The real estate industry often gets a bad rep being stereotyped as the industry that only cares about money. That is why when we think about “love” as a value in business, real estate is the last thing many can think of. Our guest for today is about to change that. Steve Farber is joined by the Chief Executive Officer of Crow Holdings, Michael Levy. Founded by the late Trammell Crow, whose main impact was the spirit of partnership, the company became a provider of opportunities for individuals who want to be entrepreneurial and get their start in real estate.
In this episode, Michael shares how this business model is very much rooted in love and goodwill and how that extends to this day. He also takes us on his journey to landing the position he is in and what made him resonate with the Crow culture. Follow along to this conversation and find out why love is just damn good business, even in real estate.
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The World Of Trammell Crow: A Real Estate Icon’s Legacy Of Love In Business With Michael Levy
My guest is Michael Levy, who is the CEO of Crow Holdings. If you have been in the real estate industry or know the real estate industry fairly well, you will likely have heard of the company named Trammell Crow based in Texas. They have been around for a long time. They have had a sterling reputation as a brand and a family-held company for a long time.
Michael, as the CEO, is an investment banker, a real estate guy, a numbers guy, and a deal guy. He came up through Morgan Stanley, and he was there starting in 1998. Before he left, he was the Chief Operating Officer for the Investment Management Division of Morgan Stanley. He has been in this industry a long time and came to Trammell Crow in 2016.
He’s a real estate state guy, deal guy, investment banking guy, the numbers guy, all the stereotypes that are associated with those roles. The question is, where does love fit into this equation or, to quote the famous philosopher Tina Turner, “What is love got to do with it?” Funnily enough, something pretty significant. It should not surprise you, given the name of this show. Here is my conversation with the inspiring CEO of Crow Holdings, Michael Levy.
Michael, thanks for joining me on the show. It is great to see you here.
It is great to see you again too. Thanks for having me.
Let’s start a little bit with the high level. I would like our readers to know about Crow Holdings, Trammell Crow, what you guys do, and then I want to get into your story, what led you to this role as the CEO, and talk a little bit about your leadership philosophy and all that good stuff. Our conversation will take us wherever it takes us. Tell us a little bit about the company.
We are a Dallas-headquartered company. Our company was founded in 1948 by a gentleman named Trammell Crow. By the 1950s and ‘60s, he had built one of the largest real estate development and services companies in the United States. He had a particularly unique way of building a business. He did not necessarily hire employees. He would go into local markets and partner with individual entrepreneurs. He would extend his balance sheet and his ability to get loans and lending. He would split 50% of the profit with individuals all over America. That business model took off this form of partnership. In a very short period, it became the largest real estate company in America.
Was that a unique business approach at the time for this industry?
He was an innovative guy. There were two things he did. To your non-real estate readers, none of this may mean very much, but he was the first person to do what they call speculative industrial buildings or speculative warehouses. He built the warehouse and did not have it pre-leased to anybody, “I will build it and they will come.” That was not done at that time.
His main impact was the spirit of partnership, “I’m building a company. These people are not employees. They are all partners.” He created a network of hundreds of partners throughout the country, ultimately over many years. That was a fundamental hallmark so individuals with no resources and capital but good people that he found and met along the way. They were talented, young and middle-aged people.
He would extend his financial wherewithal and provides them the opportunity to be entrepreneurial, find development sites, build buildings and markets, and split 50% of the upside with those individuals. It created tremendous wealth across America. That business model and spirit built an incredible tree, an alumni network and a spirit of goodwill that extends still. It is powerful.
He would make his decisions as to who he partnered with based on his belief and their ability to be good partners.
It is through instinct, the goodness of people, the goodness he found and felt in people. I use that word, but many people have used that word. There was no psychological profile or HR department running tests. It was his sense, and that carried through to the culture of the company still.Love is the secret to business success. Click To Tweet
Fast forward, what are your focus areas?
