisis and the knives came out, Meldman felt “The one thing I learned how to do from my it was a good time to strike out on his own as brokerage days was tie up land,” Meldman says. a principal. “And then go through and get the land entitled.” “When you are the agent, you don’t really The first property he bought was a 300have any control over anything,” he says. “You acre site in Portola Valley, a suburb of Stanford, don’t know who’s doing what, or if someone’s that was zoned for 32 houses. He raised funds telling you the truth. I didn’t like that because through the fathers of some friends. “They put
the money up, I did the work,” Meldman says. There was just one problem. “This land we bought had every environmental constraint you could think of.” It ultimately took Meldman 18 years to build 28 homes on those 300 acres. Even in California, where new housing is often treated by neighbors as if someone had proposed a nuclear waste disposal facility in their front yards, it was an especially difficult process. However, the experience was hugely valuable, as Meldman learned how to develop through every possible environmental roadblock, at a time when environmental guidelines were not as exhaustive as they are now. That experience would serve him well on future developments with larger stakes. “I feel like I got a PhD in development because I had to do this right,” Meldman says. He also received a second Stanford education, of sorts, in trying to win over the volunteers on the planning committees who held his project in the balance. He laid the roads in a contoured way, to avoid mass grading the site. He put houses on knolls with driveways designed not to disturb the grade. On top of that, the San Andreas Fault ran through the site, which was designated as a wildlife corridor. “Because it was a suburb of Stanford, all the volunteer people on the committees were Stanford professors,” Meldman says. “For the San Andreas Fault, you’re dealing with the guy who started the [United States Geological Survey]. I had to know what I was doing. They would eat you alive.” The Portola Valley
Real Estate - Meldman
CSQ Q2 2020
development ended up taking the majority of Meldman’s time between about 1985 and 1995. He spent much of the balance developing another project that involved a golf course and several homes. While spending years in a planning morass is usually not a recommended strategy for real estate developers, Meldman benefited from this stasis. The early-to-mid-1990s was not a fruitful time for real estate developers, as the Resolution Trust Corporation was unloading mortgage loans and the market was generally depressed. Shepherding large developments through a slow entitlement process turned out to be a good use of Meldman’s time. “The market wasn’t there for anything anyway,” he says. “The motto was ‘Stay alive to ’95.’ I wasn’t strategic, but the timing worked that way.” Reaching the Pinnacle
After his experiences in California, Meldman decided to try his luck in other parts of the country where the process of getting approvals to develop was not quite as excruciating. That took him back to his home state of Arizona. This was the mid-1990s, when city planners in the affluent Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale were trying to be more environmentally sensitive. Arizona was depressed, but housing in the area was showing signs of taking off, along with other Sun Belt cities like Las Vegas. Meldman put the word out to friends that he was on the hunt for property, and soon got a call from Mark Sollenberger, who still works with Meldman today. Sollenberger mentioned that he had a property for sale: Pinnacle Peak, a landmark mountain in the area. Meldman was in. “I had no idea how I was going to buy it,” he says. “But I tied it up.” Meldman hired a group from New York called BDS to go on a road show to raise money. During the first meeting, Meldman was shocked to learn BDS stood for something along the lines of “bankrupt distressed specialists.” Nevertheless, BDS did a good job, and were able to raise the money. Every person they met wanted to be involved in the project. Ironically, the day he went to look at the property, friends and colleagues tried to talk him out of building a brand-new golf resort community in Scottsdale, home of arguably the largest concentration of luxury golf courses in the country. Their doubts were unwarranted. Meldman, who then did not play golf, relied on Sollenberger, an accomplished golfer, to help shape the idea for Estancia. The logic was “golf and open space sells real space for premiums and higher velocities,” Meldman says. They built the course and the Pinnacle Peak trail system, and the strategy worked. Estancia’s lots and land sold for four to five times what properties outside its gates were going for. It was home to the first few lots that sold for more than $1M in the state. “It was the place to be,” Meldman says. “It’s still probably
the best golf course in Arizona 25 years later.” On the Map
After Estancia, Meldman was emboldened to come back to California for a project called CordeValle, in the foothills near Gilroy, Calif. A lot of Estancia members were Bay Area tech moguls, including legendary venture capitalist Don Valentine, which convinced Meldman that there was a market for a “CEO club” for Silicon Valley. The site did not have a huge residential real estate component, but Discovery Land Company developed the golf course and hotel, which today is the Rosewood CordeValle. CordeValle’s success acted as a catalyst for a subsequent string of developments, including Kuki’o, on the Big Island of Hawaii, Mirabel, in Scottsdale, and Iron Horse, in Whitefish, Mont. Meldman tells the story of how he made his first sales at Iron Horse: He brought four friends to the site in a private jet, all of whom told him in advance that they were not interested. The group toured the golf course then went fishing and whitewater rafting in Glacier National Park. “The idea was basically to turn you into a mountain man,” Meldman says. “The whole idea outside of the golf for Iron Horse was to take advantage of what the local culture had to offer, all the great things to do in northern Montana.” All four ended up buying. Iron Horse was the first Discovery Land Company development to add what Meldman calls “Outdoor Pursuits,” where longtime local guides take members to experience recreational activities, like wakeboarding and fly-fishing. Meldman has also made local the focus of his charitable work, through the Discovery Land Company Foundation. The foundation organizes events like celebrity pro-am tournaments, with all the money going to area charities.
Growing the Empire
Discovery Land Company’s next string of developments included its first outside the United States: El Dorado Golf & Beach Club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, as well as The Madison Club and Gozzer Ranch Golf & Lake Club in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. That international footprint has since expanded in the now 25plus clubs Discovery Land Company has either built or has in the works, including Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club in the Bahamas, and its first in Europe: CostaTerra Golf & Ocean Club on Portugal’s Alentejo coast. Discovery Land Company’s business, involving slow-moving, time-consuming residential developments in resort communities, would seemingly be sensitive to shocks in the economy. However, the company thrived in the 2008 recession, adding one of its crown jewels: Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Mont. “We came in at the right time and we turned that around,” Meldman says. “The bones were all there and were great, except for it was in bankruptcy.” He fixed up the master plan and added resort-style amenities, and the business took off. Members include a host of Silicon Valley titans. Last year, Yellowstone did $1B in sales, according to Meldman. “It’s all vertically integrated, so we know how to make it work,” Meldman says. “Not only from a development standpoint, but also from a cultural standpoint.” Meldman chalks up his ability to thrive during real estate downturns to the specific business model of Discovery Land Company. He has reduced risk in the business model by essentially having a preselected—and highly convertible—pool of customers. And most important, the company has no debt, and neither do most of its projects. “What I learned is, you think it’s going to
Real Estate - Meldman
REAL ESTATE & FINANCE
take you a year to get approved and it may take 18 years,” Meldman says. “If I would have had debt on Portola Valley I would never have made it 18 years.” Meldman says he prefers to take on equity partners rather than use debt because it’s safer and gives him the freedom not to worry about market cycles. And now, with so many communities, selling to guests of other members alone presents a huge potential customer base. “Now that we have so many clubs, we probably do 100,000 guest rounds a year,” he says. “All those guests are potential buyers somewhere else. We are able to market without spending real money. My whole idea from a marketing standpoint is: Get them when they’re on property.” Discovery Land Company’s latest, Silo Ridge, is conveniently located for the country’s finance elite, an easy drive from New York City. Meldman believes Discovery Land Company projects like Silo Ridge are well-positioned for a world in which people might be reluctant to live or vacation in crowded mega-cities but want amenities and easy access if needed. “In today’s world, people want the private, low-density projects away from tourist destinations,” he says. That seems to be proving true at several Discovery Land Company properties. At Yellowstone Club, Meldman made sure to keep the restaurant open even after the county closed down the resort facilities. That’s allowed the community to deliver food to the 100 families quarantining at Yellowstone, many of whom, Meldman says, are using the community as a “safe haven” away from their homes in places like Boston and Los Angeles. Silo Ridge has proven to be a popular destination for its members to ride out the pandemic, as well. “During the crisis here, every member who has a house here has stayed at their house in Silo versus being in the city, and they feel much more safe and secure,” Meldman says.
3. An overview of the El Dorado development in Los Cabos. 4. Meldman with his Casamigos partners George Clooney and Rande Gerber.
collared-shirt rule went out the window soon after. Meldman wanted to golf with his children, who were around 5 and 7, and had to literally wrestle with them to get them into collared shirts. He decided this was not worth the fight, and removed the requirement. Guests can now golf in a T-shirt or no shirt at all at Discovery Land Company properties—though Bale might be better suited for that than most. Interestingly enough, Meldman says that if he had the appreciation then for golf that he does now as a longtime player rather than a new golfer, he may not have been so cavalier in bending the rules. “Golf is very traditional,” he says. “The tradition and history of the game is very important. Now, 25 years later, I love golf and I’m a big golfer, and I do appreciate the history. If I understood that back then, I might not have done this.” However, Discovery Land Company’s casual approach reduces the intimidation factor of golf clubs, which Meldman says has worked well. “I try to take that fear factor away,” he says. Meldman has also strayed from the golf course orthodoxy in terms of food. Many golf courses have halfway houses or huts where golfers can grab a granola bar, soft drink, or maybe a hot dog to refuel them as they power through the back nine. Compare Discovery Land Company’s “Comfort Stations,” which originated from an idea Meldman had to stash fun snacks in coolers at every tee box to entertain his kids. Now, the stations at his clubs include everything
from milkshakes and frozen margaritas to a full-on candy stand. “The whole idea was just to make the golf course fun,” he says. The Three Amigos
While Meldman’s primary business is developing some of the most exclusive resort communities in the world, he’s likely better known to most people as one of the three men behind a brand with a much lower price of entry: Casamigos Tequila. Meldman met Gerber and Clooney more than 20 years ago, and then the two went on to build houses at his El Dorado Golf & Beach Club. Over the course of many conversations overlooking the Sea of Cortez, they came up with a simple, bulletproof business plan: “I figured I did enough projects, I could buy enough to make it successful,” Meldman says. “Rande’s bars could buy enough to make it successful. And we figured George would drink enough to make it successful.” The tequila had such a good reception among friends and family that the partners took it to Southern Wine & Spirits and secured a distribution deal. Meldman estimates that Casamigos sold 10,000 cases in its first week. The three sold the company to spirits giant Diageo in 2017 in a deal that could be worth up to $1B. In a Business Insider article about the company, Gerber called Meldman “wonderful at marketing” and said he is “smart” with “incredible relationships.” However, Casamigos isn’t Meldman’s first foray into the food and beverage industry. He was an original investor in L.A. hot spot Craig’s, which repaid the favor with an eponymous dish on the menu. Meldman’s Honey Truffle Chicken is served with spinach, a pancake, and truffle honey. Like its namesake, the dish has varied, fun elements that might not or even should not work together, but somehow do. end
Real Estate - Meldman
Home on the Range
Welsh soccer star Gareth Bale made headlines three years ago when he played a round of golf at Baker’s Bay wearing nothing but underwear. While that’s not exactly par for the course at Discovery Land Company properties, Meldman has gone against the grain of many exclusive-club developers and deliberately made his properties casual and welcoming to families. Meldman says a lot of this happened organically, as he was dealing with his own young kids and had a natural, casual inclination. When he built Estancia, the clubhouse originally had a no cell phones and no jeans rule, like pretty much every other golf club in Arizona. After a while, Meldman got tired of changing out of jeans every time he wanted to use the clubhouse, thinking it was “the dumbest thing ever.” “Wear jeans in the clubhouse, who cares?” he says. “I did it, and people liked it.” The CSQ Q2 2020
REAL ESTATE DEALMAKERS
Jeff Hyland Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Total Units Sold: 528 Total Sales Volume: $3.5B Market Served: Los Angeles Notable Transactions: Chartwell, The Spelling Manor, 822 Sarbonne
Hyland: “We’ve- been truly remarkable in creating, SpecialJeff Section Dealmakers what is arguably, the single most successful real estate office on the planet.”
In 1993, Hyland and Rick Hilton co-founded Hilton & Hyland. The firm has prospered and grown from its original intent of a highly personalized real estate shop to the highest producing luxury boutique brokerage in the world. Known for selling ultra-high-end real estate, Hyland has handled more than $4 billion in real estate transactions to date. In 2019, Hyland broke the record for the highest sale in Los Angeles history with the sale of The Manor for $120 million, and then broke the record again with the sale of the late Jerry Perenchio's Chartwell Estate for $150 million, marking the highest sale in California. Hyland’s reputation as a consummate broker with a passion for architecture and estate genealogy has been a symbiotic match with Hilton’s real estate development, residential sales, hotels and commercial financing expertise. Hyland currently holds an 8.5 acre estate in Bel Air at the most expensive listing in LA at $225 million. Hyland has continued to write, publishing The Legendary Estates of Beverly Hills through Rizzoli International Publications. The definitive accounting of 45 magnificent 58
estate properties spanning a century in time will soon be joined by a sequel. He was named “The Gatekeeper of Beverly Hills” by Town & Country and is frequently quoted in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, London Times and Wall Street Journal. He has served as President of the Beverly Hills Board of Realtors, President of the Los Angeles County Board of Real Estate and State Director for the California Association of Realtors. He recently received the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art’s Legacy Award and The Will Rogers Real Estate Lifetime Achievement Award from the City of Beverly Hills. Some of the fabled estates of Hyland’s youth have since slipped into the past, replaced by newer and larger properties. But consummate representation endures, furthered by forward vision and innovative technology. Passionate about philanthropy, Hyland is highly respected in his community and supports several charitable foundations. During those elusive moments of free time, he and artist wife Lori of 35 years enjoy reading, writing, horseback riding and sailing. END
Special Section - Dealmakers
HIGHEST SALE IN HOLMBY HILLS 2019 THE SPELLING MANOR | $120,000,000 - Jeff Hyland Represented the Buyer
ÂŠ2020 Hilton & Hyland Real Estate, Inc. Broker does not guarantee the accuracy of square footage, lot size or other information concerning the condition or features of property obtained from public records or other sources. Sales prices based on the list price, due to client confidentiality. Equal Housing Opportunity. DRE 01160681
REAL ESTATE DEALMAKERS
Kofi Nartey, CEO Email:
email@example.com Total Units Sold: 3000+ as a firm Total Sales Volume: $6B as a Firm Market Served: Beverly Hills Based | Globally Connected Notable Transactions: We are currently negotiating over $300M of residential and commercial deals.
Notable Clients: Michael Jordan, Matt Kemp, Kevin Durant, Jason Kidd, Kenya Barris, James Van Der Beek, Raphael Saadiq, Candace Parker, Neve Campbell, Derek Fisher, Marcellus Wiley
The Private Real Estate Firm Servicing Celebrity + Real Estate,- Commercial, and New Development Special Luxury Section Dealmakers What drives your passion for Real Estate?
The thing that fuels me on a daily basis is unlocking potential: in myself, in others, and in the properties that we sell. Real estate allows me to do this through deal making, creative marketing, business building, and helping others realize their goals. It is a great feeling selling a properties story to the right buyer or finding the perfect property for a buyer. Now, our passion has expanded to developments and commercial real estate opportunities. We bring the same drive, expertise, and reach to this part of the industry. What differentiates you from other agents?
I believe it's our ability to harness our unique experiences, expertise, and skills that truly differentiates us. For me, I combine my sports and entertainment experience with my business school background, and now eighteen years of real estate experience, to bring my clients and my firm drive, passion, hard work, creativity, and a level of humanity that is unique in this industry. Plus, I like to have fun! What strategies have you adopted to adapt to social distancing in the current COVID-19 economy?
We have been leaning on technology that still has a capacity for personal interaction. The video conferences have proved invaluable and we have used a property showing app called REveo with great success. It allows real time engagement in a video format that can be saved and shared. We are also creating more interactive property video and virtual touring content. The key has been still capturing the emotions of a property through video. I feel like my background in the entertainment industry has helped me with that. If it can be done in movies, we can do it in tastefully in real estate. What would you consider as one of your philosophies of life?
One of my life philosophies is that we have a responsibility during our lifetime to realize all of our gifts and share them with the world. I am excited about the opportunity that my new firm, Society, has given me and my associates to share our collective experience and gifts. Real estate is our vehicle, and we will help our clients across their real estate portfolios. That being said, we hope the experience of working with us is one that contributes to one's overall life experience in a way that is desirably different. end
Special Section - Dealmakers
THE PRIVATE REAL ESTATE FIRM Residential | Commercial | New Development | Sports + Entertainment YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
CLOSED TRANSACTION VOLUME
SocietyBrokers.com Beverly Hills Based | Global Reach Info@SocietyBrokers.com CA DRE #01404511
Take Your Business Travel to the Next Level
66 Health 67 The Getaway LA 68 The Journey LA 70 The Getaway NY 72 The Journey NY 74 Meetings and Retreats
Tired of being cooped up during quarantine? Consider a summer escape to Oahu. With seclusion, services, and endless sun, Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina is just what you need. Page 72.
CSQ Q2 2020
Destinations - Cover
NEW DEVELOPMENTS + SECOND HOMES
Etco Homes is a boutique Southern California homebuilder in their third generation of family owner ship and management. Their objective is to identify and build only the most desirable and innovative designs for today’s demanding urban home seekers, in prime locations throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area and beyond. Bree Long, Senior Vice President of sales and marketing at Etco Homes, speaks to the unique allure of their latest project—One Coast’s luxury oceanfront homes perched on the bluffs of Pacific Palisades.
