Foss & Company is comprised of a group of experienced professionals, representing the best in class within their respective fields. In this blog series, we highlight different Foss & Company team members to shine a light on the diverse and dedicated people that help make us who we are.
Next in the series is John Bowman, Foss & Company partner and acquisitions team members.
How did you get started in this industry?
I am a lawyer by training and practiced law for 10 years. It was not for me. I went to work for a friend of mine at a small LIHTC syndication shop in Montgomery, AL - my home town. After about 3 months on the job, we had a developer client that had an Art Deco building in Birmingham, AL, which had HTCs. They looked at me and said, “you are the new guy, go figure out to syndicate these credits." I did just that and the rest is history.
What interested you about this industry?
My father was a lawyer and a real estate developer so I have been around real estate all of my life. He and I were even in the same law firm. My father and his law partners bought and restored the Winter Building in Montgomery in the late 70’s. I would go downtown with him on Saturdays to inspect the work. It was incredible. The building is on the National Register with parts of the building having been constructed by skilled masons that were slaves. (1845 construction) The building housed the Confederate telegraph office. The telegram to Fort Sumter that started the Civil War was sent from that office. I was hooked on old buildings! Since this was pre-1986, he and his partners used the historic tax credits to offset their personal income.
When did you join and what interested you about Foss & Company?
I joined Foss & Company in 2014. I was part of the Chevron team at my previous job and when Chevron shut down the HTC department, I was out of a job. I knew George Barry from the Chevron meetings as well as being a competitor. My first call after being let go was to Alan Levine – President of Chevron TCI. I asked him for recommendations on firms and his first and only recommendation was “Call George Barry at Foss & Company. He told me it was top flight company and I would be a good fit in his opinion”. I made that call.
What is one thing people may not know about Foss & Company?
We have lot of fun. Not everyday is a bed of roses but no company has that. However the personalities that we have in the company don’t tolerate sour people.
Any other insights you would like to add?
The HTC industry never stops changing. In my 22 years in this industry I have seen competitors come and go. Foss & Company has evolved a number of times over the years to survive and succeed with the changes. (The 1986 tax act, high interest rates in the late 90’s, the Great Recession, the Trump tax cuts and now a pandemic). I learn something new every week here at Foss & Company. When we/I stop learning something new, I know it will be time to go.