John T. Chen, Managing Principal
John T. Chen is the Founding Partner and Managing Principal of Advent Capital Partners, a commercial real estate investments, financial advisory and asset management firm that serve the needs of private investors, financial institutions and public-sector entities with a focus on service, integrity and value creation.
Beginning his career as a workout specialist and step-in General Partner at the start of the early 1990’s real estate recession, he has accumulated over 20 years of investment, development and financial management experience in all classes of investment real estate including: mixed-use retail-residential, retail shopping centers, multi-tenant office, industrial business parks, multi-family apartments, hotels, healthcare properties and master-planned communities.
Prior to founding Advent Capital Partners, Mr. Chen led the West Coast underwriting in the structured finance and equity joint venture group of GE Capital Real Estate, one of the world’s largest and most diversified commercial real estate finance and investment firms, with a presence in 35 countries and a portfolio with more than $85 billion in assets.
Mr. Chen provided strategic planning, real estate analytics, corporate finance, development planning and “off-Ranch” acquisition strategies for a publicly traded REIT (NYSE: IAC) that was majority-owned by The Irvine Company, creator of the largest and most successful master planned urban environment in the United States. He has advised regional developers and money-center banks as a consultant with KPMG Peat Marwick Global Real Estate Consulting practice in market analysis, property valuations, bankruptcy/foreclosure strategies, and portfolio loan sale strategies.
He began his career with The Peninsula Group developing, asset managing, re-tenanting, and marketing a diverse portfolio of real estate holdings including: multi-tenant waterfront retail and restaurants, commercial marina and luxury condominium development projects.
Mr. Chen graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and dual emphasis in urban real estate and corporate finance. He holds a California State Real Estate Broker’s License.
William Erickson, Principal
William Erickson is the founder of Viking Capital, LLC, a real estate investment banking firm in Southern California focused on raising debt and equity capital for acquisition, disposition, recapitalization and development for commercial real estate assets and portfolios.
Mr. Erickson brings approximately 20 years of extensive real estate acquisitions, finance, development and joint venture equity investment experience. Mr. Erickson was involved in nearly $1 billion of commercial real estate investments involving a variety of product types, geography and investment structures on behalf of numerous clients.
Prior to joining Viking Capital, Mr. Erickson co-founded Craig Capital Corporation, a real estate investment banking firm primarily responsible for work with pension funds, institutional investors and lenders for joint venture equity, financial restructuring, junior and senior debt placement on a variety of product type and investment vehicles throughout the U.S. In that position, he was involved in approximately $750 million of transactions involving a variety of clients across the U.S. ranging from acquisitions, ground-up developments, equity recapitalizations and dispositions.
Mr. Erickson holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the Bowling Green University. He is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of California.
Catherine Gao, Principal
Catherine Gao is Principal of Advent Capital Partners. Ms. Gao is responsible for business development and structuring foreign capital investments in U.S. property markets. Ms. Gao is also founder of Magnolia Capital Shanghai Co.Ltd., an investment banking company focused on raising capital for growth stage companies in China and overseas. Ms. Gao provided corporate finance and advisory services including mergers and acquisitions, and capital formation.
Ms. Gao previously served private clients as Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch (now Bank of America) and Morgan Stanley in the U.S. Ms. Gao and her team provided comprehensive financial services to U.S. Fortune 500 companies, large Chinese companies and high net worth individuals, including asset management and investment advisory services. Ms. Gao previously held senior sales and marketing positions with Cadence Design Systems (CDN) where she was responsible for developing and expanding both Chinese and U.S. markets.
Catherine received an MBA from the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore and B.S. in Computer Science from the Beijing Institute of Technology.
Ronald Snyder, Project Manager
Mr. Snyder, President of RG Snyder Group, Inc. brings over 30 years of construction knowledge and a proven track record with major tenant build-out requirements, pre-construction services, value engineering, architectural and engineering coordination, subcontractor relationships, on and offsite construction as well as complete turn-key construction. Mr. Snyder’s product type experience include: retail shopping centers, mixed-use retail/residential projects, outlet centers, grocery/supermarkets, parking structures, self storage facilities, office complexes, movie theaters, and industrial R&D/tilt-up buildings. RG Snyder Group is a general contractor licensed in the State of California since 1982 and in the State of Utah since 2005.
Michelle Song, Operations Manager
Ms. Song is responsible for overall business operations, financial reporting and property management. She is also involved with the management of timelines, deliverables and documents relating to due-diligence process for new real estate acquisition and dispositions by coordinating with principals, brokers, attorneys, lenders, consultants, title and escrow. Prior to joining The Advent Group, Ms. Song headed the accounting department and was responsible for overall business operations for an architectural services firm focused on commercial real estate including industrial, office and retail properties. She was responsible for managing budgets, contracts and project costs, as well as implementing marketing initiatives. Ms. Song earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fullerton.
Strategic Alliance & Mortgage Banking Originations Team
James Deal specializes in real estate equity and structured finance, including construction debt. Formerly of Arnel Development, Security Pacific Mortgage, and Wells Fargo Bank, Jim brings over 20 years real estate lending and development experience to the partnership. Jim has a B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of Denver with specialization in finance and real estate.
Carl Fuller has served as loan officer and Vice President. His responsibilities include the continued loan production of a new business with correspondent lenders, maintaining investor relationships and overseeing the closing and servicing departments. Mr. Fuller graduated from the University of the Pacific with a B.S. degree in Business and Finance.
Gerald N. “Nick” Madigan has served as loan officer and Vice President. His responsibilities include production management, overseeing of production personnel and the property analysis department. Mr. Madigan is a graduate of The U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree, a former carrier aviator and is currently a Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Mitch Ballou founded Access Commercial Mortgage in 1994, with locations in Phoenix, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada. Formerly of Ralph C. Sutro, The Philipsborn Company, and Financial Associates, Mr. Ballou brings over 17 years real estate lending and development experience to the partnership. Mr. Ballou has a B.S. from Arizona State University with specialization in Accounting and Real Estate.