New Lock & Leave Oceanfront Homes in the Palisades
One Coast’s gated, residential enclave offers 53 luxury townhomes and residences elevated on the bluffs of Pacific Palisades. Here, golden sunsets, offshore breezes, and matchless proximity to beachside pursuits set the pace for everyday life, while palatial modern residences with expansive outdoor living spaces and mountain-to-ocean vistas provide the ultimate canvas for authentic Golden State living. With two to five bedrooms ranging from 2,810 to 5,017 square feet, the project offers many top-floor residences with private rooftop terraces fit to accommodate spas and barbecues. All homes feature verandas and twoto three-car garages with elevator access. Each lock-and-leave home is complemented by personalized concierge and lifestyle services, 24-hour guard service, and high-end amenities—including an observation terrace with an outdoor lounge and fire pits and a hillside stairway with controlled access to the area’s iconic beaches.
fornia vistas captivate beyond window walls, airy interiors offer the idyllic space to unwind and breezy rooftop terraces on select homes welcome more time spent outdoors. Beyond well-appointed social amenities and lifestyle services that anticipate your every need, luxury comforts like a 24-hour guarded entrance with dedicated security and elevator access to your doorstep offer the complete peaceof-mind that only One Coast’s one-of-a-kind lifestyle experience could. Here, you can live the quintessential California dream you’ve always imagined.
Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
1. Bree Long, SVP of Sales and Marketing at Etco Homes.
Special Section - 2nd Homes
What differentiates One Coast as an in-demand second-home offering in Los Angeles? One Coast’s secure oceanfront enclave offers an effortless lock-and-leave lifestyle complemented by hospitality-level concierge services, unmatched privacy, and seamless access to L.A.’s most iconic beaches, mountain trails, and cultural amenities. Here, residents can enjoy a home where iconic Southern Cali64
One Coast has garnered much attention for its compelling setting. Can you speak why home buyers are drawn to One Coast’s unique locale in Pacific Palisades? One Coast is masterfully sited to embrace Southern California's most precious allure— sprawling beaches, mountain trails, and golden hillsides. Perched above and beyond Sunset Boulevard and nestled between Malibu and Santa Monica, our seaside sanctuary offers dwellers the opportunity to whisk off to L.A.’s most coveted cultural destinations on a whim, retreat to the coastal headlands within moments, or claim a renowned surf break as their regular local spot. And, more than ever, potential homebuyers are seeking exactly that—the simple luxury of seclusion, space, and an intimate connection to the natural wonders that await just beyond our doorstep. end
Pricing: Starting in the high $2 millions Developer: Etco Homes
Units: 53 Luxury Town homes and SingleLevel Residences
2. State-of-the-art kitchens at One Coast feature a clean, minimalist aesthetic. 3. Bright, airy bedroom interiors complement the endless ocean vistas. 4. California’s iconic Pacific Coast Highway rests just below the property.
WHERE THE COAST IS CLEAR
New Townhomes & Residences from the High $2M Special Section - 2nd Homes Live freely and fully along the clear, California coast—where space abounds, ocean waves roll and mountain trails beckon. Here at One Coast, palatial modern homes are complemented by the luxury of seclusion, sunswept indoor-outdoor living spaces and personalized concierge services for complete seaside ease. Arriving late summer 2020 with pre-sales now underway.
Schedule your private or virtual showing today. 310.230.0101 | firstname.lastname@example.org | liveonecoast.com 17322 Tramonto Drive, Residence 604, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 All information (including, but not limited to prices, current views, availability, school assignments and ratings, Broker programs, incentives, floor plans, site plans, features, standards and options, assessments and fees, planned amenities, programs, conceptual artists’ renderings and community development plans) is not guaranteed and remains subject to change, availability or delay without notice. Community improvements, recreational features and amenities described may not be an actual representation and are based upon current development plans which are subject to change and which are under no obligation to be completed. Maps and plans are not to scale. Square footage and all dimensions are approximate and may vary in actual construction. As-Built Condition will control. Prices may not include lot premiums, upgrades and options. Community Association or other fees may be required. Actual position of house on lot will be determined by the site plan and plot plan. All illustrations are artist’s concepts only, not to scale and subject to change in actual production. Marketing materials do not reflect a racial, age, familial status or ethnic preference. Floor plans and elevations are an artist’s conception and are not intended to show specific detailing. Floor plans are the property of etco HOMES and its affiliates and are protected by U.S. copyright laws. No purchase agreement may be negotiated or signed by a prospective buyer for the purchase of a home until the community’s applicable conditional or final public report has been issued by the Department of Real Estate (CalDRE). This is not an offering in any state where prohibited or otherwise restricted by law. CalDRE license #01878688. © 2020 etco HOMES.
Sensei, the new health-minded brand from Larry Ellison and Dr. David Agus, debuts Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort. By Samantha Brooks
In the last decade, “wellness” has become a kind of buzzword that’s used to describe everything from protein powder and essential oils to house paint. And when it comes to wellness retreats, there’s no shortage of destinations and gurus willing to put guests on a vegan cleanse and guide them through beachfront yoga and meditation. So, when the Four Seasons announced last fall that its Four Seasons Lanai at Koele was set to become the first Sensei retreat, you might have thought it was just another destination spa. Think again. Sensei is the wellness brand from Larry Ellison and Dr. David Agus. The two met through mutual friend Steve Jobs (Agus was his physician) and bonded over their mutual loss after Jobs’ death. From that grew their desire to create a forum for people to pursue preventive health. While the brand has plans to expand to other locations—both destination retreats and urban centers—the debut property is on Lanai, which Ellison owns 98 percent of. (The island also hosts another Four Seasons property, a more traditional beach resort, located about 20 minutes south.) “Larry and I wanted to do something unique using his skills with technology and data and my skills with health,” says Agus. “What’s different about Sensei is that we’re using data-driven decisions to drive health. All too often people ‘believe’ things work, but we’re actually able to look at data and apply that data to lifestyle for real results.” Everything at Sensei is customized. For instance, guests have access to diagnostic testing, where body data is collected through functional-movement tests, wearables, and a Sensei-developed thermal body-mapping system that uses infrared cameras to detect variations in the body indicative of muscle tightness and inflammation. A massage therapist might target those areas, then a yoga class afterward will emphasize how to make those areas better. “We have built-in feedback loops too, where each guest is assigned to a guide,” says Agus. “In the morning, guests will meet with their guide and talk about their sleep the night before, so that they can have a better night’s sleep the next night. Eventually we hope to use technology to analyze
sleep patterns, so we are able to show people how things like having one glass of wine verses two glasses of wine before bed affects them.” Everything at Sensei is customized to the guest, and not all guests have to have an ailment. The stunning property is a relaxing getaway on its own, complete with 96 rooms, ten 1,000 square-foot private spa hales, indoor and outdoor yoga spaces, two movement studios, an outdoor pool, and onsen baths. A 25acre sculpture garden weaves throughout and houses pieces by Fernando Botero and Robert Indiana from Ellison’s personal art collection. However, frequent guest concerns include sleep, work/life balance, and with the recent coronavirus outbreak, preventative care. “The US Surgeon General came out with a study 10 years ago that 70 percent of world disease can be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices. We see that around problems like diabetes, obesity—things that are making people vulnerable with COVID—all of the conditions that put us at risk can be greatly diminished by promoting healthier living,” says Sensei’s CEO, Kevin Kelly. “Dr. Agus has a great background in seeing how people can be healthier to prevent getting cancer.” While the property has a well-trained wellness team, many with masters or PhD’s on anything from nutrition to sports psychology, it also has the privilege of an entire menu overseen by chef Nobu Matsuhisa. There is also
a sustainable, solar-powered farm on the island that uses 90 percent less water and is slated to generate 1 million pounds of produce per year. (The goal is to replicate the sustainable model around the world to shorten the distance from harvest to grocery aisles, reducing emissions from transportation and extending shelf life.) Beyond programming, staff, and cuisine, the resort is every bit as stunning as one would expect from Four Seasons and Ellison, who was highly involved with the years-long renovation of the 75-acre property. Although COVID-19 caused the resort to temporarily close, the property anticipates reopening in late summer. Rates start at about $2,000/night, inclusive of round-trip air transfer from Honolulu on Lanai Air, all meals and beverages, a dedicated Sensei Guide, private guided sessions with a highly trained wellness team, spa treatments, and group classes. Typical stays are suggested for a week to allow for guests to immerse themselves fully, but shorter stays are also possible. fourseasons.com/sensei
Destinations - Health
1. The new Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort is on 75 lush hilltop acres. 2. There are 10 private spa hales, each 1,000 square feet.
Ranching Out Open exclusively during the summer, Mustang Monument offers an American safari in northeast Nevada that feels a world away. By Samantha Brooks
When Hurricane Katrina threatened the lives of 250 wild mustangs, businesswoman and philanthropist Madeleine Pickens jumped into action. She immediately rescued the horses and transported them to a private sanctuary in northeast Nevada. Now, the 900-square-mile property, spread over the wide-open plains, is home to more than 1,000 wild mustangs and welcomes guests for stays in 10 safari cottages and 10 luxury tipis, providing a one-of-a-kind setting for ecotourists to experience an American safari. The idea of glamping is hardly new to the American West, but Mustang Monument is unique. First, the proceeds from the philanthropic venture go entirely to rescuing the horses and funding the refuge. Second, the exclusive experience is only open from June through September, when the weather is perfect (typically ranging from 50 to 80 degrees) for its range of outdoor activities and experiences. Guests of all ages can ride ATVs; learn to cook; head out for remote picnics; take full-day horseback trail rides; feed and interact with the mustangs; have an overnight sheep wagon experience with Native Americans; visit local hot springs; and enjoy archery, baseball, rappelling, and wagon rides. Accommodations are intentionally in tune with the rugged landscape, but hardly short on comfort. The 10 luxury cottages feature their own design schemes inspired by the American Southwest. Every 550-square-foot independent structure includes king-size beds, en suite bathrooms, heat and air conditioning, walk-in closets, and bathrooms with separate showers and soaking tubs. Complementing these freestanding structures are 10 tipis, each constructed for the season and measuring 26 feet wide by 26 feet tall. Furnishings include leather chairs, hardwood floors, and Native American textiles. Additionally, each has its own detached bathroom with full amenities. Elsewhere on the property, wellness activities like yoga are available, as are massages and facials (although not this season due to COVID-19), which are held in a treatment tipi or underneath shaded trees. Dining is overseen by chef Peter McQuaid, who worked at Daniel (with its three Michelin stars) and now creates one-of-a-kind culinary experiences
on property, to enjoy in your own tipi or underneath the stars. Ruby’s Restaurant serves three meals a day, as well as cocktails and fine wines, and hosts culinary classes. The property has decided to only open for exclusive buyouts during the pandemic, making it the perfect summertime, camp-like retreat for families and close friends to enjoy together. From $1,660 for tipis or $1,800 for cottages. mustangmonument.com
1. Accommodations include 10 free standing cottages, each with their own design scheme inspired by the American Southwest.
Getting There: The property is in Wells, Nevada,
4. There are more than 1,000 horses on the property.
about a 2.5-hour drive from Salt Lake City International Airport. Those flying private can land at the Wells Municipal Airport/Harriet Field (LWL), which is about a 25-minute drive away.
2. You can also stay in one of 10 tipis, each offering 300 square feet of space, hardwood floors, and plush furnishings. 3. The onsite restaurant features cuisine by chef Peter McQuaid from the threeMichelinstarred Daniel.
5. Madeleine Pickens founded Mustang Monument as a rescue retreat for horses.
Destinations - Getaway - Mustang
CSQ Q2 2020
Close to Home For those who are looking to get out of town without getting on a plane, reconsider these drive-market destinations for more than a weekend getaway. All of the properties featured here are less than three hours away and offer stand-alone/bungalow-style accommodations—along with a range of social-distancefriendly activities. Pack your bags for a week (or two) and settle in for a change of scenery and a relaxed environment that will help the past few months melt away. By Samantha Brooks
Location: In the heart of Bel Air, on 12 acres.
Location: About 20 miles south of Los Angeles, on 102 acres of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Accommodations: If you live in Los Angeles
and have only been coming to the hotel for dinner and drinks, you’re missing out. The hotel features 103 rooms, 80 of which have private outdoor spaces, and 20 of which have either a spa pool or Jacuzzi. Book the 2,265-square-foot Presidential Suite and have your own full-size swimming pool (shown here), grand piano, chef’s kitchen, and dining room with seating for 10.
Accommodations: In addition to 582 guest-
rooms in its main building, Terranea also offers 50 three-bedroom ocean-view casitas and 32 villas that range from 1,850 to 2,800 square feet and include full kitchens and living areas.
To do: The property offers lessons in falconry,
Destinations - The Journey LA To do: The property has launched an “Experi-
ence More” menu, in which guests are able to book a variety of activities in the comfort of their room or throughout the hotel’s grounds. Options include picnics, candlelit dinners, cocktail and s’mores kits, and more.
Post-COVID-19 operations: Terranea has implemented the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Safe Stay industry-wide initiative, and will reopen for overnight accommodations in June 2020.
Post-COVID-19 operations: The spa, gym, and inside portion of the bar and lounge remain closed. Is the pool open? Yes
Is the pool open? The property features four pools; they anticipate opening the Resort Pool (and its 140-foot waterslide) and the Vista Pool (near the ocean) with monitoring and social distancing.
From $565; dorchestercollection.com
From $349; terranea.com
NOBU RYOKAN MALIBU
To do: Dine at Nobu Malibu, right next door (the
Location: About 20 miles from Los Angeles, on a 9,000-square-foot parcel that rests on Carbon Beach. It is not uncommon to find dolphins and sea lions feeding in front of the Ryokan or a pod of pelicans doing a flyby. Accommodations: Of the 16 rooms, 11 are
on the beachfront or have ocean views. Book the ocean view “Rockstar Suite,” which rests on the top floor of the property and is the only one with its own outdoor bathtub and sliding doors that open to 180-degree views.
nature hikes, golf, tide pooling, paddleboarding, and kayaking.
property can help get you a coveted table). But the best thing to do at the Ryokan is: nothing. Post-COVID-19 operations: Hand sanitizer is placed throughout the property; contactless thermal temperature checks are required for all guests; check-in can be done via email two hours prior to arrival; and, as always, the entire property is only accessible to registered guests. Is the pool open? Not yet.
From $2,000; nobuhotels.com
THE RANCH AT LAGUNA BEACH Location: About 65 miles south of Los An-
geles, tucked into a quiet canyon that’s just a three-minute walk from the Aliso Beach Park.
Accommodations: A total of 97 rooms are
scattered throughout the property, nearly all of them with private outdoor spaces. Book the three-bedroom, 1,600-square-foot secluded Treehouse, which includes a wraparound deck, full kitchen, and private gazebo.
There’s also a Catalina backcountry day trip, where the property can arrange for a guided hike, lunch, and transportation to/from Dana Point or Newport Harbor to the wilder, back side of Catalina Island, located 26 miles offshore. Post-COVID-19 operations: The property was one of the first hotels in California to achieve the “Clean and Safe” certification from the California Hotel & Lodging Association. Is the pool open? Yes, with reduced capacity.
To do: The property has hiking, outdoor yoga,
From $269/night; theranchlb.com
JUSTIN VINEYARDS & WINERY
no-brainers in Paso Robles, but also make time for mountain biking, touring the craft distilleries and breweries, the temporary art/ light installation Sensorio, and a day trip to the nearby Morro Bay for a taste of the Central Coast.
daily private shuttles to Aliso Beach, a ninehole golf course, and live music on the property every day. The Ranch can also arrange private ocean safaris with local outfitter Captain Dave, including underwater glass viewing pods.
Location: About 180 miles north of Los An-
geles on the 101 rests this 160-acre vineyard property.
Accommodations: There are three one-bed-
room suites at the Just Inn, ranging from 600 to 1,200 square feet, each with Frette linens and spa tubs. The 1,400-square-foot Vintner’s Villa, a French country townhouse, includes a full kitchen.
Post-COVID-19 operations: The winery will follow CDC and state guidelines for tasting rooms once they are released.
To do: Wine tastings and vineyard tours are
From $300; justinwine.com
a full kitchen, and private pool.
Location: About 100 miles south of Los Angeles and 25 miles north of downtown San Diego. The 45-acre property is set among lush gardens, trails, and olive groves.
To do: The property is known as a fitness haven,
Is the pool open? No pool
Destinations - The Journey LA
Accommodations: All 49 rooms are casitas,
with their own garden patios overlooking the surrounding olive groves and canyons; about one-third have their own private outdoor hot tubs. Book the 5,000-square-foot Hacienda (shown here), complete with three bedrooms, SAN YSIDRO RANCH Location: The 500-acre property, located
about 85 miles north of Los Angeles, is nothing short of magical. Stunning landscaped grounds, complete with rose garden, chef ’s garden, lily ponds, and grass lawns make for a completely different atmosphere from Santa Barbara’s beach resorts. Accommodations: The 41 stand-alone cot-
tages are scattered throughout the property, which dates back to the early 1800s. Spread out and book the Warner Cottage, which features two master bedrooms, an expansive living
CSQ Q2 2020
with a line-up of 95 fitness classes each week, including TRX, yoga, Pilates, and tennis on its 18 tennis courts. Post-COVID-19 operations: At press time, the property is determining its reopening plan. Is the pool open? Yes
From $595; ranchovalencia.com room, full kitchen, and outdoor area with a 33foot pool and barbecue facilities. To do: Explore the nearby wineries or the tony
Montecito streets, or just unwind and never leave the grounds.