That was years ago. Things evolve, and readers who know might have some age like me and know the real estate business. The late 1980s was a terrible period for real estate, and the company went through a major restructuring. It evolved and changed through that restructuring. His son, Harlan, took over the business in the late 1980s or around 1990.
He effectively rebuilt the company as a real estate investment firm, a real estate development firm and a diversified portfolio of other investments beyond real estate. There was not a singular exposure to one asset class. Roll the clock forward several years and we have a real estate investment business. We raise funds and other ventures from institutional investors all over the world. We invest in real estate in the United States, but we did not develop and build. Other people did. We acquire and seek to add value.
Ultimately, we sell that real estate. We try and generate attractive returns for our investors. There is a business and a group of people in Dallas, Texas, that do that across the United States. We also have a real estate development business. That business is local. We have about twenty offices around the country.
We are one of the largest multifamily and industrial properties developers in the United States. We have boots on the ground in these different markets. While it is perhaps not a network of individual partnerships, that spirit of partnership with all our people in the business and sharing of the economic opportunity is maintained across the organization in both the investment business and the development business.
What does it look like on the residential side of the business?
When I use the word multifamily, I do mean residential. We are not a builder of single-family homes in America. That largely has not been our focus while we have done that over the years. When I use the word residential, that is also a term of art that we can use for the building of apartments or the other word is multifamily properties.
You have an international reach as well.
In the history of the company, there was a fair amount of activity internationally in the 1970s and 1980s. When the business changed in the late 1980s, we pulled back from those operating activities and businesses. We do own several assets outside the United States, but we are not a deep operational company outside of the United States now in terms of building businesses and new activities. We do have investment partners from all over the world who are investing in real estate in the United States in partnership with us.
Michael Levy came along to Crow holdings years ago. You came up through Morgan Stanley. High level for Michael Levy. If I had to put you in a stereo high box and give you a label, it does not sound like fun, what would that be in terms of your history before coming to Crow Holdings?
If you had to narrow it down to the fewest number of words, it is real estate finance.
What is it that brought you here into this role?
I met this person named Harlan Crow down in Dallas, Texas. He floored me in terms of the person that he was. I had never met Harlan. You can’t be in the real estate business in the United States and not one way or another have touched this organization or be aware of its history. From the moment I met Harlan, I could see that sense of goodness. You could touch it and feel it.
It was not just him. It was the leadership of the company to the young people that I met. It was pervasive in the culture of this organization. My wife and I have been New Yorkers our entire lives. I was like, “I want to be part of this. I need this.” My whole life has been working in finance. You are an analytical person and have opportunities clearly in your career.
I would always analyze those opportunities from a career perspective. I’m doing this. I have this much responsibility and this economic opportunity. This new company offered me X roles, X responsibilities and X money. It was always an analytical exercise. This had pulled in my heart. I said, “I want to go do this.”
Was it that fast?
We had met one another two years prior to me making the decision. It is an important decision for him in the family, the first non-Crow family member, the CEO of the firm. It was clear in the beginning. In the first few months, we were getting to know one another and it was going well. We spent some time and I met a lot of people here.
I enjoyed my career at Morgan Stanley. I learned a lot. It was wonderful. About five months into it, it was moving forward, but at that point in time, I got an opportunity at my last firm to take a much larger role. I got a phone call and they said, “This is your shot. Take your time. By Monday, we will announce it.” I did that for a year.
Harlan and his colleagues continued to look. A year later, I got a callback saying, “Michael, what are you doing? How was your life?” We reconnected. It was very clear to me. I was like, “I want to go do this.” I had another year of an opportunity to lead other roles at my firm, so it quenched some thirst that I had to understand what the opportunity was there. Once we reconnected, it came together quickly and I came on board.
