ZGREC Speaker Series: HFF

Baruch had the honor of hosting Mike Tepedino, Tom Didio and Sam Seiden, a recent Baruch alumnus, to the Oak Room of the Newman Real Estate Building.  ZGREC and ZGFC hosted the lunch for the trio from Holiday Fenoglio Fowler. HFF specializes in debt placement, structured finance, private equity & corporate finance.

Mr. Tepedino, a senior managing director, gave the audience an insight into his company that started in the 1970s as a leading provider of commercial real estate and capital market services to the US  commercial Real Estate industry. It was an anecdote Mr. Tepedino shared about his 10-year old that best explained what he does.  Posed with the question about what daddy did, Mike responded, “I make rich people richer.”

“Well how do you do that, daddy?” the 10-year old inquired.

Mr. Tepedino explained that he gets money from lenders in a way that is faster and less expensive than the rich people can do themselves.

Mr. Didio, a senior managing director, echoed the similar explanation to his child.  He can do in a few weeks what would take his clients at least a couple of months to do. He also can create a matrix of options for his clients.  He explained that helping his clients to their jobs better is what keeps him in business.   Mr. Didio also commented on the importance of valuing commercial real estate.  That valuation serves as a foundation for future decisions.  If that goes wrong, all else falls apart.

Recognizing an audience of fresh faces to the industry, Mr. Tepedino offered observations from his own career.  “Real Estate is a big industry, find where you fit in,” he said.  “Think about your personal strengths and weaknesses and find out where you fit into a business with your skill set,” was the common-sense advice offered by Mr. Tepedino.  He went on to comment how he saw lots of people early in their career who were smart but didn’t know what they wanted.  Without direction and passion, these people don’t do very well, he noted.

Mr. Seiden, a real estate analyst, knew what he wanted and has enjoyed working with HFF since May.  He works on a wide variety of projects — from valuing properties to  going through the sales process.

ZGREC and ZGFC offer our appreciate for your the time of Mssrs. Tepedino, Didio and Sneiden. We hope to see you back on campus and out industry.

Please note that on Dec 1, ZGREC will host Drew deWitt from the JP Morgan Real Asset Group at 12:30 in the Oak room.  Find more info at the ZGREC LinkedIn Group.

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