Post-COVID-19 operations: The staff wears masks at all times, while guests are asked to wear masks when interacting with staff and other guests. Is the pool open? Yes
From $1,145; sanysidroranch.com 69
J. K. PLACE PARIS
In the seventh arrondissement, between Boulevard Saint-Germain and the Seine, just steps from the Musée d’Orsay, sits J. K. Place Paris. Formerly the European Consulate, the totally refurbished retreat at 82 Rue de Lille was a full five years in the making and marks the first venture outside Italy for hotelier group J. K. Place (J. K. Place Paris joins sibling hotels in Rome, Capri, and Florence). The 29-room hotel was designed and decorated by renowned Florentine architect Michele Bönan and features a subterranean Sisley Spa, a heated, marble-clad indoor pool, and a fully equipped Technogym fitness room. On-site restaurant Casa Tua serves up generous, shareable plates of elevated Northern Italian fare. Around nearly every corner, you’ll find bespoke Italian furniture, eye-catching objets d’art and antique pieces hand picked from legendary French flea markets—think mid-century Hermès desk lamps and smoky mirrored consoles. And take note, every light-filled room is decorated in its own unique aesthetic, providing guests a fresh perspective with every new sojourn. From $750/night; jkplaces.com
Destinations - Paris
From Paris, with Love Two fabluleux hotels from two of the world’s leading boutique hotel designers opened their doors in the City of Light in early 2020, then quickly had to close due to the pandemic. Each offers an array of visual delights to savor now— and to add to your travel checklist for later. By Carolyn Meers 70
1. The new J.K. Place Paris has been desig ned by Michele Bönan. 2. The property features a Casa Tua restaurant. 3. The Monsieur George Bar, designed by Anouska Hempel. 4. Rooms and suites have a monochromat ic look, with sophisti cated touches.
MONSIEUR GEORGE HÔTEL & SPA
the next. Hempel describes the hotel as having an alluring “mystery, magic, and mischief … A quick Métro ride away on the other side of the a certain sensuality pervades the place.” Seine is the Monsieur George Hôtel, a five-star Among her favorite decorative pieces is boutique hotel at 17 Rue Washington. Steps the custom chandelier at the hotel’s entrance. from the Champs-Élysées, Monsieur George “It was inspired by a design in my pudding was crafted by famed British designer and in- room in Holland Park. It was recreated piece disputably chic style icon Anouska Hempel by piece by craftsmen in India,” says Hempel. (anouskahempeldesign.com), whose design “It’s made from 18 glass hurricane lamps hand credits include the Blakes Hotel in London, engraved with bunches of grapes. It creates The Franklin Hotel in Knightsbridge, a number a soft profusion of romance the moment you of privately commissioned homes, and (mais walk into the hotel. It hangs from a mirrored oui) the nearby Louis Vuitton flagship. With centerpiece on the ceiling, which reflects its 46 rooms and three suites over six distinctly crystal sheen around the room.” designed floors, Monsieur George’s interiors For each guest room, the globetrotting are a vivid fusion of decorative styles that slide Hempel drew inspiration from a range of into sleek Art Deco accents at one turn and dip historic figures and locations, including Beninto sumptuous Asian palace–inspired details jamin Franklin and the Château de Marly gardens at Versailles. Among the hotel’s other features are a spa by Parisian yoga and wellness club Le Tigre, a topiary-filled courtyard garden, and the Galanga Restaurant-Bar, which provides 24-hour service—after all, you never know when the thirst for a snifter of housemade cognac or flute of Dom Pérignon 2008 will bubble up. Hempel herself has perfected a sunriseto-sunset routine at the Monsieur George: “In the morning I would like to be on the top floor in one of the all-white Benjamin Franklin rooms, with a breakfast served out on the balcony. I’d take in Paris, from Montmartre to the Eiffel Tower on the horizon. At lunchtime, I’d be in the restaurant with its doors wide open onto the greenery outside, or in the little Marly garden. And in the evening, I’d be at the piano bar with a chocolate martini.” Santé. From $330/night; monsieurgeorge.com
Destinations - Paris
CSQ Q2 2020
Each of the five main Hawaiian islands offers its own unique experiences. However, Oahu occasionally gets overlooked for being thought of as overdeveloped. It does include the state capital, Honolulu, and its high-rises—but the Hawaiian hub also has so much more beyond that. In fact, as the most ecologically diverse island in the chain, it offers something for everyone. The 600-square-mile island’s stunning secret waterfalls are compelling enough on their own, but the volcanic oasis affords much more than jungle baths. The third-largest jewel in the Hawaiian archipelago, Oahu feels like several exotic locales in one. Depending on which side you visit, you can get caught up in adrenaline-pumping hikes on mountain ridges or savor the simplicity of island living on long sandy beaches. The less touristy western coast has a slower pace, ideal for days of rest and relaxation, while the balmy northern end abounds with adventure for thrill seekers. Iolani Palace, the only royal residence in the country, sits in Honolulu—along with dozens of luxury goods stores with the latest inventory and special discounted “Hawaiian pricing,” to appeal to an international clientele. To experience just how diverse this island can be, plan to spend at least a week exploring its sacred westside trails, turtle-covered beaches on the North Shore, and Polynesian museums in the capital. Here’s how to plan your journey on Oahu that will let you bring those Zoom beach backgrounds to life.
Destinations - Getaway - Oahu
East Goes West
As domestic travel seems increasingly appealing these days, now is an ideal time to explore the closer-than-you-think exotic island of Oahu. By Sheean Hanlan 72
WEST COAST — FOUR SEASONS RESORT OAHU AT KO OLINA
Home to a large Native Hawaiian population, the air of the Leeward Coast has a tangible spiritual presence. Ancient Hawaiian legend has it that Kaena Point, the island’s westernmost tip, is a sacred ground where souls leap into the realm of the gods. Guests of the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina can take a six-mile spiritual trek to Kaena Point, guided by a kuma or teacher. Once at the top, the kuma chants odes to the west shore, and performs a sunset hula. The 371-room resort features original mid-century modern architecture by Edward Killingsworth. It first opened in 1998 as a JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and reopened as a Four Seasons in 2016 with updates by Philpotts Interiors. For ultimate isolation and unlimited ocean views, book the penthouse suite on the 17th floor, complete with an expansive 800-squarefoot terrace facing the lagoon, plus a serviced kitchen, formal dining room, and spacious living room. However, even standard rooms and suites come with marble bathrooms, Toto electronic toilets, and large private balconies. The property has a fantastic, infinity-edge, adult pool and a beachfront known for great
snorkeling, paddleboarding, and lounging. The shores are calm and quiet, but it’s the custom experiences that really set the property apart: jewelry making with shells from the forbidden Niihau Island; first-of-its-kind virtual reality wellness treatments; and sailing on a wa’a (canoe). Aboard the 35-foot The Entertainer sport yacht, you can journey to hidden beaches while sipping champagne and dining on seafood from the property’s Mina’s Fish House—a delight in its own right. The restaurant, led by James Beard Award–winning chef Michael Mina, has the world’s first fish sommeliers. Its five-course culinary experience involves indulging in line-to-table seafood dishes paired with crisp wines and artsy cocktails (try the If Can, Can). At the adjacent La Hiki Steak, Bahamian chef Simeon Hall Jr. brings the smells and tastes of Hawaiian farms to your palette with island-style huli huli chicken and chopped local bacon salads. After a day of feasting, wake up early the next morning to catch the sunrise from the iconic pink Maili pillbox, a two-mile hike in Nanakuli. From $580. fourseasons.com
NORTH SHORE — TURTLE BAY RESORT
For those craving more novel escapades and unsullied coastline, the North Shore picks up where the Leeward Coast leaves off. Famed for its great waves, northern Oahu is a surfing mecca, with jaw-dropping, white-sand beaches far removed from the crowds of Waikiki Beach. Charming vintage towns like Haleiwa color the scenery and recall the shabby-chic, wooden storefronts and homes in the West Indies. As the preeminent beach accommodation on the North Shore, the sprawling Turtle Bay sits on 1,300 acres of oceanfront land, complete with horse stables, bike trails, two 18-hole championship golf courses, and a spa. In March 2020, as part of its $70M renovation, the experiential resort launched Stay Well Premier to enhance health and relaxation. Rooms come with air-purification and filtration systems. The unique program also features in-room aromatherapy, soundscapes, and fitness and nutrition perks from Cleveland Clinic Wellness. Slightly more niche, the resort’s 42 Hawaiian-themed beach cottages place the ocean in your backyard. Days at Turtle Bay are filled with back-toback explorations on land and sea. Horseback riding along the property’s 12-mile coast is a must. After an al fresco breakfast at Lei Lei’s Bar & Grill, pack your swimsuit for an afternoon of waterfall chasing and turtle watching. Cruising along the Kamehameha Highway, stop at the Banzai Pipeline to watch surfers
take on the reef break’s legendary waves. Visit the lush botanical gardens within the Waimea Valley, and continue along the nature paths leading to the cascading Waimea Falls, where you can take a swim amid flora and fauna imported from places like Fiji and Madagascar. Visit the nearby Laniakea Beach and, if you’re lucky, you may spot a Hawaiian green sea turtle sunbathing on the sand. Turtle Bay can arrange a turtle-watching kayaking tour in Kawela Bay to double your chances of see-
ing one of the aquatic creatures. While on the North Shore, be sure to stop for a plate of garlic shrimp, a local delicacy, at Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. For an exhilarating hike with a rewarding view of Ehukai Beach’s crystal-clear waters, climb to the top of the Ehukai Pillbox trail. Other amusements available to book through Turtle Bay include swimming with sharks off the coast of Haleiwa, playing with dolphins, and night diving in a marine reserve. From $254. turtlebayresort.com
HONOLULU — ESPACIO THE JEWEL OF WAIKIKI
lobby, the few public areas consist of a rooftop terrace with a serviced infinity pool and jacuzzi. The hotel’s restaurant, Mugen, serves up a French-Japanese tasting menu with fresh seafood from the Toyosu Fish Market in Tokyo, black summer truffles sourced from Oregon, and caviar from Denmark. The menu’s highlight is chef Jason Yamaguchi’s signature dish, the Sasanian Osetra Caviar with mochi blini, vanilla bean panna cotta, and cured yolk. While in Waikiki, check out local spots like Kuhio Beach Park and cultural landmarks such as the Duke Kahanamoku statue and Iolani Palace, which is more than worth the visit to learn about Hawaii’s rich culture and history. Staying in Waikiki makes it easier to access small bakeries like Leonard’s for delectable Portuguese doughnuts called malasadas, and to drive through eclectic residential areas like Kaimuki. From $2,625. espaciowaikiki.com
Destinations - Getaway - Oahu
1. One of the four lagoons at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina. 2. The 1,300-acre Turtle Bay Resort has seven beaches. 3. Balconies at Espacio overlook the beaches of Waikiki.
CSQ Q2 2020
Some say Waikiki can be a bit much. But is it? Its vitality and melting pot of cultural influences might be just the panacea for quarantine-induced boredom. The vibrant Honolulu-adjacent town has an endless amount of poke restaurants, Hawaiian clothing shops, and tiki bars to explore. Everything is within walking distance, so you can park your car, stroll around the shopping centers, and take in the breathtaking sunsets at palm tree–lined Waikiki Beach. Staying at Espacio means you get the best of both worlds: total solitude and easy access to city amusements. The boutique hotel has just nine suites, each on its own floor. The 2,250-square-foot, light-filled suites are available in two- and three-bedroom configurations featuring personal butler service and complimentary luxury car rental service. Suites come decked with Carrara marble dining tables, handwoven bedsheets from Japanese brand Tenerita, and balconies with hot tubs that overlook the ocean. Espacio’s unique setup also caters to social distancing with private elevators, in-suite saunas, and services like contactless personal styling through Neiman Marcus and private chefs. Aside from the modest
New York to Oahu: Reopenings are expected by July but confirm travel restrictions and hotel reopenings ahead of time. Hawaiian Airlines offers 11-hour nonstop flights to Honolulu from JFK or book a United Airlines nonstop flight to/from the island hub out of Newark. 73
MEETINGS AND RETREATS
Belle of the Ball(room) Set in the heart of South Carolina’s low-density Lowcountry, Montage Palmetto Bluff provides an ideal setting for intimate corporate retreats. Reopening June 4, the resort will follow safety guidelines from South Carolina’s governor. By Shaun Tolson
In late 2016, about two-and-a-half years after Montage Hotels & Resorts took over management—and following a substantial expansion project that exceeded $100M—the Montage Palmetto Bluff unveiled its new identity. Nestled along the May River, the resort resembles a quaint, Lowcountry town and offers 152 guest rooms and suites, 48 guest cottages and cottage suites, and 35 village homes and Montage-branded residences. The resort is a nature lover’s paradise that boasts a portfolio of dozens of outdoor activities, including kayaking and paddleboarding, fishing and boat tours, horseback riding, and Palmetto Bluff Conservancy–led tours of the conservation property. Avid golfers will be drawn to the Jack Nicklaus Signature May River Golf Course, which also serves as a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, while shot
makers of a different type will want to check out the Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club, where a network of 13 sporting clay stations is set up across 40 acres of forest. While Montage Palmetto Bluff attracts discerning vacationers (not to mention those who are looking to retire or retreat to a second home set in an idyllic Southern locale), the resort also excels as a venue for business retreats. With meeting rooms as large as 4,500 square feet and ballrooms that exceed 6,600 square feet, the resort is equipped to handle just about any gathering. It takes a village, as they say, and that’s what Montage Palmetto Bluff delivers—a quaint village teeming with Southern charm.
Location: Set within a 20,000-acre community in Bluffton, South Carolina, only 45 minutes from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. Keys: The resort offers 200 guest accommo-
dations across inn rooms and suites, cottages, Montage residence, and village homes. Meeting Spaces: More than 16,000 square feet
of internal meeting space is available, spread out across two ballrooms, two executive boardrooms, seven meeting rooms (many of which can be combined to form larger rooms), and a private wine cellar. A few of the resort’s restaurants can also be reserved for private events, as can a riverfront event pavilion and numerous outdoor areas.
Destinations - Meeting
Dining: Eight venues offer a vast array of cui-
sine and artfully crafted beverages, including Octagon, an upscale restaurant serving modern interpretations of classic Carolina fare; Buffalo’s, a casual eatery specializing in Southern Italian cuisine; Fore & Aft, a lunch spot branded as the resort’s “Lowcountry cantina”; and Cole’s, a restaurant that focuses on Southern smokehouse-inspired comfort food. Amenities: Business may be the main focus of
most corporate retreats at Montage Palmetto Bluff, but guests can spend their downtime playing rounds on the resort’s Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course; casting for various species of fish on fresh and saltwater fishing charters; paddleboarding; shooting sporting clays; enjoying various boat tours; participating in a Palmetto Bluff Conservancy tour; rolling for strikes at the resort’s four-lane bowling alley; or enjoying some R&R at Spa Montage, which includes a wellness center, salon, and boutique. Price: From $325/night Contact: montagehotels.com 74
WE ’ R E A LWAY S BETT E R T O G E T H E R .
Each day at MGM Resorts, we take the well-being of our guests seriously while creating a brighter tomorrow for all. We continue to be focused on what matters by embracing humanity and protecting our planet. Through generous contributions to the MGM Resorts Foundation and critical product donations, we have increased our support for those in need in our communities. Our Gold LEED Certified buildings, Stay Well™ rooms featuring the latest in wellness technology and our dedication to renewable energy put us at the forefront of sustainability. We can’t wait to make plans with you now for a bigger, better, more responsible tomorrow.
Partner with us at MGMResorts.com
to plan the meetings and special events that impact lives for the better.
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HOW TO PROTECT YOUR FINANCIAL HEALTH DURING THE PANDEMIC RYAN BRISTOL Managing Director and Banker JP Morgan Private Bank
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Visit csq.com/advisors to access our library of content, including invaluable articles and op-eds from our community of Advisors, who are experts in accounting, consulting, finance, health and wellness, insurance, law, marketing, and real estate. 76
THE 12 REASONS OWNER TRANSITIONS ARE NOT SUCCESSFUL (AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT) ANDREW D. HOROWITZ Senior Vice President Rockefeller Capital Management
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FINANCE Wealth Management
CSQ Q2 2020
LEGAL Probate Litigation
HIRING A WEALTH MANAGEMENT TEAM
HOW TO PLAN YOUR ESTATE AMID A GLOBAL PANDEMIC
Managing Director, Investments The Summa Group of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.
