Making Money in Real Estate Today: Challenges and Opportunities

Monday, 7. November 2016.

6:00 - 8:30 PM

Ziad Abdelnour

Mr. Ziad Abdelnour

Moderator, Chairman FPC


Ms. Kristine Farra

CEO, Gold Coast Exclusive | Real Estate


Mr. Russ Flicker

Managing Partner, AWH Partners


Mr. Suresh Nichani

Vice Chairman, RealAssets Corporation


Mr. Eli Verschleiser

Chairman, Multi Group Companies

Martin Walrath

Mr. Martin Walrath

CFO, Triple Five Companies

Making Money in Real Estate Today: Challenges and Opportunities

You are cordially invited on behalf of the Financial Policy Council’s Board of Directors, to our next Financial Policy Council power summit featuring leading experts in Real Estate who will discuss where the opportunities lie and how to make money from them today and in the future.

  • TOPIC : Making Money in Real Estate Today: Challenges and Opportunities​
  • DATE : Monday, November 7, 2016
  • TIME : 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
  • LOCATION : The Graduate Center / CUNY at 365 Fifth Avenue at The Elebash Recital Hall – On the main floor of the building and on the left as you enter into the main lobby


Ziad K. Abdelnour is a Wall Street Financier, Author, Philanthropist, Activist, Lobbyist, Oil & Gas Trader & President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners, Inc., a New York based private equity “family office” that focuses on originating, structuring, advising and acting as equity investor in management-led buyouts, strategic minority equity investments, equity private placements, consolidations, buildups, and growth capital financing in companies and projects based both in the US and emerging markets and the trading of key physical commodities.

Mr. Abdelnour is also Founder & Chairman of the Board of the Financial Policy Council ; a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization designed to give its select group of supporters the opportunity to have direct face-to-face dialogue with the nation’s quintessential powerbrokers and policymakers.

Since 1985, Mr. Abdelnour has been involved in over 125 transactions worth in aggregate over $10 billion in the investment banking, high yield bond and distressed debt markets and has been widely recognized for playing an integral role in those three key market sectors.

Mr. Abdelnour is an astute market player who also serves on the Advisory board of DPG Investments, a recognized premier multi strategy global merchant banking, alternative investment, management and advisory firm.

On a more personal level, Mr. Abdelnour, former President of the Arab Bankers Association of North America, is the author of “Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics” ; a best seller manuscript written for investors that need to navigate the troubled geopolitical waters of the post-crisis world and a prolific writer for 100+ entrepreneurial and financial publications advising and educating investors in private equity, hedge funds, crowdfunding, Sovereign Wealth Funds, fund-of-funds, angel networks, venture capital and family offices.

Mr. Abdelnour is also a regular speaker on Private Equity, Physical Commodities trading and Middle East geo-political analysis at industry conferences & TV outlets nationwide including but not limited to Fox News, Newsmax, etc…and a key “influencer” in his own right having a hard core constituency of over 2 million viewers having read his blog postings and analyses since January 2014.

Mr. Abdelnour holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Economics, Summa Cum Laude, from the American University of Beirut.

He was recently listed as one of the 500 Most Influential CEOs in the World.

The Panelists:

Kristine Farra is a nationally recognized Top Residential Producer and Founder / CEO of GOLD COAST EXCLUSIVE | REAL ESTATE, a boutique full service luxury firm representing clients ( from individual buyers / sellers to seasoned investors and developers ) with superior service and expertise to meet their individual real estate needs.

Ms. Farra has been featured in many publications including: The Wall Street Journal, Madison’s Who’s Who, Crain’s Chicago Business, The Chicago Collection, Real Estate Executive, Chicago Agent, Pinnacle Magazine, CS Modern Luxury, Ultimate Address, Michigan Avenue Magazine …

Ms. Farra has been involved in the Real Estate Lifestyle + Marketing Sector for over 10 years and is known for her unsurpassed knowledge of this dynamic market, offering the most comprehensive as well as ultimate custom marketing programs, such as partnering with Comcast Digital / XFinity in offering clients / properties exclusive exposure on the network.

Ms. Farra has also been featured on HGTV House Hunters, elevating the show concept to cater to a higher level of demographic with Million Dollar Power Shopping On The Magnificent Mile.

Ms. Farra received her doctorate from Northwestern University, with an international background maintains a global perspective and speaks 3+ languages.

In keeping consistent with “giving back” to the community, Ms. Farra is actively involved in social and philanthropic circles by supporting non-profits including The Service Club Of Chicago, Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Friends Of Conservation, Primo Classico and was actively involved in the inaugural Chicago Beach Polo Cup.

Russ Flicker is Managing Partner of AWH Partners, a firm he co-founded in 2010 to invest in real estate and hospitality ventures. AWH is a vertically integrated real estate platform with in-house acquisitions, asset management, development expertise and, through its acquisition and growth of Spire Hospitality, world-class hotel management.

Since founding AWH Partners, Mr. Flicker and his partners amassed a portfolio in excess of $1 billion of hospitality across the country teaming up with the largest hedge funds and private equity funds in the world. Prior to founding AWH Partners, Mr. Flicker served as the chief investment officer at Ian Schrager Company and prior to that, Mr. Flicker managed Blackstone Real Estate Advisors’ redevelopment and repositioning team, straddling acquisitions and asset management.

Mr. Flicker received his JD from Duke University School of Law and his BA in Business Administration from Olin School of Business at Washington University of St. Louis.

