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 brought in the correct partner 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 swoops in and finishes the job that other brokers would spend months on, are par for the course. Because of their role as multi-strategy advisors, the Conquest team has a unique edge: Their high-powered clients play on all sides of the field. Direct communication with buyers, sellers, investors and developers enables the firm to facilitate the right connections and equips them with first-hand knowledge about unreleased inventory and burgeoning developments 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 and celebrities and socialites that we’ve worked with” he explains. From actors like Joaquin Phoenix looking for a short-term rental to stay in while he shoots his next film to brands like Aman Resorts who were looking for institutional investors.
The 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 people they trust. “Conquest Advisors has been privileged to provide services to people we admire,” says Glazer.
Oftentimes, big deals beget 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 an etched concrete exterior and creative use of space. Glazer’s firm has also worked with several iconic fashion brands like Milk Studios as well as families such as Versace and the Ferragamos.
In 2018, the firm represented Sarah Sampaio when she bought a $3.5 million apartment in the East Village. “Many successful models’ first big personal investment is a home,” says Glazer, who is now a chairperson on REBNY’s downtown residential committee.
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. “Our clients are very wealthy and, oftentimes, are open to investing in deals that fall in the investment side of their business rather than just buying homes for residential use,” says Glazer. He and his team work with developers 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 can move very quickly and strike deals that are extremely beneficial for all players involved.
Still, Conquest Advisors is the lifeblood of Glazer’s operation. Whether it is the billionaire with homes on 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 across multiple categories.