Managing Partner RMO LLP
LEGAL Family Law
LEGAL Mergers and Acquisitions
MAKING LEMONADE OUT OF LEMONS
FINANCIAL CRISIS FLASHBACK: DEALING IN DISTRESS
LISA HELFEND MEYER
SANDER C. ZAGZEBSKI
Founding Partner MOLM
Partner Greenspoon Marder LLP
SPECIALTY WEALTH MANAGEMENT
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR FINANCIAL HEALTH DURING THE PANDEMIC Five actions for U.S. taxpayers to consider in the spring of COVID-19.
RYAN BRISTOL Managing Director and Banker J.P. Morgan Los Angeles, CA
Ryan Bristol is a managing director and banker at J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s Westlake Village office. He has more than 19 years of experience in the financial industry and is responsible for advising clients on a range of personal wealth matters, including investment management, portfolio construction, asset allocation, tax strategies, credit solutions, estate planning, pre-transaction planning, and charitable giving. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Bristol was a vice president in the private client practice at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. He counseled clients on complex wealth-planning issues such as pre-transaction planning for business owners, multigenerational wealth transfer, philanthropy, and diversification strategies for concentrated wealth. Before Bernstein, he was a regional vice president for Morgan Stanley and a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs. Bristol is active in the community as a board member of ACG101 and former board member of the American Red Cross in Ventura, the Investment Review Committee for the City of Thousand Oaks, and the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Orfalea College of Business at Cal Poly. He received his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and his BS from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
What can we do as the novel coronavirus sweeps the globe, markets roil, and governments try to contain the damage? We might focus on what we can control, put to good use any extra time created by social distancing, make sure loved ones are doing well, understand how governmental actions might affect us, and try to contribute to the general good. Applying these potential responses to our firm’s area of expertise—wealth planning and investments—our bankers offer you this Spring Essentials Action Plan for financial planning during this crisis. Here are five steps that may be advisable for you to take now.
2. Check that all your key legal documents are in place and support your wishes. Every U.S. adult needs to have, at least, a current healthcare proxy, power of attorney, and will (or will substitute).1 Beyond basics: If you’ve created a revocable trust but haven’t yet funded it, we strongly advise you to do so immediately. Courts have been closed across the United States. If you were unable to manage your assets, no legal authority may be available to designate a personal representative for your aff airs; funding a revocable trust might be a solution. To fund your existing revocable trust, simply ask your J.P. Morgan representative to transfer your individually held assets into the trust. If you have not yet created a revocable trust, we strongly advise contacting an estate-planning lawyer to discuss whether this protective strategy is suitable for you and to decide who should serve as trustee for this trust.
Advisory - Bristol
PHONE 805/857.7628 EMAIL email@example.com WEBSITE jpmorgan.com/westlakevillage ADDRESS 3960 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Floor 2 Westlake Village, CA 91362
1. Review Your Financial Goals and Plans— for Your Sake and Your Family’s
Virus-sparked market swings have shaken many people. Major shocks to the fi nancial system are to be expected periodically, though we’ve not had one of this magnitude in more than 10 years. 2. Make Sure Your Investing Is “Tax Aware” Now, before making any adjustments to As the markets began to seesaw, clients called your wealth plans, it would be wise to speak us asking what to do—especially with the losswith your J.P. Morgan banker about fi nancial es in their portfolios. A strategy to consider advice. Th is is a good time to: is “harvesting” the losses, or using them for 1. Discuss how you are feeling in the wake tax purposes to off set gains, now and going of this shock. Has it changed your views? Are forward. you still comfortable with the assumptions on If you decide to do this, be aware of the which you’ve based your portfolio, personal “wash sale rule” that, if triggered, can delay your wealth plans, and estate plans? Is your portfo- ability to take a loss you incurred on the sale lio positioned to support your long-term goals? of a security.
IT’S OUR MISSION TO HELP YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY FINANCIALLY DURING THESE UNUSUAL TIMES.
1 For example, revocable trusts can often accomplish what wills might do.
Here is what you CANNOT do if you want to take a loss: Sell the security at a loss and buy that same position, or a substantially identical security, within 30 days before or after selling the loss position. Here is what you CAN do: Sell the security at a loss. If you want to maintain the exposure to the same sector or industry, buy a different security with similar characteristics (if you want to maintain the exposure to a certain sector or industry). For instance, you might sell stock in one technology company and purchase shares in another technology company or a technology-oriented mutual fund. Using a tax-loss harvesting approach might help you take a fresh look at your portfolio, but it is essential that you consult with your tax advisor so you don’t run afoul of the wash sale rule.
a financially advantageous time to give to charity. But just as clearly, there is a great need around the world. Nonprofits sorely need donations to help ease the suffering caused by COVID-19 and to continue the work they’d be doing even without a crisis. For these reasons, the U.S. government is seeking to encourage charitable giving, both large and small. The CARES Act created two highly unusual provisions that allow you to: 1. Deduct up to $300 in cash contributions made to charitable organizations this year, whether you itemize or not. 2. Reduce your tax bill to zero—if you donate to a public charity a cash amount equal to your 2020 adjusted gross income. Note, though, that contributions to your donor-advised fund and private foundation would not qualify for these tax breaks.
3. Assess Your Best Planning Strategies in Light of Recent Government Actions and Lower Stock Values
5. Pay Attention to Special Actions You May Be Able to Take as a Business Owner, Executive, or Entrepreneur
The information expressed is being provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. You should carefully consider your needs and objectives before making any decisions. For specific guidance on how this information should be applied to your situation, you should consult your qualified representative. The information provided may inform you of certain products and services offered by J.P. Morgan’s wealth management businesses, part of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JPM”). The views and strategies described in the material may not be suitable for all investors and are subject to risks. This material is confidential and intended for your personal use. It should not be circulated to or used by any other person, or duplicated for non-personal use, without our permission. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and its affiliates (collectively “JPMCB”) offer investment products, which may include bank-managed accounts and custody, as part of its trust and fiduciary services. Other investment products and services, such as brokerage and advisory accounts, are of fered through J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (JPMS), a member of FINRA and SIPC. JPMCB and JPMS are affiliated companies under the common control of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
CSQ Q2 2020
Two important changes were made regarding 1. Business owners: A lot of focus has been on loans to small businesses through the Payretirement accounts: 1. IRA owners and beneficiaries do not have check Protection Program. However, one of to take what would have been their required the most potentially beneficial measures for minimum distributions (RMDs) from their owners of flow-through businesses is that they retirement plans this year. Federal lawmak- will be able to apply 100 percent of their net ers recognized that, because RMDs are deter- operating losses for 2018 through 2020 to their mined based on the last day of the previous incomes from up to the previous five years. year, distributions this year would be outsized 2. Corporate executives: If your company’s if withdrawn from current, potentially depre- stock is down, now could be a good time to take ciated portfolios. The lawmakers are giving positive actions for yourself and your company, IRA owners time for their portfolios to recover. such as utilizing a 10b5-1 plan to show faith 2. The deadline for last year’s contributions in your firm’s future by buying its stock, if to your IRA, originally April 15, has been you’re in a position to do so. Also, you may want to revisit your options exercise strategy. extended to July 15. 3. Entrepreneurs: Have you exercised incenTwo key moves to consider making with tive stock options (ISOs) earlier this calendar year, only to see your company’s per-share depreciated assets: 1. Convert a traditional IRA to a Roth. valuation decline? Or do you expect the share If the traditional IRA’s assets are temporar- price to go down? You may want to consider ily lower, you may pay less in taxes now on doing a “disqualifying disposition” on the ISOs a conversion. Withdrawals from traditional in order to avoid a potentially large alternative IRAs are taxed at your current income tax rate; minimum tax bill. withdrawals from Roths are tax free. 2. Transfer wealth to family. It would use We Can Help less of your lifetime gift tax exclusion amount It’s our mission to help you take care of your if you gift depreciated assets (including under- and your family financially during these unusual times. Your banker is available to answer water options). However, avoid gifting assets whose current value is less than their basis. questions and help you plan with financial You also may want to take advantage of low in- planning during the COVID-19 pandemic. terest rates to create grantor-retained annuity Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. end trusts or make intra-family loans.
Advisory - Bristol
4. Contribute to the General Good
Depreciated assets mean that now is not
SPECIALTY WEALTH MANAGEMENT
THE 12 REASONS OWNER TRANSITIONS ARE NOT SUCCESSFUL (AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT)
ANDREW D. HOROWITZ, CEPA Senior Vice President Rockefeller Capital Management Los Angeles, CA
The role of the transition growth and exit-planning process in successful business-owner exits. Advisory - Horowitz
Andrew Horowitz is a private wealth advisor who leads The Horowitz Group of Rockefeller Capital Management. An entrepreneur from the age of 13, he entered the financial-services industry by joining a firm in Beverly Hills, California. In 1996 Horowitz started his own firm, which he sold to Morgan Stanley in 2011. He joined Rockefeller Capital Management in 2020 to better serve the ever-increasing complexity of his clients’ sophisticated needs. Horowitz educates high-net-worth families through associations and multinational companies. A frequent lecturer at the University of Southern California (USC) who has spoken at more than 100 conferences, he is a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) who contributes to USC’s family-business program. He and his wife of 26 years have three children.
WEBSITE rockco.com/horowitz ADDRESS 10877 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 700 Los Angeles, CA 90024
Over the past several years, we have spoken with business owners around the country who decided they had reached the point of being ready to leave their businesses. However, no one was stepping up to provide them the exit results they wanted. These owners had spent all of their time aggressively working in their business, but had spent little time aggressively working on how they would eventually exit their business. They found themselves late in the game with few options to achieve their exit objectives. Simply put, they were too late. The failure of a business owner to properly plan for their transition and exit is often cited as the reason for such failures. What follows are 12 of the principal reasons that cause business owners’ transitions and exits to be unsuccessful, as identified in the book I co-authored, The Next Step for Business Owners. Each of these reasons impacts the company’s ongoing profitability as well as an owner’s future exit results.
THE PURPOSE OF TRANSITION-GROWTH AND EXIT PLANNING IS TO LAY OUT A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH THAT HELPS ASSURE THAT, IN A TIMELY AND THOROUGH MANNER, YOU TAKE THE STEPS NEEDED TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS IN ACCOMPLISHING YOUR PERSONAL, FINANCIAL, TRANSITION, AND EXIT OBJECTIVES. 1. Unclear and conflicting owner objectives: Your financial, personal, transition, and exit objectives are not determined or conflict with each other (or with the objectives of your partners, key employees, spouse, or other family members).
8. Lack of capable leadership and management successors: A process for replacing key management or leadership (either internally or externally) has not been identified or developed, and you have failed to properly develop, incent, and retain key personnel.
2. Misunderstood cash flow impact on company price: You don’t understand that your exit is dependent upon an inside buyer’s or third-party buyer’s expectations and needs regarding your company’s future cash flow, and you haven’t uncovered or understood how your company’s exit-appropriate, buyerspecific valuation is to be determined.
9. Not keeping the business always ready for sale: You fail to realize that your company should always be ready to be sold. The future can quickly change your presently expected business-exit timing.
3. No business-owner estate plan: You have not realized the difference between a regular and business-owner estate plan, and have failed to adequately protect your family and address your family’s needs and desires relative to your business. 4. Insufficient company structure and key asset protection: Your company is not properly structured to protect assets, and you have failed to identify your key intangible assets or to adopt the legal safeguards to protect your key intangible assets (such as your key employees and intellectual property rights).
10. Missing pre-exit tax tools: Pre-exit tax minimization steps haven’t been taken in time. 11. No capable inside buyer exists: You haven’t groomed a capable inside buyer (such as a partner or key employee) to be ready to buy when you’re ready to sell, and you haven’t designed an economically and financially feasible, mutually beneficial, tax-efficient sale structure to an inside buyer. 12. Misunderstanding M&A market: You are unable to sell to a third party due to not understanding, addressing, and managing the expectations of the M&A market for your company in your industry.
Advisory - Horowitz 5. Co-owner issues and disputes: You have failed to utilize a buy-sell agreement and a business continuity agreement to pre-decide how ownership will be bought and sold (and funded) between partners upon death, disability, divorce, disputes, and retirement, and how to avoid or resolve co-owner disputes due to future disagreements. 6. Mismanagement of personal wealth: You have failed to properly manage your personal (non-company) wealth, resulting in an indefinite and extended need to draw on company resources and a disruption to your transition timing and your successor’s expectations. 7. Non-sustainable business growth: Your company lacks an effective, transition-period, strategic growth plan and continuous business model improvement program for sustaining continued product and service innovation, brand recognition, business growth, and profitability, all of which impacts your company’s growth and survival and, therefore, your future exit pricing and feasibility.
CSQ Q2 2020
In the context of successful business-owner exits, the type of planning needed is transition-growth planning (which encompasses succession planning, transition planning, and exit planning). The purpose of transition-growth and exit planning is to lay out a systematic approach that helps ensure that, in a timely and thorough manner, you take the steps needed to achieve success in accomplishing your personal, financial, transition, and exit objectives. The transition-growth and exit-planning process provides a means for business owners to help see the status of their own transition and exit situation, and will show you the steps needed to actively do something about it. This is not a plan to read and then put on the shelf. It’s a plan that is intended to help business owners address a necessary call to action. For a more detailed explanation, you can email me to request my free white paper, “The 12 Reasons Why Business Fail to Successfully Transition or Grow.” We hope these resources will help business owners design and implement their transition-growth plans for accomplishing transitions and exits successfully. end
SPECIALTY WEALTH MANAGEMENT
HIRING A WEALTH MANAGEMENT TEAM
Important considerations for a well-informed decision about entrusting your family’s wealth.
BRIAN WERDESHEIM Managing Director, Investments The Summa Group of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. Los Angeles Brian K. Werdesheim is a founding member of The Summa Group of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., a private client financial advisory team that provides wealth management services for affluent individuals and families, as well as owners and executives of private and public companies, family estates, charitable entities, and some of the top tax and legal professionals who serve the business, athletic, and entertainment communities. Werdesheim graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor of science in business administration. He also attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Richmond College in London, England. Werdesheim lives in Studio City with his wife and their daughter and son. In his off time, he enjoys travel, golf, running, and participating in other outdoor activities. Werdesheim has served on the board of The Fulfillment Fund since 2003. He founded The Banyan Foundation in 2004 (formerly The Summa Children’s Foundation). Werdesheim served on the advisory council for the Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Southern California and served as a trustee at the Buckley School from 2016 to 2019.
There are quantitative and qualitative considerations that factor into making the most informed and best-fit choice when deciding with whom you will entrust your wealth. These factors are not always so obvious and, not surprisingly, many affluent families struggle with this process. Here are five questions to ask up front; a fi nancial professional should respond with complete honesty and transparency. Notice that these are high-level questions that have little to do with performance and investment philosophy. These questions assume the candidates were recommended to you and have demonstrated a certain level of success and longevity in the business. They are designed to demand a high level of transparency and thoughtfulness. 1. Looking out five years, what metrics should I be using to determine whether I made a good decision about hiring you? 2. Do you and your team have a well-thoughtout succession plan? What does it look like? 3. Is there anything on your U-4/compliance record we should be concerned about? 4. How many firms have you worked for during your career? Average tenure at each fi rm? What were the reasons for leaving each? 5. If you polled your top client relationships, what would their response be to questions about why they hired you and whether the reasons are still valid?
1. Team structure matters. How is the team organized?
The most common wealth advisory team structures fall into two broad categories: vertical and horizontal. The former exists when one senior-level investment professional drives most of the mission-critical aspects of the team’s business and has most of the client-facing interaction. The horizontal structure fosters a more robust, collaborative, and comprehensive offering for the family who has complex and dynamic needs. The vertical structure also poses a number of legacy- and succession-related risks to the client, as there is not likely a plan in place to guarantee continuity if the key person goes down.
Advisory - Werdesheim
PHONE 310/446.7133 EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org WEBSITE opco.com ADDRESS 10880 Wilshire Blvd., 24th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90024
Considerations to Address
Let’s discuss considerations that need to be addressed before any individual or family makes their final decision.
2. How do you serve your clients?
The role of investment advisor has evolved over the past several decades. Advisors’ accessibility: High-performing teams understand the importance of providing full access to the lead partner, but with an understanding that many client needs are met in a more efficient and timely manner by a high-performing team of client service associates. Full transparency, including all fees: Elite teams understand that there is a fee level that satisfies both advisor and client when presented with complete transparency and explanation. Proactive communication: Top-performing teams utilize regular meetings and conversations with clients to ensure all aspects of a client’s fi nancial life are understood and acted upon if necessary.
Quality and frequency of client-facing meetings: Clients have unique preferences with regard to the frequency, content, and flow of their meetings. Most importantly, the team is prepared to meet as often as necessary to provide a thorough review of performance while addressing the life and planning issues someone may be facing. Sitting at the advisory table: Elite teams pride themselves on their ability to help clients build out their team of experts from various disciplines. It is incumbent upon our team’s members to have invested the time to meet with and vet other advisors across multiple disciplines who can provide value-added guidance with the same level of expertise and commitment to values and ethics.