What I find interesting about that is there seems to be a parallel between how you described how Trammell Crow, Harlan’s dad, started this company. The outset of the decisions that he made as to who he partnered with was not primarily analytical, it seems. They were more relationship-oriented. It sounds like the decision that you made to come here is in that same category, at least compared to a typical analytical decision that a finance guy would make.Love is about seeing value in people as an end in themselves, not a means toward them. Click To Tweet
Undoubtedly, it grabbed my heart.
Is that reflected when you first made a move and joined this company that was built on those values, been through a lot of changes and passed from one generation to the next? When you started working in their day-to-day in your new role and looked around the company, did you find it congruent with that feeling throughout? Was it part of the culture? Was it more a reflection of a couple of very influential individuals’ personalities?
Throughout this organization, it was entirely congruent. I was not surprised at all. It is deep and it is throughout this organization.
As the CEO of the company, you can’t answer that question any other way.
Of course, Steve, but I did make a decision. At the time I made a decision, I had met many people here. I had probably met and spent time with 30 or 40 people at Crow before I made the decision. I knew before I joined that it was not just Harlan and a couple of other senior people. It was clear to me. The other thing is I could speak to other people. I had friends in the business who knew this organization of people. You can quickly get to the heart of what it is like. I knew it was real. To your point, I need to confirm that.
The extension of that question is, can you give some examples of what it looked like for you as you began to get in and work in the company? Those personal qualities that you respond to, how did they show up in the way you do business?
Trust relationships, giving people the opportunity, not running a business through control mechanisms, per se, of course, you need controls in place but running a business through trusting in people, giving them that freedom and opportunity to express themselves and their creativity. That is what everybody wants. Doesn’t everybody want that? Who doesn’t want that? Can your organization provide that trust or not? Good, honorable, capable, committed and decent people work in this organization. That is why it is attractive, why people love it and what I have seen throughout here. That is not me. I stepped into that. I did not create that. I joined that and I’m privileged every day that they let me join that group of people.
What is it about you and your approach to leadership that you have developed over the years in your story career? What is it about you that found resonance with the Crow culture?
Steve, the reason I’m doing this episode with you is that in 2004, I read your book, The Radical Leap. I’m sure your readers have read a lot of books and articles on leadership. As a younger man and a middle-aged man, I have read a lot of books on leadership. I do not say this because I’m on your show. I said this to you when I reached out to you that you are the only book on leadership that captured my soul when I read it. I have read a lot of books on organizational skills, talking about empathy and being authentic, but that point of love, the energy that it brings, the audacity to seek these objectives and goals and having to prove it called at me in all of those years.
I joined this organization. You and I have talked about this, but Trammell in the 1970s was famous. There are videos and you can probably YouTube it. He was up at Harvard Business School, where he was recruiting. He was a big hirer of young people from Harvard. One of the students in the audience said, “Mr. Crow, what is the secret to business success?” He did not hesitate. He went out and said, “Love is the secret to business success.”
In the 1970s, that probably was not the thing you would say. Maybe I’m not directly answering the question you ask, but it is important for your viewers as well, like, “Why am I here? Why are we talking?” That is why I’m here and talking because I, as a person, was attracted to what you had to say. It appealed to my sensibilities. I was like, “That is leadership and the qualities.” I meet these people. I didn’t know that Trammell said that before I joined. I saw a video of him and I was like, “Oh, my goodness.”
Some kid on the back row back up there said with the voice I thought I had a little bit of irony or cynicism in it. He asked me, “Mr. Crow, what is the one thing which is the greatest element of success?” I knew in a flash what to say but I was timid to say it. After a long pause, I said, “What am I thinking? I was going to say it. Do you know what it is? It is love. It is the most powerful force in the world and will do more for us individually, as a company and in anything else, we can do.” I stand here pouring out love to you all, saying goodbye and have a good trip home. I will see you in your home and back here soon, I hope.
From a leadership perspective, those traits and characteristics do not mean in the other books I have read on organizational skills. I’m sure lots of folks read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and have different skills. I’m not saying there are no truisms in there but at this point of love, I do not want your readers to tell it is romantic love or parental love. It is value in people and an end in themselves, not mean to an end.
