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Power Women: Mary Hager

Dallas-Ft. Worth Other
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Closing more than $2.3B in real estate investments in less than 10 years as a team at Thackeray Partners, firm co-founder Mary Hager knows that people invest for 10 years at a time. (That's more than a lot of people stay married at this point.) That means building relationships, trust, and a comfort with one another. That’s just one part of the business she really enjoys: the people. Many of her clients come from referrals. Her expertise: sourcing and financing real estate transactions, marketing investment partnerships to institutional investors, and supervising the overall operations of the investment portfolio and the company. Handling investments across the real estate spectrum, Thackeray’s first three funds represented equity commitments of more than $750M (which translates to $1.5B to $2B of value). 

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Mary started the company with Tony Dona in 2005 after more than 16 years with  Trammell Crow Co and subsequently Crow Holdings, where she helped launch the firm’s private fund business. After graduating from UT, Mary started in accounting, before moving into finance and real estate. Mary (far right, with daughter Emma, husband Scott, and son Matthew) attributes her ability to move around and morph into different roles to her childhood in a military family. Change was common at Crow, so she started her career always learning new roles. What she discovered: raising your hand for the next opportunity instead of waiting for an assignment, was not only beneficial, but it was a lot of fun.

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Starting Thackeray was like jumping off a cliff for Mary as it put the weight of the world on her shoulders (her husband was working from home to be with their kids). But through her years of working, Mary has learned that showing up and doing a good job every day isn't the only thing that gets you where you want to be. You’ve got to be flexible and avoid the drama, because it’s a time-waste, she says (solid advice for any young person, or reality television star), and don’t sweat the small stuff. “If you’re good, all of that makes you more effective,” she says. “You have to decide ‘Am I going to let something bother me or am I going to adapt?’” That’s Mary and Scott in their engagement picture; the duo celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in November.

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Now, the empty nester (here with her family in Greece last summer) finds more time to get involved in professional and charitable organizations. She’s doing more with ULI as vice chair on one of the product councils and is involved with her alma mater on the University of Texas Real Estate Finance and Investment Center executive council. Her pet project: serving as the Circle of Support board president, a non-profit focused on summer learning for low-income children in South Dallas. She also serves on the board of In the City for Good, another non-profit supporting inner-city service groups in South Dallas. Her favorite thing to do is travel with her family and hit the Stars game. Next summer, her daughter will graduate from TCU. Her son is at Trinity University. Maybe her wardrobe will go from purple to maroon with that graduation, although we suspect burnt orange will never go out of style for Mary.