6. Are the key ingredients in place for a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship?
Performance, fees, likability, convenience, and other considerations may very well have played a key role in making this decision but, ultimately, these factors will not drive the longterm success of the relationship. Partnership: The most successful client-advisor relationships exist when all parties understand there is mutual responsibility required to ensure the wealth management relationship functions at an optimal level. Values matter: In a complex relational equation, a mutual sharing of values will be the single greatest element by far in determining the sustainability, quality, and success of the relationship. Only when there is alignment, understanding, and mutual respect for the im3. Are you managing my investments portance of these values can there be a founor managing my wealth? Elite teams understand that the management dation for a thriving and transcendent wealth of money to achieve a goal is a by-product of management relationship. Fit between client needs and advisor exa deep and intimate understanding of their client’s fears, anxieties, objectives, and dreams. pertise/capabilities: At the core lies the importance of engaging a team whose experience, philosophy, and capabilities are in alignment 4. The client index versus the market with your actual needs. index? Demystification: Advisors helping invesThe performance of an index has captured the attention and imagination of investors tors make intelligent and informed decisions for decades. The S&P 500 is an index that through education and transparency is often includes many of the largest companies in a key differentiator. The primary objective is the United States. Elite investment-advisory anchored to providing the decision-maker teams are focused on the client index, which with a road map and playbook so they can reveals whether a client’s various taxable make the best and most well-informed deciand tax-exempt vehicles and strategies are sion about with whom to entrust their wealth. meeting the family’s income, growth, philanthropic, succession, and multigenerational 7. What other value-added services do you offer? objectives. Pitfalls of putting too much emphasis on The process of meeting with and evaluating investment performance: While a very impor- wealth management teams must include and tant consideration, once this box is checked, focus on areas that cannot be addressed and the focus must turn to the qualitative consid- solved by technology or an 800 number. Financial planning: Working with indierations, which can be a slippery slope. Elite teams make it easy for prospective viduals and families who have experienced clients to evaluate performance that is relevant a change of circumstances requires a team and authentic: If the team cannot present per- with the experience and resources to address formance data net of fees that is relevant and the changing dynamic and implications of this newfound wealth and responsibility. authentic, move on. Philanthropy: How one pursues their philElite teams take ownership of their client’s most pressing and mission critical anthropic endeavors is a highly personal and needs: Client advocacy is often the differen- sometimes complicated matter. Education is tiating characteristic and skill when looking the key, and this is where we can help them at high-performing teams. Only when an navigate complexities, depending on how inadvisor and their team truly understand the volved and empowered they and their families most important and mission-critical life goals want to be. Health: Health is the most important asset of a client can they deliver a relationship that on a client’s balance sheet. The Summa Group transcends the norm. spends a great deal of time educating clients on what’s available now and later in life as needs 5. What is your investment approach? Elite teams adhere to a rigorous, repeatable, evolve. Education and financial literacy for the transparent, and collaborative process every day. The results will be driven by a team’s com- next generation: We appreciate how important mitment to a process that has demonstrated it is for families to provide the next generation with the knowledge to perpetuate the family’s consistency over a long period of time.
legacy. Providing the next generation with information and experience greatly increases the likelihood that they will respect how the wealth was created and will engage in behaviors that help sustain, grow, and continue the wishes and dreams of the family. 8. Do you get me?
Financial advisors love to talk, share, and impress you with their knowledge. An advisor’s ability to truly capture and internalize a client’s most pressing concerns, fears, objectives, and life goals is really a function of how skilled they are at asking questions in a way that reveals the purest and most relevant feedback possible. Aligning Values
Certain technological, demographic, and social changes have had a dramatic impact on the wealth management industry. These changes have had mostly positive implications for what is available to the family or individual looking for wealth management services. At the same time, it’s created a greater level of complexity and some confusion with regard to how someone should approach one of the most important decisions they will make during their lifetime—with whom to entrust their financial lives. Wealth management needs vary from family to family and, clearly, with greater levels of wealth come increased complexity and increased needs. The robo-advisory revolution isn’t going away and it’s only going to become more prevalent within certain demographic segments. What will not change, however, is the need for human interaction with highly experienced wealth advisory teams who have the experience, resources, humility, and knowledge to help people manage their financial lives. Technology and access to products and information are continuing to have impact, but these deeply embedded trends will only serve to elevate and differentiate the unique delivery capabilities of the elite teams in our industry. As investors consider the many options available to them, there is a long list of qualitative and quantitative factors that need to be considered. Once the basic quantitative considerations are met and satisfied, the focus turns to the more important and demanding part of the due-diligence process that allows the prospective client and advisory team to determine together whether it feels right. At the elite level of wealth advisory, the most influential factor that drives a sustainable and long-term relationship where both client and advisor thrive is directly tied to the alignment of values and philosophy, and the fit between needs and capabilities. end
Advisory - Werdesheim
CSQ Q2 2020
SPECIALTY FAMILY LAW
MAKING LEMONADE OUT OF LEMONS
Remote work reveals new insights about being your best self, working efficiently, and maintaining personal connections.
LISA HELFEND MEYER Founding Partner Meyer, Olson, Lowy & Meyers LLP Los Angeles, CA
Like everyone else in California, I am writing this article from home under the stay-at-home orders issued by Governor Gavin Newsom in mid-March. Initially, I saw the orders as a grave threat to my business and an end to my personal life, at least for now. But I have always loved challenges. They keep us mentally sharp and creative. And as I have said before, I consider myself the queen of making lemonade from lemons. So, that is what I have been doing.
On a personal level, the stay-at-home order appeared to be my worst nightmare. Ever since I was a child I have hated to stay home. Th is was true even when I was sick and during my summer vacations. I equated staying home with being bored and accomplishing nothing. I couldn’t stand the sound of the soap operas on my mother’s television. Not even Hostess CupCakes made it worth my time, and I would sit on our front steps, waiting for my father to come home and take me swimming. As an adult, my work life has taken place outside the home: at my law office, other attorneys’ offices, JAMS, or the courthouse. Until now it was inconceivable that my work could be accomplished anywhere else. I have always enjoyed setting out from home every weekday morning with a purpose. Although I love my home and enjoy relaxing on the weekends, watching Netfl ix or HGTV, with logs burning in the fi replace, I still have anxiety when I am forced to stay home during the week. So, when the stay-at-home orders were issued, I nearly panicked. It felt as if the orderly world I had created was about to fall apart around me. However, after a few nights of sipping tequila, I came up with a working solution. The well-known proverb, “If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain,” is certainly apropos. If you have to stay home rather than going to the office to work, then you must make your home more like your office during the week.
Establish physical boundaries around your workspace and make it off-limits to members of your family during work hours. Resist taking your laptop to the couch or the patio, or making phone calls from the kitchen. You should have one designated workspace and do all of your work there. Also, you should make sure to get up out of your seat now and then to exercise just a bit and keep your circulation flowing. Then, when the workday is over, put your work away and enjoy quality time with your family. Be your best self by focusing on one thing at a time. During the workweek I maintain my old schedule. I wake up at around 4:00 a.m. and begin my work. Instead of in-office meetings, I use Zoom, FaceTime, or the old-fashioned cell phone. Aside from when I have to go into the office, which is sometimes inescapable (I consider aspects of my work to be part of the essential critical infrastructure, as do others), I take depositions, participate in court hearings, and hold meetings via Zoom. I must say, I was a bit timid around technology just a few short weeks ago, but I was required to face the challenge; now, I can say with measured confidence, I am hooked. Certainly, videoconferencing is not ideal, but it is the next best thing to being there in person. It also gives you a unique opportunity to see how your private judges and opposing counsel live, which may even help you in terms of strategy. I have also found that during these video conferences and hearings, everyone participating seems somewhat more relaxed
Advisory - Meyer
Lisa Helfend Meyer is managing partner of family law firm Meyer, Olson, Lowy & Meyers. With offices throughout California, the firm’s attorneys work with clients to confront what can be the most diff icult and challenging situations in life—painful emotions, possible loss of marital assets, and child custody. As a result, many clients emerge as stronger individuals, confident about their futures.
PHONE 424/644.0225 EMAIL email@example.com WEBSITE molfamlaw.com ADDRESS 10100 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 1425 Los Angeles, CA 90067
CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO FIND TRANQUILITY, HAPPINESS, AND PRODUCTIVITY NO MATTER WHAT LIFE THROWS AT YOU.
than when we were having in-person meetings, which seems like a lifetime ago. Perhaps it is the fact that we did not have to rush through traffic to make it to court on time, or deal with parking, but merely had to ensure that we were prompt for our call-in time. In some ways, the stay-at-home orders have provided new insights regarding ways to improve the efficiency of our fi rm. For example, we have implemented weekly Zoom meetings, with every attorney at the fi rm attending from their homes. These meetings are unexpectedly fun and they have brought us together as a firm. Before now, it seemed that the only time we were all in one place at the same time was at our holiday party at the end of each year. Now, as a result of these Zoom meetings, I am feeling more connected to my legal team than ever before, and we are sharing and staying on top of our workload in an efficient and effective new way. With nearly my entire administrative staff and attorneys working mostly from their homes, I have learned
to lead with trust, and I am proud to say that my team has not let me down. In the evenings when I fi nish work, my husband and I try our hands at making dinner together. Although my cooking skills are admittedly limited, it is still fun to interact in a creative way and try out new recipes. We sit down together for dinner, and give thanks that we have continuing work and our family has enough food to put on the table. On the weekends, I have been catching up with friends and family via Zoom. I now schedule Saturday Zoom calls with my high school friends and have dinner with friends via Zoom. Dinners that would otherwise last two hours in a restaurant are over in 40 minutes and I can go straight to my bedroom to watch television or read in comfort for the rest of the evening. For me, maintaining my beauty regimen is essential and I still regularly see my hairdresser, manicurist, and yoga instructors (all of us wearing masks) at my home. When I go into the office, I am sure to put on makeup and wear one of
my favorite outfits. I miss the fun of shopping in person, but still enjoy shopping online and buying things on sale. One of my newest passions is searching for the best designer face masks! The bottom line, to my way of thinking, is that whenever you are dealt a setback you have to do your best to turn it to your advantage. Challenge yourself to find tranquility, happiness, and productivity no matter what life throws at you. As devastating as this global pandemic has been for so many families, it has nevertheless brought about an opportunity to bond with your immediate family and reach out to other friends and family electronically. Hopefully, this pandemic will be over or under control by the time I write my next article. However, you never know what life will be like after quarantine or what adversity each of us will face next. Whatever happens, it is your positive attitude and ingenuity that will get you through. Finally, take refuge in being good to the people in your life and the strangers you encounter. We are all in this together. end
Advisory - Meyer TRUSTED BRANDS www.socalip.com
CSQ Q2 2020
TRUST OUR LAW FIRM FOR PROTECTION
SPECIALTY PROBATE AND ESTATE LITIGATION
HOW TO PLAN YOUR ESTATE AMID A GLOBAL PANDEMIC SCOTT RAHN Managing Partner RMO LLP Los Angeles, CA
Scott Rahn is the managing partner of probate and estate litigation law firm RMO LLP. He resolves contests, disputes, and litigation related to trusts, estates, and conservatorships, creating a welcome peace of mind for clients. He represents heirs, beneficiaries, trustees, and executors. He uses his experience to develop and implement strategies that swiftly and cost-effectively address the financial issues, fiduciary duties, and emotional complexities underlying trust contests, estates conflicts, and probate litigation.
PHONE 424/320-9444 EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org WEBSITE rmolawyers.com ADDRESS 2029 Century Park E #2910 Los Angeles, CA 90067
Varying state laws can provide additional options for resourceful owners.
Advisory - Rahn The advance of the coronavirus pandemic caused many people, particularly those who were most at risk of contracting COVID-19, to examine whether they had their affairs in order, and specifically whether they had their estate-planning documents in place and up-to-date. For those whose estate plans needed attention, the shelter-in-place orders issued by local and state governments posed a dilemma: It made estate planning seem at once more necessary and more challenging. How does someone establish or update their last will and testament, living trust, power of attorney, and advanced healthcare directive—the four key documents of any estate plan—to ensure their affairs are in order without leaving their home and going to their estate-planning lawyer’s office? The answer, as many estate-planning clients are learning, is that their estate-planning lawyers’ creative lawyering and use of a combination of technologies can allow them to rest a little easier knowing their estate plans are in place and their family and loved ones are protected. To be valid in California, any estate-planning document must meet certain criteria. For example, the subject must be at least 18. They must also have legal capacity, for which the standard can be low in the case of a last
will and testament, or higher in the case of a living trust, depending on the complexity of the document. Assuming these are satisfied, each document will be drafted to suit each client’s specific needs and wants, but also will have its own specific signing and witness requirements. Securing the information needed to create the estate-planning documents, and being able to comply with these execution obligations, can get complicated when we can’t leave our homes. For example, normally a person would meet in person with their estate-planning attorney and provide a summary of their assets and liabilities, talk through to whom they want their assets to go, when and how, as well as who they want to be in charge of their affairs should they become incapacitated and after they pass. Fortunately, many estate-planning lawyers were able to quickly migrate to virtual meetings through Zoom, FaceTime, What’s App, or Facebook. This has facilitated involved, and sometimes emotional, decision-making. Next, gathering financial and other asset and liability information, and providing this information to the estate-planning attorney, can be challenging if you don’t have access to business and account records and fi les. Even if access is not a problem, getting documents
WHILE A CALIFORNIA NOTARY COULD NOT NOTARIZE AN ESTATE PLAN FOR A FAMILY IN SANTA MONICA, A NOTARY FROM WEST VIRGINIA OR NEW YORK, WHOSE LAWS ALLOW FOR VIRTUAL NOTARIZATIONS, COULD. and information to the estate-planning lawyer could slow the process. Fortunately, mobile scanners like ScanSnap, mobile scanning tools like Scanner Pro or PDF Expert, and cloud storage tools like Dropbox, Box, Sync, and Google Drive make gathering and sharing this information with your estate planner relatively easy. Once the estate-planning lawyer has all your information and knows who you want to be in charge of your affairs and to whom you want your estate to be distributed, they will prepare the estate-planning documents for review and approval, which can be completed over email. Once approved, the documents are ready for execution. But executing documents in compliance with California witness and notarization requirements while under stayat-home orders can be a difficult hurdle. For example, in California a last will and testament must be signed by two witnesses who are present at the same time. This can be extremely arduous for someone living alone, an elderly couple, a couple with minor children, or a single parent obeying shelter-inplace and social-distancing orders. Normally, a will is witnessed by the lawyer or members of the lawyer’s staff, which is hard to accomplish when offices are closed. One clever estate planner, who refers her clients’ estate disputes to us, told me that she and her team witness her client’s executions virtually and then sign the witness attestations after the client returns the documents. Similar issues abound with an advance healthcare directive, which needs to be witnessed by two individuals, neither of whom can be an agent named in the directive. A power of attorney that gives an agent financial or real estate powers, which normally are included in nearly every power of attorney form, also must be witnessed by two people, although the agents may act as witnesses. As an alternative, an advance healthcare directive and a power of attorney may be notarized, and although living trusts do not need to be notarized, the vast majority of them are. Of course, notarizations require a notary. Normally, the estate-planning lawyer or a staff member is a notary and handles the notarizations, or a mobile notary service can stand in where remote signings are needed. The threat of COVID-19 makes these alternatives risky, requiring either that the client leave their home and visit their lawyer’s office or welcome a stranger into their home. Neither solution is satisfactory.
Advisory - Rahn
Scott Rahn, founding and managing partner of RMO LLP, represents beneficiaries, and professional and corporate fiduciaries in contested trust, estate, and probate litigation matters and related estate administration issues. He can be reached at (424) 320-9444 or email@example.com.
CSQ Q2 2020
One solution that has been gaining steam nationally is the use of virtual notaries, which various states, including New York, have adopted in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Virtual notaries witness signatures remotely over videoconference and have tools to verify the signer’s identity just like an in-person notary would. They also preserve the record of the sign for future use if a challenge arises. Some states, like West Virginia, have been using virtual notaries for a year. Unfortunately, California has yet to allow notaries to provide virtual services. However, all is not lost. While California does not allow California notaries to perform virtual notarizations, California law expressly allows for virtual notarizations by notaries from other states as long as their state law allows virtual notarizations. So, while a California notary could not notarize an estate plan for a family in Santa Monica, a notary from West Virginia or New York, whose laws allow for virtual notarizations, could. At least one estate-planning attorney with whom we work has been using this “loophole” to get his clients’ estate-planning documents notarized during the lockdown. It’s also worth noting that estate planning, during all times and especially now, is advisable not only for older and less healthy individuals but for young and healthy people as well, even if they don’t have a spouse or children, and especially if they have more assets than many of their peers. Take the example of rapper Juice WRLD, who died unexpectedly last year at age 21. No wife, no kids—just a $3.5 million estate and a mom who’s now in probate court seeking appointment as the estate’s administrator. The time, stress, and expense of probate court could have been avoided entirely had Juice WRLD put his affairs in order as his fame and riches grew. Now a probate court will decide the fate of his estate, whenever the courts reopen at some unknown time in the future. Crisis drives ingenuity and invention, and the estate-planning community, perhaps undeservedly thought of as lacking flexibility and agility, answered the call of its concerned clientele with creative, cost-effective technological and legal solutions that are providing financial and emotional safety and security to families wanting to make sure that their loved ones will be protected and cared for. But frankly, no one should be surprised, because giving comfort and relief in a time of fear and uncertainty is what probate lawyers do every day. end
SPECIALTY MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
FINANCIAL CRISIS FLASHBACK: DEALING IN DISTRESS1
Taking advantage of disruptive opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic.