The dignity and worth of the person that you are believing and trusting the fundamental goodness of that person, those characteristics and you want what is best for them, that does not mean it is always going to work out and you are all going to work together forever. You run a business and have to make decisions. I do not, but that, to me, appeals to them.
First of all, thank you for those lovely words. That is what gets me out of bed in the morning. I’m deeply gratified to hear that. I’m wondering if I’m describing this right. It was not like back in 2004 that you were some micromanaging people hating schmuck and then you read this book and there was a miraculous transformation. It confirmed who you already were. It just puts a framework around what you already knew to be true.
When I was at that point and younger, you were always searching for the secret rules, the secret sauce or something out there. There were two things. One, I am who I am. I’m an older version of the person I was. I have more experience, but fundamentally, my friends can answer the question for you. Even though I worked in a large company with a fabulous global financial institution, I happened to work with a group of terrific people and exhibited that.
I was already operating in a microcosm environment with people in leadership exhibiting those skills. I had worked for a couple of companies before them and leaders who were terrorists, leaders who operated out of anger and leaders who had all the different skills that you looked at. They all had skills and were successful for different reasons, but when I joined that firm and worked for these people, that is what attracted me and why I stayed there for eighteen years.
You have had this inner center of gravity or magnet, as it were, that attracted you to that kind of people because what you described was similar to what you said about what brought you to Trammell Crow. That feeling is like, “These are my people.”
I joined them in 1998. At the time, I was much more junior in my career and different things were different. I did not join for that reason. I was a young investment banker and it was a very solid career opportunity to work at Morgan Stanley. It just so happens that when I joined the group, the people who were running the group were those people. They are my friends and my alumni. It is a terrific network. I joined it because it was an amazing brand with a terrific business. My background was a step up. I was like, “This should be good for my career.” It was an analytical decision. It turned into an emotional relationship and I was blessed because of that.
In the leadership roles that you have played in your career and particularly as the CEO, you mentioned a few of these qualities earlier about trust and relationships. The primary question that we try to answer on this show is about those great feelings and attributes. What do they look like? How do we operationalize them? What should they look like in the mechanics of how we do business? One way of asking the question the most direct way is what does love look like in the way that you lead and in the company that you are shepherding?Leadership is about inspiring leadership, not getting people to follow you. Click To Tweet
To care about the people. My objective and role as CEO is to create opportunities for the people who work here. I’m a private business. I’m not a public company. I do not have to report to public shareholders, looking at quarterly earnings where my objectives might be a certain financial metric. We have investors all over the world. We have investment vehicles. We are partners with many people. We are in a business to generate attractive risk-adjusted financial returns. It is our job. We must do that well.
When it rolls up to the company, Crow Holdings, within that construct, my objective is a great opportunity for the people that work here. If that is your objective, you are going to care about the people that work for you and love those people in the context in which I communicated. That is a very virtuous cycle. If people work within an environment like that, they believe that you are committed to creating an opportunity and you prove it to them. They are empowered to go out and lead themselves because the leadership keynote speaker is about inspiring leadership. It is not getting people to follow you. Inspire them to lead.
In the context of your business, one of the ways you do goes back to how Trammell Crow built the company. It is giving people opportunities to prosper through their work. I would assume there is even more to it than that. Money is always a wonderful thing. My philosophy has always been that we have this idea that personal joy, individual wealth, prosperity, and making a difference in the world are mutually exclusive ideas. My philosophy has always been it is all the above at the same time.
I did not use the word money. I used the word opportunity. Think about what any person wants. Maybe not most. You want more responsibility, autonomy and technical knowledge. You want to grow as a person and a professional in all of those respects. I do not know anybody who wants to be micromanaged. People want more autonomy.
