Real Estate Merchant Banker, Venture Capitalist and Real Estate Entrepreneur
Day Job: I’m an entrepreneur and world-wide connector. I have started many companies including Conlon & Co: A Real Estate Merchant Bank in 2000 and, most recently, CONLON: A Real Estate Company/Christie’s International Real Estate in 2009 which now has over 200 agents in the city and is expanding into the North Shore and Western Suburbs. Before that, I opened Sussex and Reilly in 2000 which I subsequently sold twice. I have also built an excellent global network over the last 20+ years in this industry which means my days start early advising on projects in Europe and end late working on deals in the U.S. and Asia.
Pivot Points: My father dying at 56 was a huge turning point in my life. It gave me perspective and balance that I had not had up to that point. I was working over 100 hours a week and neglecting my personal life. The loss of my father also showed me that I had the ability to survive most things and enabled me to better survive the real estate market carnage of 2008 onwards because my own perspectives were different. Overall, I felt more seasoned and had more strength to deal with whatever was thrown at me.
Rocking Revenue: Conlon & Co: A Real Estate Merchant Bank (parent company of CONLON/Christie’s) recently secured $50 million in structured financing for retail developments located in Los Angeles, Aspen, New York and Palm Beach.
My Kind of Town: I love Bistro Zinc for a non-showy, excellent meal. I always go to the House of Glunz for my wine due to their unbelievable selection and Christopher Donovan’s superb knowledge about wine. A walk through Lincoln Park Zoo is always invigorating, although I am slightly biased; I sit on the zoo board!
Star Power: I advise many household names on real estate matters, but as I am valued for my discretion, I won’t name them. I also have some very high-net-worth individuals based here in Chicago, London and the Middle East for whom I consult regularly on potential real estate acquisitions.
Dream to Reality: I always aimed to travel the world and have managed to visit so many spectacular places. I have been to places as disparate as Seychelles, Tanzania, Galapagos Islands, Egypt, Iceland, and Norway for fly fishing. I work hard to make my travel dreams a reality.