Monday, December 5, 2016

Almost Annual Pre-Holiday Pizza + Drink Thing / Women in Private Equity Forum / London / Michael Humphreys / Rogue One

Stuff coming up soon
Just wanted to give you all a head’s up about some upcoming events in New York City.
My Almost Annual Pre-Holiday Pizza / Drink Thing - NYC
I’ve been hosting this event for more years than I can count.  It’s always a treat as people from all facets of commercial real estate stop by – pension fund folks, property management folks, investment managers, research people, you name it.  It’s a really casual affair.  

Here are the details:
When:  Monday, Dec 12 from 5:30 – 9pm
Where:  Joe G Restaurant, 244 W. 56th Street
(Between Broadway and Eighth Avenue; downstairs from the DaVinci Hotel)
How:  Just show up! No RSVP required.

You buy your own drinks and I supply the famous Joe G Pizza.
Hope you can stop by for a while.
Felix / Weiner Professional Development Workshops - NYC

Wednesday, December 14:  Tech Industry Women’sLeadership Workshop

Thursday, December 15:  Behavioral Presentation Coaching Workshop

Friday, December 16: Women’s Leadership Workshop

Women in Private Equity Forum – London
Last week my partner Liz Weiner and I were in London. We were invited to attend PEI’s (parent of PERE) Women in Private Equity Conference.  It was an interesting program and we unexpectedly ran into a few women from the real estate side of private equity. 

There was a good amount of discussion about ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) issues.  The letter ‘D’ is not in the acronym but diversity is clearly a subject being brought up more and more by public pension funds as they evaluate which manager they’re going to do business with.

A woman on one panel said that her company pays for the expense of bringing her baby (and nanny) on her business trips.  Who would have imagined that your child would be accumulating frequent flyer miles that early in her or his life!

Out of 80 attendees there were 5 men plus me.  If you’re a man based in London I’d recommend attending next year’s event! You’ll gain some real insight into some of the challenges women in private equity face.  Thanks to PEI for the invitation.

I hadn’t been in London for a while and got the chance to catch up with some old friends.  There is some very interesting stuff going on in our institutional real estate world across the pond.  Some of what I heard needs to be kept in the vault for a little longer but other things can be mentioned.

Meetings we had were with folks from bFinance, Benson Elliott, Patrizia, LaSalle Investment Management, Forum Partners, Valad, Rockspring, First Avenue Partners, CBRE Global Investors, PGIM and AXA. It was like old times! It was great not only to see folks I’ve known for many years but also to meet some people for the first time – even with all the technology available today there is still no substitute for meeting people face2face!

Liz and I will shortly be finalizing dates to take our Women’s Leadership Workshop and Behavioral Presentation Coaching Workshop to London and Amsterdam in early 2017.

As you might imagine, there was some discussion about the U.S. Presidential Election – but not as much as you might think.  The Brits have their own stuff to deal with – as does a good portion of the world.  People are hunkered down, working on those things that have year-end deadlines and some of the ‘current events’ simply serve as distractions. 
We flew Norwegian Air and for the first time were on the new Boeing Dreamliner.  A very, very nice aircraft and Norwegian offers some pretty reasonable rates on the routes they fly.  Check them out!

Sad news - Michael Humphreys (1960 – 2016)
While in London I got the news that Michael Humphreys, founder of the consulting firm, Courtland Partners, died unexpectedly at 56.  Michael and I didn’t know each other well but it’s widely known that he is one of those few who learned the ropes at The Townsend Group and then launched his own consultancy.  He was an out-spoken leader in the industry who developed a very successful business. To his colleagues whom are industry friends I send my condolences. 

While it’s bad enough when someone who has lived a long life passes away, it’s really bad when someone, like Michael, in the prime of his or her life and career, dies. 

Those of you who’ve followed me for a while probably remember that my first album of original songs, Felix…Finally, was a project I undertook stimulated by the death of a long-time band mate and friend.  Dave died of aggressive cancer just a few months after our reunion concert in 2003.  Then, last April, Composition Capital founder Erwin Stouthamer’s passing got me serious about the business memoir I’ve been diddling around with for more than 15 years and led to my hiring a professional editor (Note:  the book, Driving With Your Knees will be available in July 2017 to celebrate my birthday). 

I bring up my activities only to suggest that you think about those projects you’ve wanted to accomplish in your life or those places you’ve wanted to visit or whatever it is that are part of your life dreams  - and take action on one of them…soon.  There’ll be nothing worse than getting to the end of the line and having regrets.

Star Wars – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The next movie in the never-ending Star Wars saga opens on December 16.  I cannot remember seeing more promotion of a movie, ever.  Every place I’ve been in the past month seems to be promoting the event – with Gatwick Airport in London offering a ‘flight simulator’ experience!  Disney, who owns the Star Wars brand is an incredible (and to a degree, obnoxious) marketing machine.  Talking with one of the ‘booth’ attendants in London the other day he said, “A lot of die-hard Star Wars fans are not happy with what is going on.”  Regardless, my grandsons Sean and Gavy are really, really excited about going to see Rogue One on the day it opens.  I will be seeing it as well as I continue to improve my knowledge of Star Wars so I don’t get my butt kicked so badly by those boys when we play the Star Wars Trivia game I bought them!

To my friend Rob Bilse who recently joined Patrizia as Head of North American Fundraising.

Restaurants of the week:

Halepi, 18 Leinster Terrace London W2 3ET; Terrific authentic family-owned Greek Restaurant

The Fish House of Notting Hill, 29 Pembridge Road
Notting Hill W11 3HG
; Yes, you can get Fish and Chips all over London but this is one of the best.

Osteria Basilico, 29 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill Gate; London W11 2EU; simply first-class Italian food

ULI, 5 Ladbroke Rd, London W11 3PA; Beautifully prepared and presented Asian cuisine - Just opened 3 months ago. 

On The Road…
December 6-7: Los Angeles coaching an investment management client

December 8: Chicago to attend (and facilitate a discussion on Trends in Investing) at NAREIM’s Capital Raising & Investor Relationships Meeting

December 9 – 17:  New York City

December 12:  My Almost Annual Pre-Holiday Pizza / Drink Thing (see above)

December 14:  Technology Women’s Leadership Workshop - (18 person maximum; 4-hours; $479)

December 15:  Behavioral Presentation CoachingWorkshop - (6 person maximum; 4-hours; $679)

December 16:  Commercial / Institutional Real Estate Women’s Leadership Workshop(18 person maximum; 4-hours; $479)

January 18 2017:  Laguna Beach, CA to conduct our Women’s Leadership Workshop in partnership with IMN

January 19-20:  Laguna Beach, CA to attend IMN’s Real Estate Opportunity and Private Funds Forum

January 23:  Los Angeles to conduct our Behavioral Presentation Coaching Workshop 

January 24:  Los Angeles to conduct our Commercial / Institutional Real Estate Women’s Leadership Workshop 

January 26:  San Francisco to conduct our Commercial / Institutional Real Estate Women’sLeadership Workshop

January 27:  San Francisco to conduct our Behavioral Presentation Coaching Workshop

February 2017:  London, UK to conduct our Commercial / Institutional Real Estate Women’sLeadership and Behavioral Presentation Coaching Workshops

February 2017: Amsterdam, The Netherlands to conduct our Women’s Leadership andBehavioral Presentation Coaching Workshops

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