People generally seek more responsibility, not less. People generally crave more knowledge and more domain expertise, not less. We are all providing for ourselves and our families, every one of us. I do not know anybody who, when you ask them from a financial perspective, “Would you like less,” the answer is yes to that. This word opportunity is all of those things. That is what it is about. That is the framework you are trying to create for people.
In your role as CEO, when you look at the direction of the company, I’m assuming, tell me if I’m wrong, that is part of your strategic vision for the company. You said, “If I’m a publicly-traded company, there is this tendency.” It is not always the case for every public CEO, but it is a huge factor that you have got the earnings that everybody is looking at and appeal to the street, which might tempt you to subjugate some of your other ideas, thinking that is going to help you increase the bottom line. You do not have that external pressure on you. When you look at the future of the company and where you want to take this, tell us a little bit about that and how your people factor into that.
If you stick with this point about the points I made about creating that environment and opportunities for people that work here, that allows us to attract and entertain the best people. I’m biased. I recognize there are great real estate companies all over America. Certainly, we are able to attract and train amongst the best talent in the marketplace who are amongst the best at what they do.
Our ability to deliver the underlying capabilities to the marketplace is enhanced by the environment created for the people that work here. It is a linked environment. There is a strategic element to our business, which is the underlying real estate business, making decisions that are about strategy and people.
Your viewers who are not in the real estate business, I do not want to talk past anybody, but in the real estate business, there are secular forces at work in America that are affecting different geographies and property types differently. eCommerce is driving unprecedented demand for industrial real estate, which there is growth. The tailing edge of Millennials and the leading edge of Gen Zs is the largest age cohort ever to be in that age group to rent apartments. The 20s to early 30s do not buy as much as they rent. People are moving to the Southeast and Southwest. This is long before COVID and drugs. As a strategy, as a business, we look at those things.
If we get that wrong, we have the best people in the world and still have a great company, but we won’t be in the marketplace. For our investment partners, we won’t be able to deliver. Our strategy and people have to be right, but you can have a great strategy, terrible people and fail in the execution. You need the strategy to be successful. We do our best and we let others judge that.
There is something about the baggage that we are overgeneralizing here that we, business people, in general, bring to this whole discussion. We have to make some choice between the people thing and the strategy thing. What is more important? Is it the culture or strategy? Is it the people or strategy? Is it love or is it the bottom line? The answer is yes. It is all of the above. Why do we force ourselves into this scenario where we feel we have to choose between the two?
I recognize I’m in a terrific position that I work in a private business. The Crow family are wonderful, considerate and benevolent people who believe that the business is a partnership between the people that work there and the family. I recognize not everybody works in an environment and has other stakeholders who may give less consideration to some of these elements.
Ownership matters no matter what industry or business you are in, but I’m certainly here to tell some people that you can be in a company. I would hope and imagine that many of you viewers and certainly some of them feel that way. They believe that they are in an organization, whether it is a small partnership or a big company. I hope there are some public companies where people feel both of those things are going on. I imagine there is.
We all see what is taking place. Whether your company is owned by a private equity firm that has certain IR objectives and needs to sell you in two years or you are owned by a public company that missed earnings by a penny, those things are going to drive the boards or the management in teams to do things that perhaps subordinate to some of these issues.
At the same time, I do operate in a business. There are good times and bad times. As an entity, the question is, how do you manage people through those periods? You make mistakes. There have been horrible recessions in real estate across the United States. This company had to shrink materially, but it’s how you treated them while they were here, how they moved on and what they did next. Do you destroy the goodwill you built up or maintain the goodwill? How do you handle that transition? I learned a lot about that over the years on Wall Street.
We are in the midst of what many are calling the Great Resignation. I have heard some people beginning to refer to it as a great upgrade. Many people are leaving or leaving for better opportunities. Wherever you fall on that, is that having an impact on you guys at all?
Not materially at all. I have asked these questions quite often. In our company in total, we have hundreds of people who work here. I do not mean the executive leadership coaching team. I look at the broader senior leadership team. People are staying with us and they have lots of choices. I asked myself the same question. I said, “It must be a good place for people to work at.” I recognize I’m biased, but we are not experiencing what I’m hearing from many of my friends in companies throughout the country. I’m blessed.
