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What You Don’t Know About Sean Dalfen

Montreal native and Dalfen CIO Sean Dalfen digs everything about deal-making. “I love having all the puzzle pieces, then putting them together,” he tells Bisnow. And he’s rather good at it. His family's private equity real estate firm closed $70M in deals in the past two months. 


Sean, 33, joined Dalfen's—started by his grandfather Joseph in 1935—after working as an investment sales broker at NAI Commercial in Montreal, where he was among the company’s top 10 performers in Canada. Sean has helped turned Dalfen's into one of the most active buyers of industrial real estate in North America, having done 30M SF in deals in 11 US states and two Canadian provinces to date. Last week, Dalfen America Corp, the firm’s Dallas-based US head office, launched by Sean's father Murray in 1992, announced the acquisition of Airport Distribution Centers in Raleigh, NC (seen below), a transaction comprising 160k SF across two buildings.


Born in Montreal, Sean went to McGill University, majoring in psychology; he also did a year at Tel Aviv University focused on international studies. While at McGill, he started a company that developed software that enabled video recording on early cell phone cameras. “It was revolutionary at the time,” Sean says, noting he left school to run the company—his first business foray—and subsequently sold it for a profit.

Overseeing Dalfen’s investment strategies, Sean has spearheaded the transformation of his father's firm from a small yet profitable company that bought a building a year, into one that does $70M in transactions in two months. Handling such a velocity of deals, with so many puzzle pieces needing to be put together, can get complicated, he admits. “But that’s what makes it exciting.” 


What You Don't Know About Sean Dalfen.

Born: Montreal.

Resides: Dallas.

Education: McGill University, Tel Aviv University.

First job ever: Selling Cutco knives. I sold that (stuff) like it was going out of style. You can cut a penny with them!

Greatest fear: Believing my fears are real; that I put stock into any doubt that pops into my head. 

Daily habit: I make a list of long-term goals and read it every day.  

Favourite band: The Tragically Hip.

Favourite book: "Man's Search for Meaning", by Viktor Frankl.

Favourite movie: Fletch.

Favourite vacation spot: Costa Rica. 

Favourite restaurant: IHOP.

Bucket list: Own a home in the rainforest of Costa Rica.

Hobbies: Fishing.

Startling fact about you: I cut my own hair.