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.
Tony was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, earning his bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and his law and business degrees from Santa Clara University. After spending years as an attorney, he joined Foss & Company in 2017. As Director of Real Estate Investments & Portfolio Management, Tony oversees the underwriting and asset management of Foss Historic Tax Credit (HTC) investments, working closely with real estate developers, institutional investors, and industry partners.
Get to know Tony in the latest Spotlight Series blog:
What originally interested you about the historic rehabilitation industry?
I have always been interested in real estate development, especially projects that have a meaningful impact on the community. I also like old buildings and historic architecture. I would much rather see a building repurposed than demolished. The rehabilitation of a building is an interesting process, and more challenging than new construction. In the end, a valuable resource is being conserved and enhanced, and that’s a great benefit for all.
When did you join Foss & Company and what interested you about the company?
I joined Foss in January 2017. I was looking for new opportunities and when I learned about Foss, I did a lot of research on the company and the tax credit industry. The more I learned, the more excited I was about joining the company. I wanted to be a part of financing historic rehabs by monetizing tax credits. It’s a great business, and it’s rewarding to be a part of the rehabilitation of historic properties. I also liked that Foss was a small company with opportunity to grow. And we have all grown!
What is the importance of underwriting and asset management in the historic tax credit project process?
During underwriting, we assess the construction and operational risk of a project. For a historic rehab to generate tax credits, it needs to be completed in a manner consistent with historic tax credit (HTC) standards. And for a federal HTC project to deliver tax credits and other economic benefits over the five-year compliance period, it’s important for it to perform well financially. So, we identify risks and take steps to mitigate those risks before the transaction closes. That’s what the Underwriting team does. After the transaction closes, the Asset Management team manages our investment. The asset manager for a project will monitor construction, manage the capital contribution funding process, and track project performance. Foss is a partner in the real estate development, and each of the parties has rights and obligations. It’s important for our asset managers to have a good working relationship with our development partners and to protect the interests of our investors.
How have underwriting and asset management evolved over the years for Foss & Company?
We have more investors and more originations, so there are many more projects to underwrite and assets to manage. There has been significant growth in the Asset Management and Underwriting teams since I have been at Foss, and while Foss has always attracted talented people, the quality of the team members just keeps improving. We have a very impressive group of professionals, and I believe that Foss is well positioned for future growth.
What is one thing people may not know about Foss & Company?
The people at Foss are very intelligent, interesting, and diligent in their work. We have a shared purpose, and people are very willing to help each other out. I don’t really see selfish behavior in my work interactions, and people really do go above and beyond to do a good job. Along with that, the environment is very collegial and very positive.
Any other insights you would like to add?
Until recently, we had a long period of low inflation and low interest rates. In that environment, a real estate development might not need tax credit equity to be viable. In this new challenging environment, a project might need tax credit equity to round out the capital stack. Those interested in learning more should reach out to one of our team members today.