It strikes me as an interesting double-edged sword. People who have the greatest amount of choice as to where they work tend to be the most talented, generally speaking. As a company, I want to attract and keep the most talented people, which means I want to attract and keep the people who one could argue are more likely to choose to leave because they have so much more opportunity. If I can create a place where they do not want to do that, I have had on all cylinders.
Go create opportunities for them, help them create opportunities and provide the framework. That means, at a fundamental level, growth. If you are trying to create an environment where everyone is seeking more autonomy, responsibility and all these things and if your organization is not growing, that is going to limit that. Certain people will create opportunity and others won’t. I do not mean to say all of our growth is the function of the decisions we make. To some extent, we cork bobbing in the water of a macroeconomic environment.
In our industry, we have been experiencing a positive environment largely since 2008. COVID impacted us to some extent. For our space in the real estate business, COVID only positively accelerated the trends in our business. To create opportunity, you do have to create growth. Growth is generally consistent with economic and financial success.People who have the greatest amount of choice as to where they work tend to be the most talented. Click To Tweet
To your point, it is not an either/or. You can pursue both. Sometimes you need to be patient. Sometimes things do not happen in 1 quarter, 1 year or 3 years. Can your owners withstand the patients or the volatility if you have good people with good strategies? That is where the tension is embedded in the conversation.
The ability to hang on to that was like Harlan Crow did in rebuilding the company. On the way I understand it from what you described, he hung onto those values to rebuild the company. He did not abandon the values because suddenly, he felt that they were inconvenient somehow. People who have the intestinal fortitude to take their enterprise through those difficult times because of that deeper level and those values, for example, of cultivating love in their organization, are real.
They are not something that they adopted because they thought it was going to give them a certain benefit. It is part of the way it should be and that becomes the anchor when those waves are moving up and down. You are cork bobbing on the ocean. That anchor does not change. If it does, that is it. You are not bobbing anymore. You are washed out with the tide. We have beat that metaphor to death, but you get where I’m going with that.
The other word you use is authentic. If it’s not who you are, that doesn’t drive you and is not authentic. It ultimately will fail during times of distress. You can fake it during good times, but for anybody who has lived through distress in their companies or the environment during the period of stress, the true you is going to come out one way or another.
There are significant differences between family dynamics and work dynamics. That is why I have never been comfortable with the idea that a business is a family. There are a lot of similarities, but I look at my family, my kids and the challenges when they were growing up that all kids have from time to time. I never considered firing any of them, but I have had to let people go in business. There are differences there, but there are lessons that can be learned across those differences.
For example, in a marriage, it is easy to look at your significant other when you are making a ton of money. Everything is great and healthy. You say, “I love you, honey.” “I love you too.” You take that money away and then discuss, “How are we going to pay the rent?” If you can still look at each other across the table and say, “I love you, honey. We are going to get through this,” you know that you’ve got a great marriage.
Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything, but I am. It is an amazing thing. Speaking of family, here is the way I like to begin to take this in for a landing. I’m going to ask you a question from a personal standpoint because it happened with one of my kids. Veronica and I have six kids. They are all adults.
My son Jeremy started his higher education a little bit later in life. In his early 30s, he is just about to graduate from Columbia with a degree in Economics. He got a very strong interest in commercial real estate. He did an internship with a little boutique private equity real estate company in Manhattan. They offered him a job. As soon as he is done with Columbia, he gets a job there and is looking.
He loves this stuff and is looking at, “Where can I make the most money?” He has the best opportunity. Being a little bit older coming into the marketplace, he has a little more perspective on the quality of life issues that he might not have had years ago if he had gone a traditional route and gone to school right out of high school. This is a personal question. If you were mentoring Jeremy and giving him advice at this juncture where he is walking in May 2022 right at this juncture, and thinking about all this discussion that we had and your knowledge of the industry, what advice would you give him?
