Issue 12 2020

6 CEO MONTHLY / ISSUE 12 2020 , Breaking Barriers in Real Estate PlatinumPremier Global Equity (PPGE) is aminority-owned, U.S.-based, private equity firm that bridges capital fromaround the world for projects in growth-oriented cities and industries, with a core focus on real estate. Working in such a complex field, long-term relationships are at the heart of the business, and that falls on the shoulders of CEO, Mr Zameer Upadhya. For his outstanding work, Mr Upadhya has achieved the title of CEO of the Year, 2020 - the USA in this latest issue of CEOMonthlyMagazine. Join us as we examine the work of Mr Upadhya and his firm to find out just why this business leader is so deserving of this success. Humble Beginnings Growing up on the not so glamorous side of North Miami, Florida, Mr Upadhya quickly learned that the relationships he built made the difference between surviving his walk home from school or not. Building and having roots in the community gave him a sense of protection and support that encouraged him to grow from an inner-city kid to a Global Private Equity firm’s CEO. This sense of community connection was influenced by his paternal grandfather (“Dada”). In 1972, Mr Upadhya’s paternal grandparents were exiled from Uganda by Idi Amin. Overnight they became refugees in a foreign land with no other family or friends. Dada quickly built deep relationships to help him navigate a new world and set up his family for survival and success. Mr Upadhya recalls that at his grandfather’s funeral, a few hundred people from all walks of life ranging from community leaders, to successful business persons, to the custodial staff that cared for him at the hospital on his last days. This reinforced Mr Upadhya’s lessons that his grandfather and parents had imparted upon him that building sincere relationships through service to others was the true mark of success. The story of PPGE is rooted in this lesson on relationships. Mr Upadhya had built a successful wealth management firm that had as its clients mostly affluent minority executives, physicians, and entrepreneurs. As the firm grew, several clients started to ask for alternative investments to equity markets with a keen interest in real estate. One of the clients that approached him was also a close friend who shared his frustration that he could not find trusted alternative investments. He was a successful minority physician, yet he still did not have access to quality real estate investments. Mr Upadhya realized that there was a significant gap in access to such investments for people of colour. Further, he realized that many successful women also did not have access to generational wealth type investments. Thus in 2016, Mr Upadhya and a few of his trusted and close friends started the company with the mission to democratize access to wealth creation. In short, it aims to diversify the colour and genders of money. In less than four years, PPGE has invested in $225mm USD of real estate investments in Seattle and throughout Texas. Setting Themselves Apart In an industry-led by larger established corporations, Mr Upadhya and his team broke many barriers to entry. They did this by taking the first year to invest solely in relationships with investors, real estate developers, family offices, and institutions that were looking for a different approach to such investments. Early in his career, a mentor of his shared that to build trusted relationships, “I have to see you, to know you, to trust you.” They did not make their first investment for about a year as they built out these deeper connections. Under his leadership, they have built relationships from Houston to Dubai to Singapore that have turned into trusted partners and investments. Most of the projects that PPGE invests in are because of the relationships that have been cultivated over time, and thus are deals that are not traditionally found on the open market. Whilst this can take quite a bit longer as a process, it enables PPGE to make investments in deals and partners that share the firm’s core values of Trust, Transparency, and an Unrelenting Commitment to Excellence. Trust and transparency, matter because PPGE deals with people’s hard- earned money and investors are rely on the firm to complete a high level of due diligence on projects and partners alike. Trust is very delicate, and thus excellent execution is a must for that trust to continue. Success has undoubtedly come for PPGE over the last four years. Much of it can be attributed to the firm’s genuine commitment to authentic, long- term, and focused relationships courtesy of Mr Upadhya. He and his team are not just looking to make a quick buck on one project. The firm’s goal is that the partners will be with the firm for decades to come. Mr Upadhya’s deep focus on relationships is not only vital from a financial standpoint, but also ensures that everyone can stand together in storms such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Unity and dedication has seen Mr Upadhya and his team at PPGE withstand many a storm, and come through it with clients happy on the other side.