SANDER C. ZAGZEBSKI Partner Greenspoon Marder LLP Los Angeles, California
Advisory - Zagzebski
Sander Zagzebski is a corporate partner with Greenspoon Marder in Los Angeles, Calif. He has broad experience as a transactional corporate/securities lawyer and represents clients in mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, and other change-ofcontrol transactions; joint ventures and strategic alliances; capital-raising transactions (offerings of debt and equity securities, including private equity investments and venture capital investments); restructurings and recapitalizations; structured finance transactions; private equity and venture capital fund formation and governance; and general corporate, partnership, and LLC matters. Zagzebski has represented technology and new media, investment advisors, aerospace and defense, bank holdings, manufacturing, real estate, entertainment, and consumer product companies in M&A, capital raising, and other strategic corporate transactions ranging in size from under $10M to in excess of $1B.
PHONE 310/880.4520 WEBSITE gmlaw.com EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org ADDRESS 1875 Century Park E. #1850 Los Angeles, CA 90067
What Color Is that Swan?
2008–09 Revisited: “We Are All Restruc-
It’s amazing how quickly life can change when turing Lawyers Now” you toss a swan into the local pond. Influen- The financial crisis or “Great Recession” of tial commentators such as Sequoia Capital 2008 significantly disrupted the capital marhave referred to the coronavirus as the “black kets and saw the collapse or bankruptcy of swan” event of 2020.2 Nassim Nicholas Taleb, some very significant global institutions, inthe author who coined the phrase in his 2007 cluding Bear Stearns, Chrysler Group, CIT best-selling book, The Black Swan: The Impact Group, Colonial BancGroup, General Growth of the Highly Improbable, disagrees. To Taleb, Properties, General Motors, Lehman Brotha black swan is a catastrophic event that is ers, and Washington Mutual, as well as the unpredictable. Since he, Bill Gates, and oth- bailout of financial institutions including ers had previously expressed concern about AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, GMAC, and most of the banking industry. The decline the risk of a global pandemic, Taleb views the coronavirus as a predictable “white swan” in asset prices and widespread disruption in event. Regardless of its color, though, we can credit impacted companies in many sectors all agree that it is one hell of a swan. beyond the banking, insurance, and financial It is not my intention to wade into the services industries. The overall mood of dealcomplex political, moral, ethical, and legal makers noticeably soured, and in late 2008, as issues relating to the coronavirus and the ac- daily headlines discussing bankruptcies and tions of various governments in response to bailouts expanded only to include high-proit. Nor is it my intention to make predictions fi le Ponzi schemers Marc Dreier and Bernie about the economic or social consequences. Madoff, one of my friends ruefully remarked, Others are far more qualified to discuss those “We’re all restructuring lawyers now.” matters. I simply observe what by now seems While capital market and traditional M&A obvious, in that no matter how confident you transactions slowed significantly during the fiare in the ability of policy makers to calibrate nancial crisis, distressed investors became prethe perfect response, the negative economic sented with numerous attractive options. Howimpact of the coronavirus is likely to be felt by ard Marks and Bruce Karsh at Oaktree Capital businesses and investors for some time. were later lauded by The New York Times for
ONE FACTOR IN THE ANTICIPATED WAVE OF DISTRESSED DEALMAKING THAT WASN’T AN ISSUE DURING THE FINANCIAL CRISIS IS THE CORONAVIRUS ITSELF.
This article is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice, investment advice, or tax advice.
their timely $6B bet on corporate debt during streamlined process for debtors with less than the height of the financial crisis, as was Leon- $2.725M in debt. As part of the recently passed ard Green & Partners for its timely $425M mi- CARES Act, that limit was increased to $7.5M nority investment in Whole Foods. Overshad- for the next year. As in the financial crisis, it seems likely owed in the media by high-profile, pre-crisis bets on the overheated real estate market by that a significant portion of distressed sitthe investors profiled in Michael Lewis’ 2010 uations will be resolved via an abbreviated book The Big Short and others, these blood- pre-packaged or pre-negotiated plan of reorin-the-streets bets at the bottom of the mar- ganization, or entirely out of court through ket later proved to be enormously profitable. a negotiated workout. After all, a bankruptcy Equally shrewd was Apollo’s loan-to- reorganization requires significant time and own investment in LyondellBasell, then the expense. If the various stakeholders act quickly, world’s third largest chemical company with transparently, and with realistic expectations, $34B in sales. After acquiring approximately it is very possible for all groups to reach a nego$2B of LyondellBasell’s debt at deep discounts, tiated solution that leaves them better off than Apollo was able to steer the company through in a contested insolvency proceeding. Speed a successful bankruptcy and emerge owning of execution is at a premium in these types approximately 30 percent of the equity, which of transactions, however, as the stakeholders later turned into a $10B profit. It is noteworthy often find themselves in a race against time to that one of the most successful private-equity rescue the debtor before news of its financial investments in history was a distressed invest- uncertainty builds momentum and scares off ment in a chemical company, an industry that key customers and internal talent. was not overly exposed to the root cause of the financial crisis. The company was simply over This Time Really Is Different leveraged as a result of the pre-crisis merg- One factor in the anticipated wave of distressed er of Lyondell and Basell, and was unable to dealmaking that wasn’t an issue during the maneuver as the crisis accelerated. It found 2008 financial crisis is the coronavirus itself. itself the mere victim of the “contagion” that The financial crisis was indeed a severe, perwas at the time so widely discussed on the local haps even a black swan, event, but at its core it was a financial and economic event. The corobusiness channels. navirus, on the other hand, remains a highly contagious pathogen not fully understood by The Covidiot’s Guide to Dealmaking If you accept the premise that a number of in- policy makers and experts. Additional waves dustries, indeed all industries, will be impact- of infection remain a possibility, and governed to some degree by the coronavirus, you will ments likely will continue to enact significant expect to see dealmakers running many of the laws to address health and safety concerns plays from their old financial crisis playbook. as well as to ameliorate the economic fallout. Debtors and issuers will likely be seeking relief Consumer behavior is also likely to change volwith standstill and forbearance agreements, untarily as a result of the virus. Accordingly, and many may run to their current equity in- investors will need to model perhaps a much vestors for additional working capital. Down greater degree of uncertainty than normal in rounds and dilutive issuances may be on the analyzing new investment opportunities. Due horizon, and some investors will soon be diligence checklists will be expanded, and new reviewing the pay-to-play and anti-dilution experts will be consulted to help predict a tarprovisions of their preferred equity securities. get’s long-term, post-closing performance. In discussing his now-famous investment Restructurings are also anticipated to accelerate dramatically as cash-strapped bor- in corporate debt during the depths of the rowers run out of lifeline. Many debtors will financial crisis with his Oaktree team, Karsh seek bankruptcy protection to reorganize, and is quoted as saying, “Either this is the greatest a number of sizable companies have already buying opportunity of my career, or the world reportedly filed or are seeking to file to reor- is going to end.” Since Karsh reasoned that his ganize under Chapter 11. Shrewd dealmakers clients would have more to worry about than will sense opportunities by purchasing dis- their Oaktree investment if the world was endcounted debt and providing debtor-in-posses- ing, he chose to take advantage of the buying sion financing packages. Smaller debtors may opportunity. Many investors are starting to seek to take advantage of the new Subchap- view the world today as Karsh viewed it in ter V Small Business Debtor Reorganization 2008 and are seeking those unique buying provisions, which as drafted provide a more opportunities. end
For our humble purposes, the term “coronavirus” is a collective phrase to describe the SARS- CoV-2 virus, the COVID-19 disease caused by that virus, government-mandated “social distancing” guidelines, and related business closures, and its impact on the global economy. 2
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for Elite members who appear in print
Geoff Berlin J.P. Morgan
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Berlin earned the Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) designation from the national Exit Planning Institute, and is part of a community of interdisciplinary advisors helping business owners create value by aligning personal, business, and financial goals and objectives. During the COVID-19 pandemic, J.P. Morgan’s Private Business Advisory group created a business owner’s dashboard to help successful companies navigate the crisis while taking advantage of planning opportunities.
To help provide insight and context for business communities hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, J.P. Morgan has established a Volatility Hub, compiling the latest insights on a rapidly changing situation. J.P. Morgan’s top analysts have been keeping an eye on the economic and social impacts of the unfolding pandemic since it arrived in the United States.
Growth Partners’ proprietary pre-transaction and transaction processes have again been validated to produce superior liquidity event transaction outcomes for owners seeking to truly optimize the monetization of their life’s work. In relation to COVID-19, a sale transaction was closed in April for a client who benefited from both referenced processes at a valuation exceeding 10x equating to an EV/EQ over $60M. The pre-transaction assessments were influential to the owner’s decision about the amount of reinvestment.
Corporate Strategies was recognized by Anthem as an “ACE” producer, representing the top 25 insurance brokerages in California.
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Larry Schnaid UBS Schnaid was chosen by Forbes as one of the best financial advisors in California for 2020.
94 Exhibits and Performances 95 Required Reading 96 Proprietor’s Profile 98 Philanthropy 100 Social Responsibility
Culture - Cover Remember restaurants? Gail Simmons shares her favorites—like Felix (below)—on page 96.
CSQ Q2 2020
Culture & Taste
EXHIBITS AND PERFORMANCES
Now Showing Los Angeles
THE GALLERY IS CLOSED
Blum & Poe Broadcasts, David Muller, and Three Day Weekend Ongoing
Some of the most alluring art shows happening virtually this season.
AROUND TOWN L.A. Other Exhibitions of Note This Season
ARLENE SHECHET: SKIRTS
This solo online exhibition consists of more than a dozen new sculptures by multidisciplinary artist Arlene Shechet. The sculptures materialize both an overpowering gravity and a sense that each structure is on the brink of collapsing or falling apart. Shechet’s love affair with imperfection and spontaneity soundly intertwine with her technical prowess in casting, assembling, and glazing. “In firing the glaze into the clay, the color becomes part of the structure,” says the artist. The result is a body of mostly top-heavy sculptures that diverge from the rigid symmetry associated with geometric abstractions. The skirts or outlying parts of sculptures such as Altered State have textures and souls of their own. The coral-like organic forms of Grammar and Via the Moon evoke sea myths and mysteries. Each piece is a balancing act between elephantine bulges and dainty cubes, chartreuse green and French gray, and natural woods and manmade metals. Similar to her influences, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Sonia Delaunay, Shechet unifies painting and sculpture, carving out an identity that is vastly different from her male counterparts. These sculptures warrant a post-quarantine trip to the gallery for their multidimensional angles that immerse viewers in a range of possibilities.
By Sheean Hanlan
No, this is not a press statement. Blum & Poe’s virtual group exhibition is actually titled The Gallery Is Closed, and it explores everything those words mean during a pandemic—more for the gallery building itself than for the artists, dealers, and spectators. The exhibition includes new and older contemporary works by Sam Durant, Dorit Cypis, Tom Burckhardt, Kathy Butterly, Aram Saroyan, Scott King, Ana Prvački, Ari Marcopoulos, and more. You could think of these works as chronological relics anticipating what will someday be our history, a time when, as Lisa Anne Auerbach’s photograph of a yellow-and-black fumigation tent suggests, life was on standby as the world purged itself of an uninvited pestilence. Dave Muller, in particular, undertakes a micro-examination of the relationship between Blum & Poe’s temporary gallery closure and its subsequent online show through three self-conscious paintings of signs in Doghouse #1, Doghouse #2, and Smile, Junior, Smile. Fred Tomaselli reacts to the echoing emptiness of public walls, while other artists reflect on the acts of waiting and socially distancing. We may be alone right now, but at the end of the day, we’re alone together. The stillness will pass over. And, as Muller writes, “After that, I imagine, The Gallery Is Open.”
CULTURE & TASTE
William Turner Through June 15, 2020
Pace Gallery Through August 14, 2020
AROUND TOWN N.Y. Other Exhibitions of Note This Season
Side by Side
Victoria Miro and David Zwirner Through June 20, 2020
Culture - Exhibitions
Tom Wudl: The Flowerbank World L.A. Louver Through June 20, 2020
wudlflowerbank.lalouver.com Essential Jim Dine
Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art Through July 7, 2020
Representational Abstract 3 BG Gallery Through August 11, 2020
Chris Engman: Looking
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles Ongoing
sidebysideonline.com Duino Elegies
Gagosian Through June 27, 2020
Gary Simmons: Screaming into the Ether Metro Pictures Through September 2020
metropictures.com Jeanette Mundt: Still American
Company Galley Through September 1, 2020
How Can We Think of Art at a Time Like This? Barbara Pollack and Anne Verhallen Ongoing
What Our Business Leaders Have Been Catching Up on during Quarantine
“I am currently reading a book called Leadership in War: Essential Lessons from Those Who Made History, in which the award-winning author Andrew Roberts presents a brilliant look into nine key figures in modern history, including Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Margaret Thatcher. In light of the outbreak of COVID-19, I have been thinking a lot about how leadership can On csq.com, we surveyed more than impact not just an organization, but also the 50 industry icons to see how they are world, for the better.”—Adrian Cheng, CEO, handling the COVID-19 crisis for our New World Development Company series “Business Leaders Weigh In.” Part “One book that I’ve gravitated toward is The of that survey asked what they were do- Universe Has Your Back, by Gabrielle Bernstein. ing with their downtime and the media It teaches you about your spiritual side and how that was captivating them. While near- to connect with love instead of fear, which has helped me to maintain a positive mindset. ly everyone found distraction in Tiger Another book would be Wisdom by Andrew King and Ozark, our business leaders’ Zuckerman, which is very inspiring.”—Parisa nightstands are slightly more dynamic. Fowles-Pazdro, Founder and CEO, max-bone The CSQ community around the “Recently, I have spent a lot of time reflectworld is turning to books for everything ing on meaning and legacy; I am currently from practical wisdom to something reading The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. I also recently read How Will You Measure light and fun. Some are savoring the chance to learn new ideas and principles, Your Life? by Clayton Christensen. I think these are great books to read at a time like this as ranging from the culinary and physical they encourage you to reflect on what is really to the philosophical and spiritual. Here’s important and puts things in perspective.”— a list of some of the books keeping their James Henderson, CEO, Exclusive Resorts inspiring minds afloat. By Sheean Hanlan “Ray Dalio’s Principles. One of my goals before we reopen is to create a new framework for our Next Health core values and princiStudy ples.”—Kevin Peake, Co-founder and President, Next Health “Fact f ulne ss: Ten Reason s We’re Wrong “Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner About The World—and W hy Things Are Excellence by Gary Mack with David CassteBetter Than You Think is a wonderful way vens, Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss, to remind us that the world, is, at the end, The Fifth Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz and heading in the right direction.”—Simone Don Jose Ruiz, and Ninja Selling by Larry KenGibertoni, CEO, Clinique La Prairie dall.”—Greg Reisdorf, Project Director, Rancho “Depending on my mood, I have [Yuval San Lucas Noah] Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, and Kai-Fu Lee’s AI Superpow- Play ers, a very good read that describes the next competitive stage for artificial intelligence, on “Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons to my nightstand.”—Kevin Kelly, CEO, Sensei my three little girls, ages 6, 4, and 3.”—Jonathan Holdings Inc. Beckett, CEO, Burgess “I now have time to read nearly every day. “Currently finishing Farewell, My Queen I have completed a number of books in these by Chantal Thomas and attacking Catherine last weeks, including Presidents of War, Obliv- Cusset’s Life of David Hockney.”—Ulrik Garde ion or Glory, Shadow Strike, Black Edge, and Due, CEO, Mark Cross most recently In Praise of Wasting Time.”— “We have created a virtual book club with Peter Lowy, Principal, The Lowy Family Group 12 friends and my mother, and I will be doing “One Last Strike by Tony La Russa, The that on Zoom tomorrow. The book selection is Yankee Years by Joe Torre, and The Only Plane American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins.”—Nicole in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 by Garrett Gordon, Principal, Nicole Gordon Studio Graff.”—Edward Mady, Regional Director, “Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam HigginUSA, Dorchester Collection botham. How’s that for some light reading “I’m reading a book called Delicioso: during a pandemic?” —Tom Nelson, Global A History of Food in Spain, which is about how President and CEO, Zero Halliburton the different kingdoms arose in Spain, what “For fiction, one of my all-time favorites: they ate, the agricultural changes.”—Wolfgang Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by Puck, Chef and Restauranteur, Wolfgang Puck J. K. Rowling.”—Carly Stein, Founder and CEO, Fine Dining Group Beekeeper’s Naturals
Culture - Read Watch Listen
CSQ Q2 2020
Bringing It Home Top Chef judge, food journalist, and cookbook author Gail Simmons on her at-home cooking tools and guides—and where she’s itching to dine once restaurant life is back to normal. By Carole Dixon With everyone on lockdown and stuck at home, from where can we draw inspiration?
