Alumni Taylor Vick

January 23, 2017

Alumni_Taylor VickName: Taylor Vick
Graduation Year: 2010
Major(s): Finance
Emphasis: Financial Services
Minor(s): Accounting
Current Job: Asset Manager
Company: Center Holdings, LLC
Location: Greenville, SC

Tell us about what you do.
Center Holdings, LLC is a commercial real estate investment fund.  We provide monthly cash flow distributions to our investors from lease payments.  Our primary asset class is stabilized retail strip centers.  My focuses are on asset acquisition and disposition, risk management, tenant management, investor management, fund raising, cash flow forecasting, asset allocation, deal underwriting, portfolio strategy, liquidation strategies, value-add strategies, financial analysis, and financial reporting.

Describe a recent accomplishment you achieved or a project you worked on.

  • Created a capital model to calculate fund value and investor’s ownership value.
  • Completed a capital call for $2.5mm.

What does a normal day look like in your job?
At the risk of sounding cliché, there is no real normal day.  I would say that the job moves in phases, and we are currently in an acquisition phase.  The process for an acquisition would look something like this:

  1. Screen and identify desirable properties.
  2. Engage in pre-offer underwriting (projecting cash flow and profitability, estimating risk, comparing alternatives).
  3. Negotiate basic terms (price mostly).
  4. Come to an agreement via a Letter of Intent.
  5. Begin Contract negotiation. Arrive at a finalized contract.
  6. Raise Capital if needed.
  7. Contact banks to pitch the deal, negotiate with banks on terms.
  8. Underwrite the deal – appraise the property, conduct a conditions report and environmental test. Diligently read through and abstract leases.  Conduct tenant interviews, verify tenant lease payments, preform title work.  Renegotiate certain contract terms if there are adverse findings while underwriting.
  9. Close the deal.
  10. Inform tenants of change of management, visit the tenants.

Outside of property acquisitions, my time is spent speaking with our investors and informing them of what is going on with specific properties / projected cash flows, creating presentations for investors, networking with bankers / financiers, finding new investors, creating strategies for different properties, and speaking with existing tenants.  And of course, I am constantly trying to learn as much as I can about commercial real estate.

What’s been your biggest challenge since graduation?
Finding a job that I enjoy doing and that I am passionate about.  I did not have that for 5 years, and it was miserable.  I was able to hone skills, and acquire valuable experience during that time, but I was very unsatisfied with my work until I switched to my current job.

What was your favorite/most memorable moment at Clemson?
Honestly just walking through campus between classes. I ran into friends all the time, got to look out over the beautiful campus and could walk anywhere I needed to go.  My friend and I had a saying, “walk slowly on campus, because soon you will walk at graduation”.

And every time we beat FSU.

What do you think prepared you the most?
CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) is probably number one.  Obviously real estate classes were very important for me too.  In my psychology course, and particularly a Logic course I took with Dr. Stegal, I learned how to really think critically.  That has had a huge impact on my career.

Any words of advice to current students?
If you can figure something out on your own, do it.  Being able to constantly teach yourself new information and skills is very important.  Between YouTube, Google and free online college courses, your potential is unlimited like never before in the history of humanity.

Oh, and network with old people.  They are the ones who can actually hire you.  Dr. Alexander taught me that one.

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