Suresh Nichani is the Vice Chairman of RealAssets Corporation, a recently launched FinTech driven investment multi-manager and real assets funding platform, and the Vice Chairman of RootCorp where he oversees the management of special purpose vehicles controlled by RootCorp.

RootCorp is a spin off from the joint venture between Savills ( and Nichani Group ( Together both parties brought together a trusted, compelling and long term platform for global investors who wished to invest in Indian and Emerging Markets real estate through regulated investment vehicles or through specific assets. The venture currently focuses on U.S. real estate investments – predominantly in multifamily, student housing and cash flowing assets.

Prior to RootCorp/Cordea Nichani, Mr. Nichani was Head and COO of NEC Niteo Partners in New York. NEC Niteo Partners was the Analytics arm of NEC in the United States and a subsidiary of NEC Corporation of America, and a part of NEC Corporation. NEC Corporation is the 6 billion-dollar information technology company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

Prior to Niteo Partners, Mr. Nichani founded Exinom Technologies, Inc. in 1995 and served as the company’s President and CEO until it’s November 2003 acquisition by NEC Solutions (America), which merged Exinom with Niteo Partners. Exinom Technologies was one of the leading systems integrators of business intelligence and analytics solutions in the Northeastern United States. Exinom was listed twice consecutively (2001, 2002) in the INC 500 List as one of the ‘Fastest Growing Companies in North America’ by INC Magazine.

Prior to Exinom, Mr. Nichani was a program manager for Convergys (previously known as Cincinnati Bell Information Systems), where he leveraged his years of experience in decision support systems, executive information systems, telecommunications and systems integration. He also held the position of Vice President of Sales and Marketing for ITC Infotech (USA), a subsidiary of the ITC group of companies in India.

Mr. Nichani is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Owner/Presidents Management Program and MIT’s Sloan School of Management Program on Finance for Executives and a Current Member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO).

The Nichani family is also known for its philanthropy. A charitable trust created in the 1960s by the group has contributed towards the building of hospitals, schools, colleges, meditation centers and libraries in India and the United States.

Eli Verschleiser is a successful American real estate developer, financier, and investor in commercial properties. His projects are mainly on the East Coast of the United States, but he has worked on national business relationships too. His success is due to a wonderful ability in leadership which he has used on several projects. He’s worked both independently and through The Multi Group Companies. A true philanthropist, he has used his talent to help many charitable organizations. His insight in real estate and his charitable work have been featured in the Philadelphia Daily News, Bloomberg News, and The Jewish Week.

Mr. Verschleiser’s projects have had him working with numerous people and businesses. He worked with Donald Trump, including The Trump Tower Philadelphia among his projects. He has acquired land throughout Pennsylvania from Brandywine Realty Trust. In New York City, Mr. Verschleiser worked on a Tribeca neighborhood condominium conversion and bought 490 Bronx apartments. He was an advisor and financier for a New York City hotel in the Financial District, and he advised Waterton when purchasing 88 Leonard Street for $218 million. In addition, he assembled the team of developers who won a bid on the re-development of Florida’s Riviera Beach.

Mr. Verschleiser was the Chief Executive Officer of Multi Capital Group and is now chairman of The Multi Group Companies, having acquired the position in 2001. This group works to find financial solutions for their clients. He also founded United Realty in 2011, along with Jacob Frydman. Today he works as President and Treasurer of the business. United Realty works with commercial real estate through investments and advising.

Mr. Verschleiser has shared his abilities with numerous charitable organizations throughout the years. He serves as treasurer for the American Jewish Congress. He has also done a lot of work with Our Place NY as an executive board member. Our Place offers counseling, shelter, and support to troubled youth. Mr. Verschleiser has raised thousands of dollars to support and educate the Jewish communities through this non-profit organization. He is on The Board of Advisors for Magenu, a group that educates children on personal safety. A board member of Brownstone as well, they sponsor New York City summer programs for out of state college students.

Mr. Verschleiser is a successful person in both the real estate world and among several charitable groups. His leadership qualities have allowed him to help numerous people.
Martin Walrath serves as a Group EVP and Chief Financial Officer at TripleFive Group of Companies. He also serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer at 7 Crowns Corp.

Triple Five Worldwide is a multinational diversified conglomerate, development and finance corporation with offices in major U.S., Canadian and global cities. Triple Five Worldwide Group of Companies has developed, own & operate the 1st, 2nd and 3rd world’s largest tourism retail and entertainment complexes of its kind as well as an extensive portfolio of diverse and independent divisions that currently employs over 5,000 professionals and has created over 50,000 jobs. Triple Five’s wide-ranging experience is suited to creating successful mixed-use developments and activities worldwide that encompass the development, management and ownership of world-scale ventures in many fields.

Mr. Walrath served as Executive Vice President of Maverick Engineering Inc. since November 2010. He served as Acting Chief Executive Officer of Platinum Energy Resources Inc. since November 2010. Mr. Walrath has been with Triple Five since 1980 and has been primarily responsible for the financing activities and banking relationships of the company and has been involved in several multi-billion dollar financings for Triple Five.

Mr. Walrath serves as Director of Peoples Trust Bank, the largest privately held financial institution in Canada. He has been Director of Platinum Energy Resources Inc. , Mr. Walrath was Senior Vice President at Mellon Bank.

Business Attire please.

Tickets are $49 per person.  Please register by clicking the link below.​