MARK ZYTKO , 42
Mesa West Capital LLC, West L.A.
Zytko, co-founder of Mesa West Capital with partner Jeff Friedman, has more than two decades of experience in real estate, previously having headed Credit Suisse First Boston's West Coast region, where he originated on-balance sheet debt and equity, commercial mortgage-backed securities and mezzanine loans.
Secret of Success: Mesa West probably did less sexy deals than many of our competitors during the hyperliquidity cycle, but as a result of choosing our borrowers and our deals carefully, we have the incredible opportunity to capitalize on deals in this time of lower property prices and premium yields.
Sage Advice: We have always said, "Would you or I do this with our own money?" rather than, "Is everyone else doing this?"
Recession's Silver Lining: During the last few years, anyone who could get in the way of a deal could make money, not because they executed well but because the market was pushing further out of control.
End of Downturn: The causes are different this time but look at the recession in the 1990s. The recession began in 1990 and we didn't have real strength until 1998 or so. This cycle is still in the first few innings. We may see the bottom or beginnings of recovery in 2011, but that real strength won't be seen until 2012 and beyond.
Stress Release: I spend time with my wife and 4-year-old twin boys to recharge and soak up their energy and zest for life. I like fly fishing because it is a true getaway, and a quiet place where I can think and relax.
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