I was always a cook but because my work schedule took me out of the house many nights a week and also out of the city on travel so often, the silver lining is, because I’m home, I’m cooking nonstop. Sometimes it’s a little exhausting. As much as we can’t go out to restaurants, we can bring new ingredients home. I was making a lot of soups and stews earlier in the year and into spring, but this summer, we are making artichokes and bright salads with lots
What better time than now to delve into a cookbook that focuses on bringing back interesting yet accessible recipes from bucket-list world travels? Gail Simmons is not only a judge on Bravo’s Emmy-winning series Top Chef, now in its 17th season, but is also the author of Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating (Grand Central Publishing, 2017). As part of the No. 1 food show on cable television, Simmons also lends her culinary expertise to spin-offs of the franchise like Top
Chef Masters and Top Chef: Just Desserts. Early in her career, Simmons worked with Chef Daniel Boulud before becoming special projects director at Food and Wine. When the Canadian-born writer and TV personality is not at home with her husband and two children in New York City, she is on the road gathering inspiration to recreate simple recipes for successful family meals and entertaining. CSQ spoke to Simmons while in quarantine to get her at-home insights on everything from guilty pleasures to favorite food blogs.
of herbs. I recently made a big cherry salad that was really exciting and fresh. I’m having a moment with leeks and spring onions. I’ve been braising them in white wine and fennel in chicken stock. It’s a simple, French technique that is really comforting. Also, lots of one-bowl grain salads. We cook a bunch of different things individually so that we can put together meals really easily.
a way that I have never done before. I used to eat out so much in restaurants that we kept the “adult food” for us at home really healthy. I got my fix of rich, decadent foods when I went out, but now that we are home all the time, I’m letting myself buy salt and vinegar chips— those are my kryptonite. And we are stashing the shelves with dark chocolate so we can take a square every night. I’ve always enjoyed baking with my daughter but now we are doing it two to three times a week. I’m decent, but by no means a pastry chef, but there is an onslaught of baked goods in our house (like everyone else). I’m not baking sourdough bread but I’m making quick breads, muffins, pound cake, and cookies. It’s been very satisfying.
Any guilty pleasures?
We are also doing a lot of unhealthy things in
Which cookbooks, apps, or Instagram accounts do you follow and gather inspiration from?
Culture - Proprietors Profile
CULTURE & TASTE
I’ve been finding a lot of inspiration in the Sababa cookbook by Adeena Sussman. She’s a New Yorker who moved to Tel Aviv, Israel, right near the Carmel Market. It includes simple and flavor-packed recipes that I’ve made during quarantine. She’s the one who made me crave roasted artichokes. She has a recipe for melted cabbage that became really big when her book came out. My father is vegan, and he’s made it several times. I did a big cooking evening on Zoom the other night with Adeena and Michael Solomonov and Einat Admony. Einat’s book Shouk (Hebrew word for market) is really great. Those flavors are just bright and fresh and I’ve been so excited by them recently. On Instagram, Candace Nelson from Sprinkles in L.A. is great for baking with my daughter. It’s easy and approachable. Jamie Oliver has been making really good stuff. He has two new books out and he’s always very real on Instagram with his kids. Leah Cohen is a New York chef who I love. Her food makes me drool and gives me a lot of inspiration for Southeast Asian flavors. Pig & Khao [her restaurant] in New York is one of my favorites. I love Molly Yeh. Her food is fun and sweet but gets me out of my own head. She does lots of baking. Her show is Girl Meets Farm on the Food Network but she’s also a blogger and does everything—great salads, beautiful bowls, well-produced, and fun ideas.
Any cookware go-to that is getting a workout in your kitchen these days?
I’m using my Le Creuset pots a lot, my KitchenAid standing mixer a ton, a food processor, and my Vitamix blender nonstop. For delicate foods like eggs and fi sh, I have a really good nonstick All-Clad that I’ve had forever. I also use mini silicone spatulas—I order six at a time. They get tons of use to get into all the nooks and crannies of things. I’m using simple tools too like my citrus juicer—it’s a one-hand squeezer that I use every day. 2
THE RESTAURANTS SIMMONS IS LOOKING FORWARD TO VISITING POST-QUARANTINE
1. Gail Simmons is best known as a judge on Top Chef. 2. The classic standing mixer from Kitchen-Aid is one of her kitchen musthave appliances. 3. Los Angeles’ Alimento is one of her favorite restaurants in LA.
Los Angeles Breakfast treats: If I’ve got time, I’ll go to Sqirl and sit on the little side patio with jam and bowls of greens and grains. For a quick breakfast, I like Go Get Em Tiger. When we were shooting in L.A. this past season, I was living in Larchmont Village so that was my go-to. For a late breakfast, Kismet is quiet and delicious. Favorites for lunch: Porridge and Puffs and Petit Trois for the omelet and beautiful vegetables. Guelaguetza is great for bringing my whole family or Gjusta for smoked fish and beautiful baked breads, pastries, and maybe a salad while sitting on the patio. Dinner options: Alimento—Chef Zach Pollack’s older sister is one my best friends for 20 years here in New York. I’ve been cheering for Zach for a long time and remember him telling me that he wanted to be a chef. I’m just blown away by his commitment and talent. Felix—for all Evan Funke’s pastas. He’s just brilliant. All his rich meat sauces and focaccia. It’s just great and done so well. I discovered a Thai strip-mall place called Love2eat Thai Bistro and Kato, another strip-mall place, for Taiwanese.
Culture - Proprietors Profile 4. The interiors of Felix, one of the hardest reservations in LA. 5. Guelaguetza is one of her favorite lunch spots. 4
New York I really wanted to get to Golden Diner before the quarantine. I was really excited because my friends were raving about it. It’s the kind of food I want to eat for breakfast in N.Y. For lunch I’m going to West-Bourne (a nod to 1960s L.A.), then Atla by Enrique Olvera. It’s always inspired with beautiful ceviche, duck carnitas, lamb barbacoa, mushrooms with poblano, and amazing aguas frescas with fresh juice. Also, King for pasta, simple fi sh, and seasonal veggies. Once I can, I’m going Lilia in Brooklyn for dinner. I’m getting all of chef Missy Robbins’ little fishes, grilled clams, and cured sardines, plus chicken-liver crostini and little gem salad. Her mafaldini pasta is my favorite thing plus linguini with anchovies. You can get a tomahawk or big rib-eye steak on the grill if you get there early. Atoboy has a four-course, set menu that is constantly changing, so I always go with four people because I want everything. Also going to Dora, Olmsted, Sofreh, and Don Angie. CSQ Q2 2020
How COVID-19 Is Steering Philanthropy in 2020
By Sheean Hanlan 98
CULTURE & TASTE
LEON BLACK Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO, Apollo Global Management; Co-founder, Melanoma Research Alliance
Apart from the $100M Bezos gave to Feeding America, the tech entrepreneur donated $25M to create the Amazon Relief Fund for employees and independent contractors. Seasonal employees and delivery drivers who have contracted COVID-19 or are facing financial hardships can apply for personal grants of up to $5,000.
The Debra and Leon Black Family Foundation committed $20M to launch the NYC Healthcare Heroes program, along with food services provider Aramark, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, poverty-relief nonprofit Robin Hood, and the American Red Cross. The program expects to supply up to half a million packages of shelf-stable food, personal care and household products, and over-the-counter drugs to hospital workers in New York City.
DEBRA BLACK Co-founder and Chair of the Board, Melanoma Research Alliance
Culture - Philanthropy
JACK DORSEY Co-founder and CEO, Twitter
BILL AND MELINDA GATES Co-founders, Co-chairs, and Trustees, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
REED HASTINGS Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO, Netflix
Dorsey stated his intention to donate $1B of his equity in Square to COVID-19 relief and nonprofits around the world through his Start Small LLC. As of June 2, over $85M of those funds have been dispersed to dozens of nonprofits, including organizations dedicated to fighting domestic violence in Los Angeles, supporting New Orleans’ homeless population, and facilitating cash transfers to low-income families.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $300M to the fight against COVID-19. This includes $50M to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator; $50M to Gavi, a public-private global health alliance founded by the couple to develop a vaccine for COVID-19; and $25M to create and deliver diagnostics.
Hastings and his wife, film producer Patty Quillin—who are members of The Giving Pledge— have donated $30M to Gavi, the vaccine alliance founded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Photo Credit: Bezos — Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images, Black — Michael Avedon/Businessweek, Bloomberg — Reuters, Dalio — Adam Galica/CNBC, Dell — Matthew Busch/Bloomberg/Getty Images, Dorsey — David Paul Morris/Bloomberg, Gates — AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, Hastings — Getty Images, Roberts and Kravis — Getty Images, Skoll — Forbes
Industry leaders and Fortune 500 founders are charting a new path in philanthropy by donating funds directly to the people and businesses that need help the most. Aside from supporting financially vulnerable individuals, donors are focusing their charitable efforts on public health. Resources for hospitals and healthcare workers account for many of these contributions, but a growing number of philanthropists are tackling the pandemic head-on by funding COVID-19 vaccine research. Here’s our roundup of donations from some of the wealthiest individuals in America.
JEFF BEZOS Founder and CEO, Amazon
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG Founder and CEO, Bloomberg LP
RAY DALIO Co-chief Investment Officer and Co-chairman, Bridgewater Associates
MICHAEL DELL Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Dell Technologies; Co-founder, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
Bloomberg Philanthropies pledged $40M in a global initiative to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries in partnership with the World Health Organization and Vital Strategies.
In February, Dalio Philanthropies and Bridgewater Associates pledged $10M to Peking University First Hospital, Union Hospital for Clinical Care, and several medical organizations in Wuhan to support first responders at the center of the outbreak. In May, Dalio Philanthropies donated $4M to provide child care services for hospital workers fighting the pandemic, as well as food and medical care for those in need in Connecticut.
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, which supports education, health and wellness, and poverty relief, has committed $100M to COVID-19 research and to sustaining the economy. The Dells pledged $20M to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard, and $80M to protect healthcare workers, nonprofits, schools, and social enterprises. Some funds will also be allotted for small business loans and guarantees.
SUSAN DELL Co-founder and Chairman ofÂ the Board, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
Culture - Philanthropy
PHIL KNIGHT Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus, Nike
GEORGE ROBERTS AND HENRY KRAVIS Co-chairmen and Co-CEOs, KKR & Co.
JEFF SKOLL Founder and Chairman, Participant Media; Founder and Chairman, Skoll Foundation
MARK ZUCKERBERG Co-founder and CEO, Facebook
Knight, along with his wife, Penny, and other senior leaders of the athletic apparel giant, donated $15M, which will go to the Oregon Food Bank, the Oregon Community Foundation Recovery Fund, Oregon Health & Science University, and several national and international efforts.
The billionaire private-equity duo established a $50M coronavirus relief fund for first responders and healthcare workers and to support workers and small businesses in hard-hit communities.
After giving about $20M to nonprofits devoted to addressing COVID-19 concerns for low-income groups, the Skoll Foundation committed an additional $100M to COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, and medical equipment for low- and middle -income countries. Skoll, eBayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first employee and former president, founded Participant Media in 2004 to create content that spurs social change.
Facebook launched a small business grants program to provide $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries.
CSQ Q2 2020
The President and CEO of Cambria has used the company’s success at selling quartz surfaces to give back to his community in a variety of charitable ways. By Samantha Brooks
Marty Davis grew up in a small farming com- and even healthcare facilities and yachts. Now, the leading American-made, family munity on the Minnesota River during the 1970s and ’80s. By age 16, he was working in the owned producer of natural quartz surfaces refamily dairy factory, taking over the graveyard cently partnered with Room & Board (another shift during high school and putting in even Midwestern company), marking Cambria’s first more hours during the summer. His childhood expansion into the home furnishings market. But monetary success was not enough for was so all-American, he even married his high Davis. “First, we launched Camp Cambria in school sweetheart. Dairy was in his blood, and he went to col- 2014, which is our effort to help kids with juvenile lege wanting to learn more about food chemis- arthritis,” he says. “We put on summer camps try. When he came back to the family business in Ontario, Canada, and Minnesota. A friend after college, it was in financial peril, and he of mine had a niece with the disease, and it was worked hard to help the business evolve. “It was really eye opening to see that Minnesota was the ’90s, and we ended up developing a fat-free one of the few places that didn’t have a summer cheese with Kraft,” he says. “It was a good busi- camp for these kids. I wanted to right the wrong.” Second, Davis learned that a lot of the ness and grew fast. We invested in innovation and technology, which allowed us to succeed.” working moms in his company were concerned From there, the family looked to branch that their high school–aged kids were vaping. out, and when a college friend told Davis about “I had a background with spray dryers from a company that was looking for investors to food science. I worked with those machines for start a business in stone quartz, they looked 20 years,” he says. “They heat to 450 degrees— into it. “Ultimately, the others who were look- the same as the vape pens. I knew how bad this ing to start the company never got into it, but was, and I didn’t like seeing the kids misled.” we did, ultimately purchasing the equipment Davis started a campaign called “They Lied, We Know,” and began educating kids in local high and starting on our own,” he says. Cambria launched in 2000 on a 61-acre schools. “We set up booths in the high school farm not far from the dairy factory, repurposing and gave out Jimmy John sandwiches (the ownDavis’s background in food manufacturing to er is a friend) to the kids. It had a big impact.” Finally, as an employer of more than 1,800 apply out-of-the-box thinking to quartz production. The business took off almost immediately. people, Davis didn’t like seeing how his immi“We founded a lot of the technology that now is grant employees had a hard time moving up popular in Italy, but was slow to catch on there the ladder. “I noticed we had a lot of first-genat the time,” says Davis. Cambria has grown in eration immigrants who were great employa variety of consumer markets, producing sur- ees but couldn’t move up the ladder because face materials for countertops, walls, fireplaces, they couldn’t speak English. Giving someone
Culture - Social Responsibility
1. Marty Davis is the Pre sident and CEO of Min nesotabased Cambria. 2. He has given back to the community in a vari ety of ways, including creating a summer camp for children with juvenile arthritis.
CULTURE & TASTE
3. The company also launched an antivape campaign in local high schools. 4. Cambria manu factures quartz sur faces for everything from countertops to fireplaces.
a chance at a job is great, but if you don’t give them the tools to succeed, they’ll never move up,” he explains. “So, we started English-language classes to educate our employees so that they have the chance to not just have a job, but to be a manager and a boss.” While Davis has been successful through hard work and following his instincts, he credits is passion for helping others to a paying-it-forward mentality. “When I was growing up, I was on a little league baseball team. The only way we got support for the league and our uniforms was through the local community,” he says. “When you grow up seeing other people be generous, you learn from it, and it’s your norm.” cambriausa.com
102 CSQ Founder’s Summit 2020 106 CSQ Panerai x Louis XIII 107 CSQ Living in an Uncertain World 108 CSQ The State of Finance 109 Hawke Media Quarantine Conference
The Network - Cover
A snap of life preCOVID-19 quarantine. Read more about the CSQ Founder’s Summit on page 102.
CSQ Q2 2020
CSQ’S 2020 FOUNDERS SUMMIT AND VISIONARY AWARDS IN INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY February 26, 2020 Los Angeles, California Scopely, C-Suite Quarterly
CSQ hosted its annual invite-only Founders Summit at the Scopely headquarters, home base for Visionaries of the Year Walter Driver and Javier Ferreira. This year’s Founders Summit was dedicated to the late NBA champion, investor, and philanthropist Kobe Bryant, who was honored as a CSQ Visionary of the Year in Innovation and Technology in 2018. KNX 1070 news anchor Frank Mottek welcomed attendees and introduced David Wurth to congratulate the new class of Visionaries and 40 under 40 founders. CareerArc Chairman and CEO Robin Richards gave the keynote address, revealing how his serial entrepreneurship success was fueled by pursuing overlooked opportunities for internet-based companies.
