With us today is Kevin Leon, Founder and President of Crestpoint Real Estate Investments. Crestpoint is affiliated with the the Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group which operates several offices throughout Canada.
Kevin provides us with a deep history of how he got started in real estate, including his transition from working with CIBC into creating his own business. He shares Crestpoint’s approach towards managing risk and utilizing different types of loans, as well as the company culture that Kevin helped create.
Topics covered include:
- How Kevin got into real estate.
- Positive leverage and negative leverage.
- Kevin’s distinction of top sales broker in Canada in 1997.
- Going into investment banking and the mindset that Kevin had.
- An opportunity that presented itself in the financial crisis of 2008.
- Starting a new investment firm with two other people.
- The approach Kevin received from someone who knew Kevin’s plan to start his own investment firm.
- The growth of Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group and Kevin’s first transaction as part of them.
- Securing debt during the launch of a venture in 2011.
- Crestpoint’s rationale towards debt and why Kevin has this perspective.
- Isolating risk to individual assets.
- Special cases of financial risk, including an example of an industrial building in Toronto.
- Interest-only loans and why Crestpoint sometimes uses this approach sometimes.
- What Kevin has created in the past ten years within the culture of Crestpoint.
- How Crestpoint employees spend time together outside of the company.
- What Kevin is doing to find opportunities to deploy capital.
A bit about our guest…
Kevin Leon is the President and Founder of Crestpoint Real Estate Investments Ltd., an investment and advisory firm specializing in direct property investment in Canada. Crestpoint is part of the Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group, a multi boutique asset management firm whose affiliated companies collectively manage over $71 billion in assets on behalf of institutional and private clients. Crestpoint has established an open ended real estate fund as well as investing with select segregated institutional funds and has been consistently one of the top performing funds in Canada. In 8 years, Crestpoint has accumulated over $4 billion of assets under management consisting of almost 200 properties across Canada and the U.S. in the office, retail and industrial sectors. Previous to creating Crestpoint, Kevin was a Managing Director with CIBC World Markets Inc. for 10 years and an Executive Vice President for CBRE for 10 years.
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