I was starting from a network out here
of zero. I would see if I could set up five
meetings a day, and I wouldn’t leave the
office until I had three meetings. When
you go a few months of setting up five
meetings a day, you can build your
network pretty fast. I found the people
who were in TMA and in Chicago overall
to be very pro-business and to be open
to someone coming from out of town
to try and get their business going.
Q What advice would you give to somebody who was new to the
industry or thinking of getting into the
I would say that, by its
nature, that there can be situations that
are very adversarial. Even though it can
be adversarial, it’s very important to be
fair, honest, and forthright, because it’s
also a small industry and you end up
dealing with people over and over again,
and your reputation is incredibly
If you screw somebody over, they’ll
get their shot at you, but they’re also
going to tell five people. I think that
we’ve all been in situations where
people on the other side have done
things that we don’t want them to do.
That’s okay because that’s business,
but it’s how they do them that makes a
difference. It may be subtle differences,
but I think that’s very important.
Q What are you passionate about outside the office?
I’m passionate about
tennis. I really picked it up after college,
so I didn’t play in high school or college.
It’s good exercise, but it’s more fun. I live
in Downtown Chicago, and I appreciate
Chicago and the restaurants and the
nightlife. I’m a big skier. I also like to
travel. In the last several years, I’ve been
to Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong, France,
Something that I like to do that’s kind of
unique is the Iwan Reis & Co. cigar club.
It’s certainly not for everybody, but the
cigar club is just something different. I
find it a good networking tool for some
people. For people who enjoy cigars,
it’s a lot better than doing a meeting at
Starbucks or having another lunch at
Lloyd’s. It’s a way to just sit down with
someone at the end of the day and
have a cigar and talk about business
or whatever else comes to mind.
Q When did you start doing that?
For my current role, I had
to get licensed. I have to have the Series
7, and Series 63, Series 24. Sitting and
studying was driving me crazy, and I
didn’t want to sit in my office. I just
needed a quiet place to go. It was a
winter, I guess about two years ago now,
and I wanted to smoke a cigar, and I had
no place to do that. That’s a place you
can find some quiet, do work, and smoke
a cigar. So I kind of found that as a place
to get away and do my studying, or if I
have to read a deal, it’s not a bad place to
do that either.
Q What items are on your personal bucket list?
I would like to get to all four
of the tennis grand slams. That combines
a couple of my passions: tennis and
travel. Last year I went to the French
Open, and hopefully in the next year or
so, I will get to the U.S. Open and
Wimbledon, and, at some point, the
Australian Open. J
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