With a leadership succession plan implemented, Milwaukee-based developer Mandel Group Inc. has an eye for continued growth in the coming years.
Mandel Group, one of the most prominent multi-family developers in the metro area, announced Thursday afternoon the new roles of it top leadership, including promotions of Ian Martin to president and Phillip Aiello to chief operating officer, company founder Barry Mandel's move to chairman and chief executive officer, and the transition of Bob Monnat and Dave Pavela to senior partners.
Members of the leadership group shared their thoughts on the company's direction in an interview this week with BizTimes. The overall goal: To encourage organic growth, both in terms of company size and its geographic reach.
“I see a lot of both Ian’s and my roles tied to the growth we want to have within the company,” Aiello said.
Martin described Mandel Group as a mid-size firm. It manages about 5,600 apartment units, owns assets in five Midwestern states exceeding $1 billion in value and has around $500 million of active projects in its pipeline throughout its targeted Midwest region.
The firm is ready for more, as it has itself poised for growth through recent actions. For one, it has upgraded its technology infrastructure, such as its property-management software, that enable it to effectively manage more properties and units, Mandel said.
"That was all part of the succession planning process," he said.
Aiello and others emphasized the company has not set specific time frames on when it hopes to achieve certain growth benchmarks. But they would like to potentially double in size.
"It (growth) is going to happen a bit more organically based on what development opportunities we seek and are presented to us," Aiello said. "It will also depend on our success with our acquisition strategy. So, while we want to grow to be somewhere around that 10,000 apartment range, the timetable is really subject to market forces."
While the firm has already been acquiring properties across a broader Midwest footprint in recent years, Mandel Group is also look to expand where it is developing projects beyond metro Milwaukee. That includes currently pursing a project in Madison, Martin noted.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we pursued development opportunities outside of Wisconsin in the next next three to five years," he said. "We've always been nimble and entrepreneurial, and that will always be part of us going forward."
Martin added the firm is set up so it doesn't have to develop, buy and sell properties to maintain success.
"(Mandel Group) never aspired to be a group that has a quota of deals that have to be built or bought in any given year," he said. "And that's important because it's historically how Barry's operated, and it's how we'd like to operate going forward. And it's important because it never puts us in a position where we have to compromise on the quality of the deals we do."
And the growth won't be led solely by the firm's younger leaders. Aiello said he and Martin will continue to rely on the expertise of Mandel, Monnat and Pavela.
"They took this company from its infancy to the midsize company that it is now," he said. "We're going to continue that growth, and relying on their knowledge and experience of the growth that they underwent is going to be nothing but beneficial for us."