08 Sep Industry Spotlight: David Owen
CEO, A List Partners Management, LLC
As the CEO of A List Partners Management, LLC, David Owen, CFM, is responsible for managing the management team whose members assist in the day to day operation of the companies and funds under the A List Partners umbrella of companies. Also responsible for working with securities and local attorneys to stay on top of Federal and State Legal Compliance reporting, liaison to accounting firms, mentoring the members of the management team and preparing them to keep the funds and related companies profitably running for years to come and, to build relationships with Non- US Investors in countries around the world.
Originate Report: How did you get into lending?
David Owen: I began my career over 40 years ago as a Realtor and then Real Estate Broker.
Private Lending was a synergistic next step for me in my career. I met Anthony Geraci in 2007 at a conference and sat down with him to hear how a mortgage pool security is structured. After a year of conversations, research and interviews, I saw a huge opportunity and need in Hard Money Lending, especially here in the Texas Real Estate industry. Plus, I had a huge network already built that I could immediately plug into. It was just a natural progression for me.
OR: What is the most important characteristic in a loan originator/broker?
DO: Disclosure and accuracy! I am a stickler for details, and anyone who wants to work in the lending industry must have a firm grip on every detail and minutia for each and every loan on their desk.
OR: What CRM systems do you use to email your target market?
DO: We have both a proprietary platform as well as a database management system in which we connect and market to our prospective clients, as well as our current investor base.
OR: What made you want to create and begin A List Partners Management?
DO: I founded and managed some successful companies in Austin and over the years managed over $200MM in AUM (Assets Under Management). My ROI for my investors during this time ranged from 8% to as high as 19%, so my investors grew to trust and believe in what I was doing, as well as what I was accomplishing for their investments. When I decided to retire, my partner bought me out and I intended to move to a far-away beach and just enjoy retirement. However, my investors began to call me, almost immediately, and ask when I was coming back. Furthermore, I realized very quickly that I was not ready for retirement and the idea for A List Partners Management was borne; meaning, creating a business model that was much broader and involved more income streams for the securities I wanted to build, and I knew the Texas real
OR: What has been one of your favorite moments starting A List Partners?
DO: The second investor. Once the investment capital began coming into my program, I knew that the vision I had for A List Partners would not only work, but flourish, both for the company I am building and, more importantly, for our investors.
OR: Why Texas Real Estate in particular?
DO: It is what I know. I am an 8th generation Texan and I know the demographics of Central Texas very well. What I decided to do was expand on the concept of truly capitalizing on the greatest real estate market in the United States: that “golden corridor” from Dallas through Austin and down into San Antonio, particularly the robust and booming market of Central Texas around Austin. Plus, I’ve worked this market for over 40 years.
OR: Think about your loan officer days, how would you
DO: Network, Network, Network. The best way to build this business is to continually meet new people while continually working with my clients’ own networks. I guess you could call it being focused on massive Grass Roots marketing efforts.
OR: Have you had to learn any lessons the hard way?
DO: Absolutely. Learning lessons is an everyday process in this business. Openness to learning is paramount to success and growth. Even bad experiences are good learning opportunities.
OR: What is one fun fact that most people don’t know about you?
DO: I’m a very adventurous man and I love a good adrenaline rush. I’m a huge fan of zip lining, whitewater rafting and sky diving.
OR: What is one piece of advice you have learned and carried with you throughout your life?
DO: My granddaddy once told me that in order to be an effective CEO or President of a company, one has to be comfortable with the littlest of chores, including scrubbing the toilet. In other words, never ask a co-worker or employee to do something that you are not willing to do yourself.
OR: What is the main ingredient in becoming successful in the lending business?
DO: Building and maintaining trust is key. Our funds are relatively new, so we are very much in acquisition mode right now, both for investment capital infusion and acquisition of projects, developments and loans to service. Cultivating trust through relationship building and, of course, consistent positive returns for our client-base is key to our success.
OR: What are the criteria for A List Partners to consider a project or loan?
DO: We are open to consider any viable project. My only initial requirement is a very solid, well thought out, and detailed project Executive Summary. We do not under- write the individual or entity bringing the project to our attention. We underwrite the project. In other words, we ask ourselves, “would we want to own this asset within the confines of one of our funds?”
OR: What makes A List Partners Management unique?
DO: The fact that we have multiple streams of income into our funds, including foreign national capital investment. We offer what many do not. Our Portfolio Interest Exemption program allows foreign investors to earn interest and income with zero tax withholding, a 30%-40% savings for them. We offer the EB-5 Visa program to developers here in the US which allows them to plug into cheap capital infusion for their projects, while stream- lining a foreign investor’s Green Card process. And, of course, our higher than average yields to our investors because of these programs, and more, make us unique compared to most.
OR: Why would an investor want to put their money into your funds?
DO: We are creating something very special here at A List Partners Management. Compared to traditional forms of investment, which begins at the lows of bank savings or CD’s (negligible ROI’s) to traditional mutual funds (generally low interest rates) to stock market volatility (possibly higher interest rates, but also the ability to lose big), A List Partners funds offer conservative principles that offer higher than average rates of return.