It is a result of the conversation. I do think that in those early stages in your career, you are trying to find an environment or a company where you have a high degree of confidence that you get the technical chops. If you are joining an organization with enough deal flow, transaction activity or volume, you will get the repetitions, experience and muscle memory that you need.
I’m not suggesting you go into a pressure cooker in a sweatshop. When you are balancing these variables of culture over a business that has good business activity, earlier in your career, as you are learning your skillset and those technical skills, that is a higher relative value. You are also young, so you’re like, “I learned and I do not like these people, but I can put up with them. I can do anything for a few years. It is a good brand. I will meet a lot of people and network.”
That is a valuable thing when you are starting young. It is important because I know the decisions that I took early on. I did not understand this conversation when I first started. I happened to come out of school and land in a shop where I had a lot of reps, worked hard and built that muscle memory. That became valuable. Years later, I’m leveraging that. That would be my advice in the context of a conversation like this.
That balance shifts a little bit over time. In the beginning, I got to get the chops, build those skills and get the experience. If I can find a place that will do that, the culture is great and the people are awesome, that is fantastic. I do not want to go too far one way or the other to balance that out. Thank you for saying that because it makes perfect sense to me. With my bias given my work, the question is always, “How much money can you make?” That is a reasonable part of the question because I would like for all of my kids to be prosperous, but my first default question is, “What do they like? What do the people like? How do you like it? Is it fun?”
They pay you well, you are getting a great experience and it is a warm, embracing culture. That would be great. How about that? When you say, “You’ve got to rank order this stuff,” experience is far more valuable than money early in your career. I almost feel like experiencing culture money. If you can’t eat and earn a living wage, it’s like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, but I’m assuming that a person out of Columbia will have options. He will be able to eat and pay rent within a frame.
I’m not doing it. I’m not feeding him and paying his rent, to tell you that much. We are past that. I’m excited to share that with him. Michael, this has been a great conversation. Thank you for your candor and willingness to share your experience with us. I’m excited to see where you go with this. That leads me to my last question, which is, what is the future that you are trying to create there together? Give us a little glimpse over the horizon of time.
I’m trying to create opportunities for the people that are here, which means I’m working with them to grow. We have a business where we have a relatively small senior leadership team. I’m looking to broaden that leadership team to a broader group of people so that when they take it into the next generation, they are able to continue and compound that for many more years. That is what exactly we do within that strategically.
We will evolve and innovate change. That is what my colleagues and I were doing, also my partners who we work on this together. That is the future for us. I want to thank you for impacting my life. You did not know this, but I read that book and it stuck with me. I gave your book in 2021 to 40 people who work here because it impacted me.
I reached out to you as I thought about growth and leadership for the people who work here and people I respected. I want to thank you for that. It is my privilege to be here with you. It has been nice to get to develop a relationship with you. I wish you well, your endeavors and this show. Thank you for having me.
Thank you, Michael. It has been a great pleasure. For all of you reading, until next time. Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.
About Michael Levy
Michael Levy is the Chief Executive Officer of Crow Holdings where he is responsible for leading and overseeing the Company’s overall business activities. Prior to joining Crow Holdings in 2016, Michael had a longstanding career in real estate finance and investment management at Morgan Stanley.
Most recently he was Chief Operating Officer for the Investment Management Division and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. He previously held various positions including Head of Traditional Asset Management, COO, and CFO for Real Estate Investing and co-head for Real Estate Investment Banking. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1998 from Salomon Brothers and began his professional career at Prudential Securities.
Michael is a member of the Real Estate Roundtable, the Policy Advisory Board at the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at Berkeley, the Advisory Board at the Institute for Real Estate Operating Companies and a ULI Foundation Governor. He is also a Board of Governors member of the Middle East Institute. He earned his B.S. at NYU’s Stern School of Business and his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.
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