HONOREES 2020 Visionaries of the Year Walter Driver and Javier Ferreira Co-CEOs Scopely Visionaries Severin Hacker Co-founder and CTO Duolingo Josh Held Founder and CEO Chemistry Holdings Ryan Hudson Co-founder Honey Robin Richards Chairman and CEO CareerArc
ALSO HONORED Lidia Yan, Evan Richter, and others from CSQ’s 2020 40 under 40 Most Innovative Founders List
The Network - Founder’s Summit
Moderated by Shay Bolton, managing director, Los Angeles (West), at Savills, the NextGen Pioneers panel explored how to carve out a niche, disrupt an industry, and overcome challenges unique to founders. Panelists included H Code Founder and CEO Parker Morse, NEXT Trucking Co-founder and CEO Lidia Yan, and Chemistry Holdings Founder and CEO Josh Held. Latham & Watkins’ Alex Voxman discussed running and growing a unicorn company with Smash Ventures Director and Co-founder Evan Richter and unicorn co-founders from each coast—Honey Co-founder Ryan Hudson and Duolingo Co-founder Severin Hacker. To close the event, Driver and Ferreira opened up to KPMG’s Ryan Youhan about how they scaled the mobile-gaming giant through their innovative co-CEO company structure. As the night wrapped up, guests enjoyed cocktails, wine, and kombucha from Revel Spirits, Endless West, and Health-Ade. Pluto TV Co-founder Ilya Pozin hosted an after-party for attendees at his home in Beverly Hills. 102
SIGNATURE SPONSORS Bank of America ML Endless West Good Neighbor Productions H Code Hawke Media Health-Ade Icon Isaia KPMG Latham & Watkins One Coast Pacific Palisades Revel Spirits RGP Savills Scopely Trinet
The Network - Founder’s Summit 3
1 Honey Co-founder Ryan Hudson 2 The Founders Summit at Scopely HQ 3 David Wurth presenting Visionary of the Year plaques to Scopely Co-CEOs Javier Ferreira and Walter Driver 4 CareerArc Chairman and CEO Robin Richards 5 NEXT Trucking Co-founder and CEO Lidia Yan 6 Ryan Youhan and a guest 7 The unicorn panel with moderator Alex Voxman, Duolingo Co-founder Severin Hacker, Smash Ventures Director Evan Richter, and Honey Co-founder Ryan Hudson
CSQ Q2 2020
PHOTOGRAPHY Good Neighbor Productions EVENT CONTACT To learn more about the CSQ Visionary Awards, contact: email@example.com 103
The Network - Founder’s Summit 3
1 Severin Hacker, Ilya Pozin, and guests at the after-party 2 Kim Washington, David Wurth, and Calvin Lyons 3 Josh Held accepting his award with David Wurth and Shay Bolton 4 Guests mingling at the after-party 5 Guests enjoyed drinks from Revel Spirits 6 Icon was a sponsor of the event 7 The NextGen Pioneers panel with Savills moderator Shay Bolton, Chemistry Holdings Founder and CEO Josh Held, H Code Founder and CEO Parker Morse, and NEXT Trucking Co-founder and CEO Lidia Yan
The Network - Founder’s Summit
1 Ryan Hudson accepting his Visionary Award with David Wurth and Alex Voxman 2 H Code Founder Parker Morse 3 Mark Loranger (Chrysalis) and Severin Hacker (Duolingo) 4 Severin Hacker receiving his award from David Wurth 5 Ryan Hudson, Alex Voxman, Severin Hacker, Josh Held, Parker Morse, David Wurth, Javier Ferreira, Shay Bolton, Robin Richards, Walter Driver, Evan Richter, and Ryan Youhan
CSQ Q2 2020
CSQ X PANERAI NETWORKING LOS ANGELES March 4, 2020 Beverly Hills, Los Angeles PANERAI, C-Suite Quarterly
Mission Each quarter, CSQ hosts happy hours that bring the magazine to life and give our community a chance to connect. Before quarantine struck, CSQ members savored Louis XIII Cognac by Rémy Martin, a unique decanter of cognac, in a private tasting at Panerai Beverly Hills. Members also enjoyed an intimate viewing of Panerai watches—a natural blend of Italian design, Swiss technology, and passion for the sea. Event Highlights Members participated in highlevel networking, deal making, and connecting with friends new and old. Signature Sponsors Panerai Louis XIII
The Network - Panerai 3
PHOTOGRAPHY Tamara Santana C-SUITE ADVISORS MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR Ian Tenenbaum
EVENT CONTACT Gioia Giacomelli
1 Panerai watches on display 2 Guests enjoying the tasting 3 Guests toasting 4 Will Moncreif and Katy Jansa 5 Troy Anthony, Collin Kinser, David Wurth, Eric Holtzman, Brandon Harris, and Shlomo Eplboim 6 Brandon Harris, David Wurth, Eric Holtzman, and Collin Kinser 7 Guests mingling and networking 8 Shlomo Eplboim and Dela Gbordzoe 9 Dr. Ram Dandillaya, David Wurth, and guests 10 Bottle of Louis XIII Cognac
VIRTUAL EVENT LIVING IN AN UNCERTAIN WORLD
April 2, 2020 CSQ Virtual Events C-Suite Quarterly
Global Guardian President and CEO Dale Buckner
Mission The world is changing and one thing is for certain: uncertainty. Amid sharply falling public markets and spiraling panic around the rapid proliferation of COVID-19, the cybersecurity industry seems to be positioned for sustainable growth despite some foreseeable turbulence. On April 2, 2020, Global Guardian President and CEO Dale Buckner joined CSQ Founder and CEO David Wurth for a virtual conversation on how current events will shape future safety and security concerns on the web, face toface, for global travelers, and for businesses.
Event Highlights The disintegration of the social fabric within the US is a security concern, Buckner said. As millions of people lose their jobs and those at the margins of society are hit hard, government and the corporate sector must provide a safety net, quickly. However, the current system is not designed for this, especially given the scale of the problem. With more than 10 million Americans filing for unemployment in March, delays in receiving unemployment relief are inevitable. A big concern is that when people’s savings run out and when the most vulnerable do not have a local food bank to turn to, “Desperate people do desperate things,” Buckner said. As COVID-19 hits more poor urban areas, where water and sanitation services are already lacking and hospitals are overwhelmed, the health crisis threatens to exacerbate existing social problems. At a time of crisis, when there is so much fear and anxiety, the ability to “communicate or create certainty” is important for corporate leaders. Further, corporate leaders can help strengthen the response to COVID-19 by supporting homeless shelters, food banks, and other organizations serving the marginalized in our communities. As Buckner put it, “It was important before; it is important now on steroids.”
The Network - Living in Uncertain
CSQ Q2 2020
Moderator David Wurth, Founder and CEO, C-Suite Quarterly Speaker Dale Buckner, President and CEO, Global Guardian EVENT CONTACT Sarah Poor
Signature Sponsors Global Guardian 107
VIRTUAL EVENT THE STATE OF FINANCE
May 6, 2020 CSQ Virtual Events C-Suite Quarterly
2 Fiona Ma, Treasurer, State of California
Mission As markets go through historic volatility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders need the best and most timely information from top experts. That’s why we enlisted California State Treasurer Fiona Ma and some of the sharpest minds in finance for a virtual conversation on how unprecedented financial markets have impacted everything from M&A and restructuring to navigating a worsened housing crisis—and how businesses can work with government programs to carve a path forward. Event Highlights In a panel moderated by Andrew Horowitz, senior vice president of Rockefeller Capital Management, Ma shared what to expect for the next six to 12 months in the commercial and residential real estate markets. “I would say from the state of California, we are working really hard to build more affordable housing, mostly in the new construction space, which is where policymakers are focused at this moment,” she said.
1 Jim Freedman, Chairman, Intrepid Investment Bankers
3 Mark Williams, Chief Revenue Officer, Americas, Datasite Moderator 4 Andrew Horowitz, CEPA, Senior Vice President, Private Wealth Advisor, Rockefeller Capital Management
Signature Sponsors Datasite Intrepid Investment Bankers Rockefeller Capital Management
The Network - State of Finance
Intrepid Investment Bankers Chairman Jim Freedman discussed how the overall velocity of the M&A market is impacted by current conditions in the market and where there may be opportunities. He stated that M&A is down by about 50 percent compared to the first quarter of 2019. “So it’s certainly affected mergers and acquisitions, and it’s affected it in two ways. One, because companies that were looking to be sold all of a sudden got confronted with this whammy and now are experiencing some very strong headwinds and difficulties,” he said. “And second, the actual strategic buyers have now cut back on their acquisition activities, focusing on their own businesses.” Speaking from a data-driven historical view of new deals across every vertical, Datasite Chief Revenue Officer Mark Williams forecasted M&A activity for the next six to 12 months. “I think one of the real drivers that we see, as private equity companies look at their current portfolio and look at potential targets, is how the combination of existing or two or three potential targets being brought together, what kind of value could be unlocked with that play rather than just a single asset using a historical valuation model,” he said.
EVENT CONTACT Sarah Poor
QUARANTINE CONFERENCE April 7, 2020 Hawke Media Online
Notable Speakers 1 Paul Henderson, President, High Times 2 Hope Horner, Founder and CEO, Lemonlight
Mission The appropriately named Quarantine Conference brought the canceled conference season to the computer screens of the business world. The interactive experience allowed attendees from SMBs to large companies to step outside of isolation for a moment, connect with each other, and learn how to keep businesses going and positioned to take advantage of the underlying potential presen ted by the COVID19 pandemic. Event Highlights Quarantine Conference brought together more than 2,000 people from the United States, the Netherlands, and even Hong Kong. The audience spent 315,232 minutes watching and learning, and 2,652 messages were exchanged in 28 channels across 16 different time zones in the QCon Slack workspace. Music duo FARR played during the happy hour, with half the duo performing from London and the other from Los Angeles. Entrepreneur and political figure Anthony Scaramucci taught listeners his favorite truism: SOO (Stay on Offense). Quaran tine Conference also featured an official SXSW panel with High Times President Paul Henderson, Lemonlight Founder and CEO Hope Horner, and Arcadian Fund Founder and CEO Matthew Nordgren. They discussed best marketing practices in the cannabis industry, where most normal advertising is strictly limited. The entire con ference, including the incredible speaker lineup, spoken word performance, yoga session, live musical performance, and more was planned in just a few weeks. Hawke Media was designed to be nimble, and during a time when businesses must be adaptable in order to survive and thrive, the marketing agency created a space for an extended network to share tips and adapt together.
3 Erik Huberman, Founder and CEO, Hawke Media 4 Daymond John, Costar, Shark Tank 5 Matthew Nordgren, Founder and CEO, Arcadian Fund
6 Dan Price, Founder and CEO, Gravity Payments 7 Anthony Scaramucci, Former Director of Communications, The White House 8 Brandon Webb, Former SEAL, US Navy
The Network - Hawke Media
CSQ Q2 2020
AIR BANDIT Cohley Grit Daily Influencive Klaviyo Postscript Sezzle Transcription Outsourcing LLC TriNet Trustpilot Vari
EVENT CONTACT Ally Spiroff
Advertiser Index Baltaire baltaire.com
Clay Lacy claylacy.com
Hilton & Hyland hiltonhyland.com
SoCal IP Law Group LLP socalip.com
Boys & Girls Club of Metro LA bgcmla.com
Emerge 212 emerge212.com
Society Brokers societybrokers.com
Gish Seiden gishseiden.com
MGM Resorts mgmresorts.com
Troy Anthony troyanthonyclothing.com
California Lutheran University callutheran.edu
Hawke Media hawkemedia.com
One Coast liveonecoast.com
Editorial Index PEOPLE Adomny, Einat Agus, David Auerbach, Lisa Anne Baer, Meridith Bale, Gareth Beckett, Jonathan Bezos, Jeff Black, Debra Black, Leon Bloomberg, Michael Brady, Tom Bristol, Ryan Bryant, Kobe Bundchen, Gisele Burckhardt, Tom Butterly, Kathy Casstevens, David Cheng, Adrian Churchill, Winston Clement, Eric Clooney, George Cohen, Leah Cummins, Jeanine Cussett, Catherine Cypis, Dorit Dali, Salvador Dalio, Ray Delaunay, Sonia Dell, Michael Dorsey, Jack Dreier, Marc Driver, Walter Durant, Sam Eisenhower, Dwight D. Ellison, Larry Etebar, Afshin Ferreira, Javier Fowles-Pazdro, Parisa Garde, Ulrik Due Gates, Bill Gates, Melinda Gentry, Ashlyn, PhD Gersh, Lisa Gibertoni, Simone Good, James Gordon, Kim Gordon, Nicole Graff, Garrett Hargreaves, Brad Hastings, Reed Higginbotham, Adam Horowitz, Andrew Joyce, Kerry Karsh, Bruce Kelly, Kevin Kendall, Larry King, Scott
96 66 94 44 52 95 100 100 100 100 52 78 102 52 94 94 95 95 95 40 52 96 95 95 94 20 100 94 100 100 88 102 94 95 66 42 102 95 95 88 100 37 37 95 44 23 95 95 37 100 95 80 23 88 95 95 94
Martin, Jack Meldman, Mike Meyer, Lisa Helfend Miro, Victoria Mokhtari, Jan Mokhtari, Marsh Mottek, Frank Muller, Dave Nelson, Tom Newman, Paul Nordgren, Matthew Olvera, Enrique Philippe, Patek Pollack, Barbara Pollack, Zack Prvacki, Ana Puck, Wolfgang Quillin, Patty Racine, Michael Rahn, Scott Reisdorf, Greg Roberts, Andrew Roberts, George Rowling, J. K. Ruiz, Don Miguel Sarin, Ravi Saroyan, Aram Shechet, Arlene Schuster, Josh Simmons, Gail Singer, Michael Skoll, Jeff Sky-Wasserman, Gelena Stein, Carly Sussman, Adeena Taeuber-Arp, Sophie Taleb, Nassim Nicholas Thatcher, Margaret Thomas, Chantal Tomaselli, Fred Tynion, Alexandra Valentine, Don Verhallen, Anne Voss, Chris Weiss, David R. Werdesheim, Brian Yeh, Molly Younan, Zaya Zalben, Zach Zuckerberg, Mark Zuckerman, Andrew Zwirner, David
37 52 84 94 17 17 102 94 95 20 37 96 20 94 96 94 95 100 37 86 95 95 100 95 95 37 94 94 37 96 95 100 37 95 96 94 88 95 95 94 37 52 94 95 15 83 96 49 37 100 95 94
COMPANIES Aerogarden Farm Alexander Wang Alexandra Palace Ally Bank Ally Financial Atabey Atla Attention Capital Aura Air Bain & Company Bain Capital Bear Stearns Beekeeper’s Naturals Bernstein Global Wealth Management Better.com Bicol Clinic Foundation Bishop Hawk Black Equities LLC Blum & Poe Chrysler Group CIT Group Citigroup Clinique La Prairie Cohiba Spectre Colliers International Colonial BancGroup Common Company Gallery Davidoff Dell Technologies DHA Capital Discovery Land Company Dorchester Collection Drew Estate Dropbox Duolingo eBay Espacio FARR Food and Wine The Food Network Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina Franklin Hotel Gagosian General Assembly General Growth Properties Gray Whale Gin Greenspoon Marder LLP Hackman Capital Partners Hawke Media Intrepid Investment Bankers J.P. Morgan Private Bank Jed Foundation Johnson Controls Jura Justin Vineyards & Winery
14 37 49 37 37 15 96 37 14 37 37 88 95 78
37 37 52 37 94 88 88 37 95 15 37 88 37 94 15 100 37 52 95 15 86 102 100 72 109 96 17 71 72 94 37 88 17 88 37 109 108 78 37 49 14 68
KKR & Co. 100 Kleiner Perkins 37 The Leadership Foundation 37 Lehman Brothers 88 Los Angeles Times 37 Louis Vuitton 72 Louis XIII 106 Love2eat 96 The Lowy Family Group 95 LyondellBasell 88 Melanoma Research Alliance 100 Meridith Baer Home 44 Metro Pictures 94 Meyer, Olson, Lowy & Meyers LLP 84 Monsieur George Hotel & Spa 72 Montage Hotels & Resorts 74 Netflix 84 Ocean Residences 18 Oceans Healthcare 37 Oncology Institute 37 Owl Labs 14 Panerai 106 Partagas 15 Pluto TV 102 Rent the Runway 37 RMO LLP 86 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights 37 Foundation ROCA Partners 37 Rockefeller Capital Management 80 Rolex 20 ROM LLP 86 Samsung 17 Scanner Pro 86 ScanSnap 86 SeedInvest 37 Sensei Holdings 95 Sequoia Capital 88 Shark Tank 109 Silverback Development 37 Skya Ventures Inc. 37 Sotheby’s 20 Stars and Stripes 44 Start Small LLC 100 Suburban 22 The Summa Group 82 of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. Sync 86 Tahoe 22 Terranea 66 Tesla 37 Top Chef 96 West Bourne 96 What’s App 86 White Ops 37 Whole Foods 88 Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group 95 Younan Properties 49 Zoom 84
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C-SUITE QUOTED 16
Luckily for our team, evolving and adapting does not feel that foreign …. While we may not like the current situation, I try to instill in our team the importance of accepting and adapting to this new reality.
I encourage [women] to dream bigger and tell them that they can achieve whatever success they envision for themselves.
The lack of entrepreneurship [in our country keeps me up at night]. Without robust entrepreneurship, the American economy will slow, and economic gains will accrue to fewer and fewer of us.
Christian Navarro President and Principal Wally’s
Kim Gordon Principal Kim Gordon Designs
Brad Hargreaves Founder and CEO Common
I was always interested in making money, but more importantly, I’ve always been curious with why things are the way they are.
I was fortunate that I had my father helping me from the start and it was even more helpful that we were very like-minded with the “just do it and do it right” attitude from the first day.
I started doing something accidentally for fun that turned out to be a massive tool to help the industry market homes.
Eric Clement Managing Director New York City Economic Development Corporation
Afshin Etebar President and Co-founder Etco Homes
Meridith Baer Founder and CEO Meridith Baer Homes
A big thing I got from school was teambuilding and work ethic. Hitting deadlines and working hard under pressure. Some people get that in sports, but I got that in the newspaper.
By the time I was 35 years old, I had held a couple of CEO jobs with major companies. I did not waste my youth; I optimized it.
I figured if I did enough projects, I could buy enough [Casamigos tequila] to make it successful. Rande [Gerber]’s bars could buy enough to make it successful. And we figured George [Clooney] would drink enough to make it successful.
Spencer Rascoff Co-founder and Executive Chairman dot.LA
Zaya Younan Chairman and CEO Younan Properties / La Grande Maison Younan Collection
Mike Meldman Founder Discovery Land Company
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