BioMed Realty Trust, Inc.
Alan D. Gold
Chairman, President & CEO
BioMed Realty Trust, Inc.
For some people, entrepreneurism seems to be part of who they are from birth. Alan Gold's first experience with entrepreneurism was as a boy, trying to sell refrigerator air fresheners door to door for his older brother. People kept telling him, "no." What made Gold an entrepreneur was that he didn't care that they said no. He kept trying.
Before he had completed his MBA at San Diego State, Gold had started two companies, one of which he sold to the product's distributor.
A few years later, he joined John Burnham and Co. as a real estate investment officer, and after four years with Burnham, he left to form a succession of real estate companies of his own.
The second of those companies, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, completed a successful IPO under Gold's guidance.
In the course of his business, Gold had observed that a particular real estate market segment was underserved. That segment was for laboratory and research buildings, structures whose tenants have a number of special requirements, both in design and location.
This observation led to the creation, in 1988, of the company that became BioMed Realty Trust (BMR).
Gold was involved in almost every imaginable aspect of BMR, from identifying, underwriting and financing suitable properties to managing, repositioning and developing them.
Just as the business was gaining momentum, the dot-com bubble burst and financing became almost impossible to get. But Gold believed in his vision for the company, and built it carefully despite the adversity.
Today, BioMed Realty Trust is a successful real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on laboratory and office space for life science companies. Tenants include biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, scientific research institutes, government agencies and physician groups.
The company targets properties located in markets with established reputations as centers for scientific research, regions such as San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York/New Jersey and Boston.
In August 2004, BMR achieved a successful IPO, raising over twice the targeted amount, and the share price for BMR is currently trading approximately 30 percent above its offering price.
Alex F. Zikakis
In three years of working on Wall Street, Alex Zikakis' most meaningful experience may have been watching the construction of an office building across the street. He was fascinated by the process, and drawn by the tangible nature of what was being achieved.
In his own work, he felt detached, with no real affinity for the businesses with which he worked. In his office, watching that building grow, Zikakis resolved that he would go into the real estate industry.
Initially, Zikakis took a 50 percent pay cut to come to San Diego and pursue his dream. He took a job at Kenneth Leventhal and Co. It was 1991; the real estate business was in free fall, and California was shedding jobs and people.
He decided that if he enjoyed his new career in these conditions, he would love it when the market turned around. He was right.
In 1996, Zikakis founded his own company, Capstone Advisors. The business started off as a one-person firm in an executive suite in the Mission Valley area. Zikakis' desk was made of particle board; his filing cabinet was the floor.
The first obstacle he had to overcome was getting anyone to take him seriously. He spent 60 days calling what seemed like every real estate broker in the nation before locating a 600,000-square-foot regional mall that had fallen in and out of escrow a number of times. Zikakis lined up two co-investors, and Capstone made its first acquisition.
During the next two years, Capstone Advisors purchased 22 properties comprising over 4.1 million square feet of office, retail and industrial assets in nine different states.
Zikakis has built Capstone Advisors into a highly diversified real estate company engaged in multiple business strategies that leverage off one another.
One of Capstone's business lines is the Direct Lending Group, which specializes in short-term financing for commercial and residential real estate.
Capstone Advisors is also an active developer of commercial real estate through Capstone Development Partners (CDP). CDP buys land and develops and manages commercial real estate that is then held in portfolio. CDP currently owns or controls 220 acres of commercial land comprised of 14 different development sites in California.
Capstone Advisors is also the co-developer of four master-planned communities that will supply over 6,200 homes, plus approximately 3 million square feet of retail, office and industrial space in California.
CUSO Financial Services, L.P.
CUSO Financial Services, L.P.
A world-class swimmer, Valorie Seyfert lost her chance to compete in the Olympics when the United States boycotted the games in 1980. She turned the determination and focus that had made her a top athlete to another goal.
After earning a juris doctorate degree from the University of San Diego School of Law, she became a private practice attorney handling business transactions and securities work for financial institutions.
It was during this time Seyfert became aware of a need for better investment services for credit unions. She envisioned a company with a new business model that would fill this need. In 1996, she co-founded CUSO Financial Services (CFS).
CFS offers a unique mix of investment instruments and proprietary technology that automates and improves the process of investing for credit union members.
This powerful combination allows credit unions to cut paperwork while empowering investors with a wide range of choices and allowing them to make changes easily to their investment portfolios.
CFS's DataVision Web site allows credit unions instant access to up-to-date member/investor information, as well as speed in updating investor choices and preferences.
The technological expertise that Seyfert has fostered in the company has been key to building the business successfully in such a short period of time.
In creating CUSO, Seyfert blazed a number of trails. She defined an innovative business model that gave credit unions the rare opportunity to participate in ownership. She integrated online discount and full-service brokerage products on a single platform. She offered complete integrated front-office systems, including data management, integration, reporting and download capabilities. She gave credit unions the option of co-branding products and programs. And she significantly raised the bar for credit unions in terms of what they could do in the area of investment services.
CFS delivers easy and affordable financial planning, retirement, investment and insurance solutions that boost the financial well being of the credit union and its members.
Over the past eight years, Seyfert and her executive team have built CFS from two employees to more than 50. The company counts its client base at over 100 credit unions across the United States and has grown in both customers and revenues every year since its inception.