IIn 1991, Frank P. Crivello created two private trusts, Irrevocable Children’s Trust and Irrevocable Children’s Trust No.2 (the “Trusts”), for the benefit of his children, Joseph and Anthony Crivello. Later that year, through their majority interest in the First Berkshire Business Trust, the Trusts completed Wall Street’s first single-tenant retail property-backed securitized financing. That transaction, secured by 43 Kmart retail locations and warehouse stores, became a precursor for CMBS structures commonly used over the last twenty-five years.
In 1994, David Marks became trustee of the Trusts, and Phoenix Investors (“Phoenix”) was created as the management company of the Trusts’ investments.
Throughout the 1990’s, Phoenix focused on single-tenant arbitrage opportunities available across the country. To this end, Phoenix exploited various market inefficiencies that existed including information inefficiencies, differences in credit perceptions of unrated regional and national tenants, and innovative Wall Street financings, the combination of which produced above market returns.
From 2002 to the beginning of the Great Recession in 2007, our management team concluded that prevailing real estate opportunities and trends did not meet its disciplined risk/reward analysis. Phoenix suspended new acquisitions of commercial property and instead focused on improving its existing portfolio.
Since the Great Recession, Phoenix has aggressively used its experience to source, identify and harvest unprecedented commercial real estate opportunities. Currently, our focus is on maximizing underappreciated asset classes including Class B and C Industrial properties, portfolio and REIT dispositions, and creatively working with corporations, banks, and other institutions on underperforming asset dispositions.
Looking forward, Phoenix will continue applying its disciplined investment strategy to commercial real estate opportunities while implementing new technologies and adding resources.
To successfully identify and execute opportunities in a dynamic and changing marketplace, Phoenix has built a talented team of professionals across all levels of its business, providing them with the cutting-edge technology tools, and superior benefits including a highly acclaimed wellness program. The Trust beneficiaries, Joseph and Anthony Crivello, both of whom grew up around Phoenix, are part of its Advisory Board and reflect the next generation of leadership for Phoenix. The Phoenix team has been critical to our achievements to date and will lead Phoenix to new heights in future decades.
Advisory Board & Senior Management
Phoenix Investors, a limited liability company
Joseph A. Crivello
Anthony I. Crivello
Frank P. Crivello
David M. Marks
Frank P. Crivello
Chairman & Founder
Since 1991, Frank P. Crivello has served as the senior advisor to the Trusts and today is Chairman of Phoenix Investors. Given his extensive experience in all aspects of commercial real estate, Mr. Crivello provides strategic and operational input to the Trusts, Phoenix Investors, and affiliated companies.
Mr. Crivello began his real estate career in 1982 focusing his investments in multifamily, office, industrial and shopping center developments across the United States. In 1994, Mr. Crivello shifted his focus to the support of the Trusts. From 1994 to 2008, Mr. Crivello assisted Phoenix Investors in its execution of its then business model of acquiring net lease commercial real estate across the United States. Since 2009, Mr. Crivello has assisted Phoenix Investors in the shift of its core focus to the acquisition of industrial real estate throughout the country.
Mr. Crivello received a B.A., Magna Cum Laude, from Brown University and the London School of Economics, while completing a double major in Economics and Political Science. Mr. Crivello is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Outside of his business interests, Mr. Crivello invests his time, energy and financial support across a wide net of charitable projects and organizations.
David M. Marks
President & Chief Executive Officer
Since 1994, David M. Marks has served as the Trustee of the Irrevocable Children’s Trust, Irrevocable Children’s Trust No.2 and Phoenix Business Trust where he oversees all trust investments, with responsibilities that begin pre-acquisition and extend through ownership and disposition. Mr. Marks has played a key role in all acquisitions and management of the Trusts’ portfolio of commercial real estate and operating companies and acts as key officer, director or manager for the Trusts’ operating subsidiaries.
Mr. Marks began his real estate career in the late 1980s while still an undergraduate, completing acquisition underwriting, portfolio analysis and abstracting complex anchor tenant leases on a national basis. In the early 1990s, Mr. Marks worked on national acquisitions, underwritings and financings, highlighted by assisting in the creation Wall Street’s first single-tenant, retail property-backed securitized financing, a CMBS transaction secured by a national portfolio of 43 Kmart retail and warehouse stores.
Mr. Marks has led or participated in real estate acquisitions, refinancings and dispositions ranging in size from single asset transactions under $1 million to portfolio transactions in excess of $170 million.
Mr. Marks and his wife Rachael are active supporters of various charitable organizations, with a specific focus on Jewish charities in Southeastern Wisconsin.
Mr. Marks received a B.S. in economics from the University of Wisconsin.
Anthony I. Crivello
Executive Vice President
Anthony I. Crivello is a member of Phoenix Investors’ Advisory Board and is its Executive Vice President. As a beneficiary of the Trusts, Mr. Crivello has had a lifelong history and exposure to commercial real estate. Today, Mr. Crivello provides strategic guidance to Phoenix Investors and the Trusts, focusing on asset management, underwriting, acquisitions, leasing, and financing for affiliates of Phoenix Investors. While at Phoenix Investors, Mr. Crivello has directly participated in real estate acquisitions, refinancings and dispositions in excess of $300 million dollars.
Prior to joining Phoenix Investors, Mr. Crivello worked as a portfolio manager for a large regional bank after completing its rigorous credit analyst program for commercial real estate. He was responsible for underwriting hundreds of millions of dollars in commercial real estate loans for institutional, middle market and REIT borrowers. In addition to working on senior debt financing opportunities, Mr. Crivello has also worked on over $40 million dollars in tax credit equity investments for income restricted multi-family developments.
Mr. Crivello earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Magna Cum Laude, with a concentration in Finance and Real Estate from Marquette University. In addition to his business endeavors, Mr. Crivello is an avid supporter of the Milwaukee community and numerous charitable organizations.
James R. Saer
Director of Capital Markets
As Phoenix Investors’ Director of Capital Markets, Mr. Saer is responsible for refining and executing Phoenix’s funding strategy by managing the company’s banking and equity relationships.
Mr. Saer began his professional career as a commercial real estate credit analyst at LaSalle Bank in Chicago, IL. After completing a formal credit training program, he was recruited by Wells Fargo’s Commercial Real Estate team. After 11 years of lending to some of the nation’s largest private and public developers, Mr. Saer relocated to Milwaukee, WI to open Wells Fargo’s Wisconsin Commercial Real Estate Office. Within a 3-year period, the new Wisconsin office grew from $0 to nearly $350 million in loan commitments and one of Wells Fargo’s most successful middle-market offices. Mr. Saer’s success was honored with a “2012 Golden Spoke Award”—a prestigious award given to the top 1% of Wells Fargo employees that demonstrate excellent credit, sales, and relationship management skills.
After 15 years at Wells Fargo, Mr. Saer joined AnchorBank as its Commercial Real Estate Chief Credit Officer, where he was vital in assisting the bank in its exit from bankruptcy, raising additional capital, and returning the bank to profitability following the Great Recession. After its disposition to Old National Bank, Mr. Saer was promoted to Executive Vice President as the bank’s Divisional Chief Credit Officer of Commercial Real Estate.
Mr. Saer graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a major in Finance, Investment, and Banking. In his free time, he enjoys traveling with his wife and 3 children and is a supporter of several charitable organizations.