Real estate is an all-encompassing industry that impacts our daily lives in numerous ways. From the places we work and shop to the homes we live in, real estate plays a vital role in shaping our communities. Recently, our interns had the opportunity to meet with Dena Harte, Cindy Cindrich, and Simon Wu from City National Bank. This encounter opened our eyes to the intricacies of commercial lending and the fascinating world of real estate. In this blog post, we’ll take you on the same journey we experienced, exploring the valuable insights and lessons we gained from our meeting with these seasoned professionals.
Dena Harte: A Wealth of Experience in Commercial Banking
Our journey began with Dena Harte, an expert with an impressive 20-year tenure at City National Bank. She specializes in working with nonprofit organizations and for-profit corporations, managing deposits and endowments. Her vast experience and keen understanding of the commercial banking landscape made her an invaluable resource throughout our discussions.
Cindy Cindrich and Simon Wu: Unveiling the World of Real Estate
Cindy Cindrich, a veteran with 24 years of experience, and Simon Wu, work in City National Bank’s commercial lending site. Their expertise lies in the income property group, where they navigate the complexities of real estate lending. During our meeting, Cindy and Simon delivered an engaging and dynamic presentation on the diverse aspects of real estate.
Understanding Real Estate: A Comprehensive Overview
Cindy and Simon began our session by shedding light on the diverse facets of real estate. From retail spaces like malls and power centers to various office types, multi-family properties, industrial spaces, and special-use facilities, the scope of real estate is vast and varied. Each category has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which they elaborated on, giving us a comprehensive understanding of the market.
The Role of Lenders: Unveiling the Lending Process
One of the most insightful aspects of our meeting was when Cindy and Simon walked us through the lending process from the perspective of City National Bank. They explained what lenders look for when considering loan applications. To demonstrate this, they role-played a scenario in which Simon presented a facility to the bank seeking a loan, while Cindy posed challenging questions to assess the feasibility of the loan.
Lessons Learned: The Complexity of Real Estate Investment
Through this interactive session, we came to realize that securing a loan for real estate investment is no simple task. The intricate web of factors to consider, including competition, local businesses, location, occupancy rates, and more, requires meticulous evaluation. It was evident that thoughtful planning and thorough research are essential before embarking on any real estate venture.
Fueled by Passion: A New Interest in Real Estate
As our meeting concluded, we found ourselves captivated by the world of real estate and commercial lending. The knowledge shared by Dena, Cindy, and Simon ignited a newfound interest in many of us to explore this field further. The interns even expressed their desire to pursue careers or investment opportunities in real estate, driven by the allure of its challenges and rewards.
Our meeting with Dena Harte, Cindy Cindrich, and Simon Wu from City National Bank was an enlightening experience that broadened our horizons and deepened our understanding of real estate and commercial lending. We learned that the world of real estate is multifaceted and that securing loans for such investments requires careful consideration of various factors. The passion and expertise of these professionals inspired us to explore this industry further, and we look forward to unlocking more doors of opportunity in the fascinating world of real estate.
In the ever-evolving landscape of finance and investment, some firms stand out for their unique approach and unwavering commitment to making a positive impact. HJ Sims, a boutique investment firm founded in 1935, is one such company. Recently, our interns had the privilege of speaking with Rob Nickell, the Executive Vice President at HJ Sims. Rob shared his experiences, insights, and passion for working in the finance industry, particularly in the realm of education and non-profits. Let’s delve into the fascinating journey of a seasoned professional who finds fulfillment in transforming the educational landscape and serving the greater community.
A Legacy of Excellence
HJ Sims’ rich history spans nearly a century, and its continued success can be attributed to its commitment to personalized service and dedication to its clients. As a family-owned business, it embraces the values of integrity, trust, and long-term vision. The current CEO, the son of the founder, carries forward the legacy of the firm and its mission to create value for its clients and the community.
A Specialized Approach
HJ Sims proudly focuses on wealth management, investment banking, and institutional services. A unique aspect of the firm is its dedication to specialized services. An essential part of HJ Sims’ identity is their education practice, which they established 25 years ago. Through this initiative, they have made significant strides in supporting schools, especially charter, independent, and private schools, as well as higher education institutions.
Rob Nickell: A Visionary Leader
Based in Dallas, Rob Nickell spearheads HJ Sims’ endeavors across the western United States, from Texas to California. As a co-leader of the education finance practice, he plays a vital role in securing financing for schools to construct and establish permanent homes. His mission is not just about securing funding but doing so in a cost-effective manner.
Drawing from a diverse background
Rob’s journey to his current position is a testament to the importance of a well-rounded education and diverse experiences. Graduating from Emory with a degree in finance and technology and a minor in philosophy, Rob’s education laid the foundation for his future achievements. His initial foray into the finance industry led him through various roles at both large and small firms, ultimately leading him to public finance, where he found his niche in the education and nonprofit sectors.
A Passion for Impact
Rob’s dedication to his work is evident in his passion for investment banking, which he finds stimulating and rewarding. But what truly sets his career apart is his ability to leverage his expertise for the betterment of the community through his work with educational and nonprofit institutions. By facilitating financing for schools, he plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of countless students, ensuring they have access to quality education and resources.
Building and Nurturing Relationships
Throughout his career, Rob emphasizes the importance of relationships as the bedrock of his success. By investing time and effort in understanding the needs and aspirations of his clients, he has forged strong and enduring partnerships that have proven instrumental in achieving mutual growth and success.
