Friday, August 01, 2008

Expanding Universe
August 1, 2008

While I was in California I met up with my mentor in Orange County. It was a bit of an earth-shattering meeting for me as he told me that I wasn't thinking big enough. He said that it would be easier for me to raise $50 million for a real estate fund than to raise $2 million for my one resort in Bangladesh. He also told me that I needed to find a hospitality partner who would bring to the table the experience that I lack.

My universe increased by a factor of about ten that day, but now that I have had a little time for it to sink in, I think he is right and I have decided to take his advice and am now creating a socially responsible emerging and frontier market hospitality fund. Now that I am on this route, I am actually amazed that I didn't think about it before since I do have a background in fund management (I managed $7 billion of private real estate equity at my old company).

I am now going to look for land in Eastern Europe and Africa as well as in other locations in Southern Asia. I have identified a potential hospitality partner who shares my vision and will be meeting with him in Paris at the end of August. From there I will go to Germany where I will meet up with a friend whose family works in tourism in Croatia. We will drive together through Slovenia and into Croatia where she will introduce me to her family and I will scout out potential resort development sites.

From there we will part ways and I will continue on alone to look at property in Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. I will be meeting up with architects and friends along the way who will hopefully be able to provide me with some advice on where to develop. It should be an exciting trip! Stay posted for more news and photos from Europe!

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