Richard A. Kessler
Chief Operating Officer, Benenson Capital Partners
As Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Executive and Investment Committees, Mr. Kessler is the Senior Officer responsible for developing the Company's strategic direction and overseeing its day-to-day operations. In addition to his executive management responsibilities, he is a key leader in developing, evaluating and pursuing the Company's investment, development, joint venture and financing opportunities. Since joining the Company in 1977, he has served in several capacities including development, finance and acquisitions. He was named Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director in 1989 and was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 1998. Throughout his tenure with the Benenson family, he has been responsible for completing several billion dollars of real estate transactions.
Mr. Kessler is a member of the International Advisory Board of Harvard University's Real Estate Academic Initiative (REAI) and is a Co-Chair of the alumni Advisory Committee of the Advanced Management Development Program (AMDP) at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. He was a faculty member of the Master's program in Real Estate Development and Investment at New York University and has Co-Chaired its Capital Markets Conference. Mr. Kessler is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Interlink Group and a Trustee of Phipps Houses for which he serves on its Real Estate and Finance Committees.
Mr. Kessler is a past Chair and Governance Chair of the New York District Council of the Urban Land Institute and an active participant in its local and national leadership. He serves as Chair of UDMUC Bronze and has had leadership roles in UDMUC Green. Additional real estate activities include the Real Estate Roundtable, Young Men's/Women's Real Estate Association, Real Estate Board of New York and the NYU Real Estate Round Table.
Mr. Kessler completed the AMDP program at Harvard in 2003 and a diploma in Real Estate Finance and Investment Analysis from NYU in 1983 where he was a Mortgage Banker's Scholarship recipient. He also holds a BA in Finance and Accounting from Boston University.
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James E. Stifel
Chief Investment Officer
As Chief Investment Officer and a member of the Investment Committee, Mr. Stifel plays a major role in the development and implementation of the firm's investment strategies while overseeing financing, underwriting and negotiations. Throughout Mr. Stifel's real estate career, he has completed over $4 billion of real estate transactions.
Mr. Stifel previously served as Managing Director of Acquisitions at Benenson Capital Partners and currently manages BCP's joint venture relationships, including international investment/development programs in Europe and Central America. In addition, he is the Managing Member responsible for overseeing the 1 million square foot Cross County Shopping Center in Yonkers, NY, which just completed a $200 million multi-phased renovation, expansion, and re-merchandising program.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Stifel held increasing positions of responsibility with General Electric Capital, where over a 15-year career he rose to Vice President of General Electric Real Estate Services. While at GE Capital, Mr. Stifel assisted in the formation of real estate sale-leaseback and syndication entities including the sourcing, underwriting and closing of transactions.
Mr. Stifel is a Trustee of Weekapaug Foundation for Conservation and a member of the Bentley College President's Club, the International Council of Shopping Centers, the Urban Land Institute, the Real Estate Board of New York, and the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate. He is a benefactor and sponsor of A Better Chance in Ridgefield, CT and an incorporator of the Ridgefield Community Center.
A graduate of Bentley College, he holds a degree in Finance and Accounting.
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David P. Thomas
Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Thomas is responsible for all accounting, tax, treasury and reporting functions.
Prior to joining Benenson Capital Partners, Mr. Thomas was the Chief Financial Officer of Commonfund's Real Estate Advisor, overseeing its $1.5 billion open-ended domestic real estate opportunity fund. Before that, he was a Partner at Deloitte serving as Practice Leader for the Northeast Real Estate Consulting Practice and was a Real Estate Audit Partner, serving the real estate opportunity fund and mortgage REIT segments.
Mr. Thomas is an Associate Member of the Real Estate Roundtable, a Member of the AICPA, and New York State Society of CPAs. He graduated Cum Laude with a BS in Management and Accounting from Duke University and earned an MBA in Real Estate and Finance from Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
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