In an industry where profits often take precedence, HJ Sims and its Executive VP, Rob Nickell, serve as a shining example of how finance can be a force for good. Through their specialized approach and dedication to educational and nonprofit finance, they create meaningful impact and empower communities to thrive. Rob’s journey reminds us of the significance of building diverse skills, finding a passion that aligns with our values, and prioritizing meaningful relationships.
Recently, we had the privilege of sitting down with John Kim from Stifel during a lunch and learn session. Stifel is a publicly traded firm renowned for its expertise in corporate finance, commercial banking, public finance, and asset management. Our association with Stifel revolves around the financing of various charter school facility projects, a partnership that has yielded great results.
The session began with John sharing some invaluable takeaways for our interns, emphasizing the importance of effective communication and active listening. He encouraged interns to take diligent notes and reflect on specific insights gained from their experiences in different roles during their internships.
Charting his own career
John then took us on a journey through his own career path. Hailing from Palos Verdes, he attended public school and became the second generation in his family to pursue higher education. From a young age, he learned about customer service while working at his father’s gas station. While studying at UC Berkeley, he initially aspired to attend medical school and pursued a degree in Molecular Biology and Rhetoric. However, life’s twists and turns, along with some inspiring history classes at UCLA, led him to reevaluate his career goals, ultimately majoring in History and Rhetoric at UC Berkeley.
Following his undergraduate studies, John taught high school in Berkeley and contemplated the idea of going to graduate school. However, a conversation with his sister proved pivotal as he found his calling in the world of finance. He embarked on his 26-year journey with Stifel in Los Angeles, where he has made significant contributions to the company’s success.
Stifel and the world of finance
During the session, John delved into Stifel’s expertise in four key areas and shed light on how lending works in the world of finance. He emphasized the crucial information required to secure a loan and why someone might lend to you. In his domain of public financing, and in other areas, a well-prepared prospectus (or story book) is essential when approaching potential investors. The prospectus presents all the relevant facts and information investors need to know and conveys a compelling narrative. John’s work in public finance involves raising capital for various government entities, including states, counties, cities, school districts, nonprofits, and charter schools. These entities can obtain funding by issuing bonds.
It’s worth noting that while the public finance division at Stifel comprises a relatively small team of 250 employees, the asset management division boasts a workforce of 8,000. Despite its size, the public finance division plays a crucial role in the financial ecosystem, and John actively markets to credit analysts at prominent investment management firms.
Investing in charter schools
The lunch and learn session concluded with a thought-provoking video presentation on STEM Prep, a Los Angeles-based charter school and a valued partner of PCSD. The video highlighted the positive impact of partnering with charter schools, illustrating how such collaborations can benefit the community, students, and education as a whole.
In closing, the lunch and learn with John Kim from Stifel was an eye-opening experience that shed light on the multifaceted world of finance and the importance of adaptability in one’s career journey. John’s personal story serves as a reminder that career paths are rarely linear and that the ability to seize opportunities and reevaluate goals can lead to fulfilling and successful outcomes. We are grateful for the insights shared during this session and look forward to continuing our partnership with Stifel in making a positive impact in the education sector.
The post PCSD Interns: Exploring Public Finance: Lunch and Learn with John Kim at Stifel appeared first on Pacific Charter School Development.
In the world of finance and business, accounting plays a pivotal role in ensuring smooth operations, financial stability, and compliance. Recently, we had the privilege of meeting Lili Huang, Principal at CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA), during a lunch and learn session. CLA, renowned for its expertise in auditing, consulting, tax, and wealth advisory services, has been our trusted auditing firm. Lili’s journey in accounting, her commitment to diversity, and the significance of accounting in various sectors left us enlightened and inspired.
A Path Paved with Passion
Lili opened the lunch and learn by sharing her personal career journey, which began with a high school internship at an accounting firm. This experience ignited her passion for accounting and set her on a path that spans more than 18 years in the industry. Even during her college years at UCSB, Lili continued her internship at the same firm while earning a degree in economics with an emphasis on accounting. This early exposure cemented her dedication to the field and laid the foundation for her subsequent success.
Championing Change and Diversity
As a member of the board of CalCPA, Lili is actively involved in initiatives that aim to change the perception of the accounting profession. Breaking stereotypes and promoting diversity is a primary focus for the organization and Lili herself. By encouraging underrepresented groups to pursue accounting careers, she hopes to create a more inclusive profession and organization.
Navigating the Career Ladder
Lili shed light on the various job levels within CLA, from associates to managers/directors, and ultimately to principals like herself. Her commitment to mentoring and guiding her colleagues fosters an environment of growth and development. Providing employees with opportunities to flourish in their careers, Lili exemplifies true leadership and support in the workplace.
The Nitty-Gritty of Accounting
During the session, Lili delved into the different aspects of accounting, demystifying some of the most fundamental concepts. From understanding the nuances of debit and credit to deciphering the differences between accrual and cash accounting, her presentation was insightful for both accounting novices and veterans.
Power of Auditing
A significant part of Lili’s work revolves around auditing nonprofit organizations and charter schools. She highlighted the critical role audits play in ensuring transparency, accountability, and compliance within these institutions. Through thorough examination and validation of financial records, audits safeguard the interests of stakeholders and contribute to the overall integrity of organizations.
Finally, Lili touched upon the complex world of taxes. She explained how meticulous tax planning and compliance are essential for businesses and individuals alike. Understanding the intricacies of tax regulations can help organizations optimize their financial strategies and minimize tax liabilities.
Our lunch and learn with Lili Huang, Principal of CLA, was both educational and motivating. Her passion for accounting, dedication to promoting diversity, and commitment to mentoring others left a lasting impression. As we reflect on the invaluable insights she shared, we are reminded of the indispensable role accounting plays in shaping the financial landscape of organizations and society as a whole.