New York Power Women 2018: Amherst Capital Management Managing Director, Head Of Originations Abbe Franchot
Bisnow: What keeps you in commercial real estate and what makes you want to come to work each day?
Franchot: I love that commercial real estate presents such variety for our team; each day brings new challenges and new opportunities. Every property, transaction, business plan that we work on is different and requires our team to be creative, smart and skilled in developing solutions.
A lot of our job structuring CRE transitional loans is figuring out the story of each deal, and making sure that we are structuring a custom debt solution for that particular transaction.
Bisnow: Have you had mentors over your career? Who are they and what influence did they have?
Franchot: While not in real estate, my mother has been my greatest mentor. Her ability to balance her career as a practicing attorney and being a great mom has been the ultimate guidance for me in pursuing both of these paths. My first job in real estate came when the founder and CEO of CapitalSource, John Delaney, took a chance on me right out of Columbia Business School.
I was hired in July 2008, when hiring was tough in finance, and I learned so much as the firm weathered the financial crisis. Not only was he a mentor, but he has since stepped away from the business world to focus on public service by serving in the U.S. Congress, which I think more successful business people should consider.
Bisnow: What's the one thing you would change about the industry and why?
Franchot: I think there is substantial room for improvement in the ways that our industry uses technology. I might even say CRE is still in the technology dark ages! At Amherst Capital, we are focused on utilizing data and technology to bring efficiency and analytical rigor to our investment decisions. Big data and analytics are the future, and in CRE we can better use technology to develop unique and effective solutions across the board.