The pandemic has not been kind to the hotel industry, and The Franklin, a boutique hotel that has been hosting guests on the Upper East Side for nearly a century, was no exception. Its owner retained a number of large brokerage firms to find a buyer, but all of them came up dry. When the hotel went into bankruptcy, the owner went to Conquest Advisors. “Within one week, we facilitated a partnership to purchase the hotel out of bankruptcy, renovate it, and rebrand it,” said Founder and CEO Jaf Glazer. These types of situations, in which Conquest can react to remarkable opportunities are par for the course. Because of their role as multi-strategy advisors, the Conquest team has an edge: their high-powered clients play on all sides of the field. Having direct communication with buyers, sellers, investors, and developers enables the firm to facilitate the right connections. It equips Conquest with the first-hand knowledge about unreleased inventory, off market deals and burgeoning developments that they need to make record-breaking deals.
Impressively, it only took Conquest 15 years to become what it is today: a team of multi-strategy advisors who are prepared to handle the variety of transactions that wealthy family offices consider in their personal and professional lives. Glazer attributes that success to his decision to work with high-net-worth clients and money managers who simply don’t have the time to deal with a variety of different firms for their wide range of real estate needs. “I think we’ve proved credibility with this Rolodex of billionaires,celebrities and socialites that we’ve worked with,” he explained. Advisory work has historically ranged within a wide spectrum – Actors such as Joaquin Phoenix seeking residential real estate to brands like Aman Resorts who were looking for institutional investors to recapitalize the business. Heirs to fortunes have asked Conquest to devise a strategy for generational wealth preservation through purchasing income properties. The wealthy clients Conquest works with are the types that are often on the prowl for their next big investment and always open to hearing about new projects from the people they trust. “Conquest Advisors has been privileged to provide services to people we admire,” stated Glazer.
Often, the big deals attract bigger deals. When Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr first made it big in the early 2000s, she looked into buying a New York apartment. Born and bred in Manhattan, Glazer’s firm knew just where to take her: The Jade Condominium, by Philippe Starck’s firm Yoo, is as distinctive as it is luxurious with its etched concrete exterior and its creative use of space designed. Since then, Glazer’s firm has worked with several iconic fashion brands like Milk Studios to families including Versace and the Ferragamo’s. In 2018, his firm represented Sara Sampaio in her purchase of an apartment in the East Village. “Many successful model’s first big personal investment is a home,” said Glazer, who is now a chairperson The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY is NYC’s leading real estate trade association).
Eventually, Glazer’s client list became so substantial that the only rational thing to do was set up Gallium, the principal-side investment arm of Conquest. Glazer and his family have been investing in various types of real estate deals over the years. They range from redevelopment of multi-family buildings in New York City, to constructing Industrial buildings in Phoenix Arizona, a city where they also own several buildings and America’s largest specialty paper company. “Clients began asking us for access to our extraordinary deal flow and we have selected various clients to join us as limited partners,” said Glazer.
He and his team work with co-developers, real estate opportunity funds and other professionals to source and orchestrate their own deals. They have a variety of capital sources, including their own as well as those of the family offices and institutional partners they work with. Because of that, Gallium is able to move very quickly and strike a deal that is extremely beneficial for all players involved.
Still, Conquest Advisors is the lifeblood of Glazer’s operation. Whether it is the billionaire with homes across three different continents who is consistently looking for new assets to add to their collection or the family that needs help finding locations for their newly acquired companies, Conquest’s clients are always in need of sound real estate advice that spans across categories.