Beau EngmanPresident, PACE Equity LLC
731 N. Jackson St., Suite 420, Milwaukee
www.pace-equity.comIndustry: Commercial real estate finance
Family: Wife, Kathy Engman; Children, Katherine, Audrey and Clara.
[caption id="attachment_161567" align="alignright" width="350"] Beau Engman[/caption]
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
“We worked with a local customer and city officials to find a way to leverage tax assessment financing for new construction projects in a significant way. This was implemented here in Milwaukee in one of the notable new buildings going up right now, and is now being replicated on a national basis. It’s proven to be pretty innovative and compelling.”
What’s new at your company?
“We are a new company and have quickly grown into 15 markets across the country. We have a lot of new team members that create quite a vibrant work environment. Fundamental to our strategy is the ability to scale across multiple markets – that’s the challenge and the opportunity.”
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“We are looking to be in 25 markets by the end of the year. Commercial PACE (property assessed clean energy) financing is being legislated in more and more states and we try to stay in front of that and establish a local presence in all these markets. When the dust settles, we are looking to build a competitive advantage by having a local presence on a national basis.”
What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
“The hottest trend in our industry is to leverage PACE financing for homes in California – it’s a multi-billion (dollar) market overnight to pay for things like new windows, HVAC and solar. There is a lot of emphasis on doing this everywhere and it creates confusion in the marketplace. Our business is focused on commercial projects, which is vastly different in terms of underwriting and further, we obtain permission from senior lenders as part of the process (not the case for the residential market). One of our main challenges is to make sure the banking and finance community understand the distinctions between commercial and residential property assessment funding of building improvements. We are grateful that in Wisconsin, there is only commercial PACE so that confusion does not exist here.”
What was the best advice you ever received?
“Recently, I got some great advice from a priest that I think is worth sharing. It goes counter to most business advice, but an important message in terms of focusing on what's important – and that, for me, is my family. ‘Have the serenity to live in the moment…not the past and not the future.’ - Father Dan Leary.”
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
“In the dotcom era, I was giving a very important presentation to a lot of important people in a very intimidating environment. Visualize 15 people in dark suits all on the other side of a formal conference table, and only me on my side. What did it do? I accidentally spilled coffee on myself at the first moment in the meeting – in a bad way. It was ugly, and so were the looks coming from across the table.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“We enjoy many outdoor activities – as much as we can do, when we can. This includes hiking, camping, boating and tennis.”