“First time funds are nearly impossible to build,” says Daniel Walsh, founder and CEO of Citymark Capital, a real estate investment platform.
“Many institutional investors have prohibitions against investing in first time funds just because there's a perception that there's a lack of experience in building those first-time funds,” he explains.
Walsh was able to overcome that obstacle by relying, to some extent, on his real estate background and track record at KeyBank, where he led the Real Estate Capital Markets businesses nationally. That helped him garner the trust of a number of investors who, together, helped the company raise its first $80 million fund — a mix of high-net-worth individuals, as well as a number of insurance companies, foundations and family offices.
Balancing fundraising with running the business was also a challenge.
“There are not enough hours in the day, really, to do all those things,” he says.
He says the first time he went through this experience was inside of a Fortune 500 company. That, he says, gave him the comfort of knowing that he had an office to go to and a salary. But on his own, it was a challenge.
“It really is just a little bit of a plate spinning exercise where you’re attracting people, you're finding office space, you’re attracting capital.”
Ultimately, he persevered in part because he felt he had a certain obligation to be successful, not just for his family but to make sure Citymark Capital was able to encourage others to take that entrepreneurial risk.
Walsh spoke on the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast about launching Citymark Capital, building funds, creating value and the special place Austin holds in the company’s plans. Hit play on the player above to catch the full conversation.