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An Angel in New York: Nick Jekogian

 

NICK JEKOGIAN

Nick Jekogian invests in entrepreneurial real estate and startup ventures through his involvement with angel groups, such as ARC Angel Fund, but he also has a bit of an entrepreneurial streak himself.

Jekogian has been the CEO of Signature Group Investments (SGI) “a privately-held investment organization that specializes in the acquisition and management of real estate and related equity, debt, and hybrid investments on behalf of private and institutional investors,” according to their website. Founded by Jekogian in 1991, he has also been the acting president since January 2013.

Jekogian is also the founder and current president/CEO of Signature Community Investment Group, LLC, an affiliate of SGI that traces its roots to the NWJ Companies started in Philadelphia in 1992 (also founded by Jekogian). The company has a core expertise in apartment real estate and currently owns and manages a multifamily portfolio of over 4,000 units across the country, with an aggregate value of over $300 million. Jekogian has been the CEO since 2007, though he founded the company during his college years.

In 2011, Jekogian made a strategic investment in Presidential Realty Corporation, a Delaware corporation founded in 1983 as a real estate investment trust. When Jekogian and his team took over operations, they decided to reduce operating costs and implement a growth strategy plan. Ultimately, the goal was to grow Presidential into a major owner of multifamily apartment units. Since Presidential’s acquisition in 2011, Jekogian has acted as chairman and CEO.

Up until 2009, Jekogian was also the owner of NWJ Companies (starting in 1992). And prior to that, from 1990 to 2007, he served as a real estate consultant for Commerce Bank, one of the fastest-growing retailers ever, where he was also involved in the real-estate-rollout along the entire east coast from the early stages until its sale for over $8.2 billion in 2009.

Additionally, Jekogian has more than 25 years of experience developing commercial projects in the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas for retail chains such as CVS, TD/Commerce Bank and Blockbuster Video.

But even after all that, Jekogian still couldn’t shake his entrepreneurial spirit. In 2013, he partnered with Steve Faktor, founder of IdeaFaktory, to solve a problem he had discerned as an angel investor. Along with his investing successes and failures, Jekogian had a “growing list of portfolio companies that were doing okay but [were] unlikely to attract significant new capital.” So, together, they formed UpCelerator with the idea of matching startups with Global 1000 acquirers and fast-growing startups.

Jekogian, who is a licensed real estate broker in New York, also has two degrees under his belt. He holds a B.S. in business administration from Drexel University and an MBA in management from University of Pennsylvania.

Given Jekogian’s track record of success after success after success, it’s hard to imagine that he has any time to breathe or sleep, let alone for a personal life.  However, he is a repeat-competitor in Ironman-level triathlons and ultra-distance marathons,. He currently resides in Manhattan with his wife and two young daughters.

He is also a member of YPO: Young Presidents’ Organization, a global network of young chief executives with approximately 21,000 members in more than 125 countries.

In his free time, Jekogian contributes to organizations. He acts as a mentor for Ashoka, a catalyst for social innovation, working with “high-impact entrepreneurs” to solve the world’s major social challenges. He also sits on the board of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN), a social enterprise that prepares and connects Nigerian youth with career opportunities in technology.

Sector Focus:

Consumer Internet, custom retail, real estate, retail

Selected Investments:

MAG Fund: Mid-Atlantic Angel Group, Three Arch Partners, OCE Interactive LLC, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN)

Boards:

Presidential Realty

Expertise:

Business development, customer service, real estate, real estate investing, real estate management, retail, social entrepreneurship

Media Links:

Twitter
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About the author: Megan Maneval

Megan is a graduate of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, where she received a B.A. in Communication Studies with a minor in Business Administration. She has completed internships in business and communications, and was the copy editor for the university student-run paper. Currently at AlleyWatch, Megan plans to pursue a career in copyediting.

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