About PILOT Real Estate Group - Acquisitions, Finance, Management

Robert Rieger

Mr. Rieger is a founding member and principal of PILOT and has over 30 years of broad real estate experience in many aspects of the industry. Early in his career, Mr. Rieger headed the Real Estate Equity Finance Group at Chase, was a VP of Kidder Peabody Realty Corporation, and was an account manager in Citibank’s Real Estate Industries Division.

More recently, Mr. Rieger has been the managing partner of Rieger Enterprises, a real estate investment company he started in 1990 with a focus on opportunistic investments in commercial real estate properties and real estate-related operating companies. Rieger Enterprises acquired numerous poorly managed and distressed properties (as well as debt on properties), stabilized their tenant bases, and placed them on solid financial footing as a result of their aggressive, “hands-on” management of the assets. In the late 1990s, Rieger Enterprises expanded its investment parameters to include hotel development and the executive office suite industry.

In addition, Mr. Rieger is a principal in Rieger Homes, Inc. (www.riegerhomes.com), a company that was founded in 1960 and is one of the largest land developers and home builders in Orange and Dutchess Counties, New York, having built over 6,000 homes in the Mid-Hudson Valley.

Mr. Rieger graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and received his MBA from New York University. 

Jordan Saper

Mr. Saper is a founding member and principal of PILOT and has over 30 years of experience in the real estate business. He has been active in acquisitions, workouts, and development.

He began his career working for U.S. Senator Robert Kasten (R-WISC.) in his real estate syndication business, and in the mid 1980s moved to Integrated Resources (a former NYSE financial services firm) where he trained a captive sales force inside of their Broker/Dealer.

From 1989 to 2000 Mr. Saper was the president of The Clifford Companies, a boutique workout and advisory firm with offices in NYC and Newport Beach, CA. On behalf of the Pritzker family and British Sugar, Clifford worked out a 6,000,000 SF New York City office building portfolio saddled with over $2 billion dollars of debt. Clifford ultimately took control of some assets, namely 500 Fifth Avenue, 14 Wall Street, 111-115 Broadway, and 286-292 Madison Ave. Clifford also became leasing agents and property managers for these assets. In 1995 Clifford represented another public British Company (L.E.P.) in its workout of a 5,000,000 SF flex/industrial portfolio in Southern California. At the same time Clifford was actively buying assets at auction from the RTC and the FDIC for its own account.

Since 2000, Mr. Saper has been a partner in one of the largest luxury spec home building companies in Greenwich, CT and the Hamptons. Saper has a B.A. from Brown University and did his graduate work at the Wharton School of Finance. 

Eric Schwartz

Mr. Schwartz is a founding member and principal of PILOT and has spent his entire 30 year real estate career in the construction, real estate development and management business. He has developed numerous residential projects, including single and multi-family, comprised of both new construction and rehab.

In addition, Mr. Schwartz is the managing partner of a second generation real estate development entity based in Greenwich, CT. Beginning in the 1970s, the Schwartz family, in partnership with the Schacter family, developed, owned and managed some of the largest office and apartment properties in Greenwich. In recent years, they sold the commercial portfolio to the State of Oregon Pension Plan and the apartment portfolio to Antares Development Partners. Today, Schwartz oversees the family’s investments, including those in the distressed real estate debt and equity markets with Saper & Rieger. He is the partner responsible for the construction and management initiatives. Since 2000, Mr. Schwartz has been a partner, with Saper, in the luxury spec home business in Greenwich.

Mr. Schwartz is a graduate of Washington University with a degree in architecture.

Justin O'Leary

Mr. O’Leary has been in the real estate business for the past 20 years and with PILOT since 2002. When he began with PILOT, Mr. O’Leary directed and managed all development and construction activities for their luxury residential spec home business and multi-family projects.

Since 2008, Mr. O’Leary has been responsible for managing PILOT’s current portfolio, specializing in distressed, value-add opportunities within PILOT’s equity platform. In addition, Mr. O’Leary sources new debt and equity opportunities and relationships (in current and new markets) for PILOT, and manages the underwriting and due diligence efforts for prospective deals. Before joining PILOT, O’Leary was an environmental consultant focused on real estate development.

Mr. O’Leary holds a B.A. in Biochemistry from Skidmore College and an M.S. in Real Estate Finance from New York University’s Shack Real Estate Institute.

Beth L. Lipman

Ms. Lipman has been working in the real estate investment business for over 20 years and has both transactional and legal experience working on acquisitions, dispositions, construction, development and real estate financing. Ms. Lipman has also worked in an asset management capacity overseeing the construction, design, leasing and operations of an 87-unit multifamily rental development in lower Manhattan. Ms. Lipman joined PILOT after 3 years at HREV, LLC, a real estate investment platform based in NYC where she was responsible for legal compliance and asset management of the fund’s equity and debt investments.

Previously, Ms. Lipman was Assistant General Counsel at Pegasus Capital Advisors, a middle markets private equity firm with over $2 billion in assets under management. At Pegasus, Ms. Lipman advised on legal matters associated with the firm’s investments and portfolio companies and was responsible for communication and reporting with investors.

Ms. Lipman began her real estate career with Emmes Asset Management Group (now known as Vanbarton Group), a privately held real estate investment firm where she spent 7 years working as Associate General Counsel assisting on a wide range of legal matters associated with the firm’s real estate investments, asset management and investment due diligence.

Ms. Lipman graduated from Northwestern University with a double major in political science and communications and received her JD from the George Washington University Law School.

George Graham

Mr. Graham has extensive real estate and Wall Street experience. He began his career in real estate investment banking in the 1980’s at The First Boston Corporation before moving to Salomon Brothers Inc. In the 1990’s, Mr. Graham helped establish Salomon Brothers, and its subsequent firms, as a leader in asset-backed securities, eventually becoming co-head of Global Asset Backed Finance for Citigroup. In the early 2000’s, he moved to the buy side eventually working at Fortress Investment Group in its Drawbridge Special Opportunities Fund. While working in fixed income, Mr. Graham was an active principal in numerous real estate developments and land assemblages in southwest Florida. In 2009, Mr. Graham became the CEO of Concierge Auctions, the country’s premier luxury residential auction company. After selling his interest in the company in late 2012, he began actively investing in real estate in southwest Florida and formed a partnership with Pilot Real Estate Group to acquire exisiting industial properties. As a result of the success of the venture, Mr. Graham has begun investing with Pilot as a partner in opportunities around the country.

Mr. Graham graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Philosophy and Political Science and from The London School of Economics with Diploma in Economics.

Bob Pfeiffer

Mr. Pfeiffer came to PILOT after almost 40 years at GE Capital. Starting in GE’s Financial Management Program and subsequently joining GE’s Corporate Audit Staff, he systematically rose to one of the top positions in GE Capital's Real Estate Group. During the collapse of the early '90's he directed their internal "Bad Bank". He set strategy and organized a team of 145 real estate professionals who successfully resolved GE Real Estate’s multi-billion dollar problem portfolio.

In 1990 Bob was promoted to Vice President of GE Capital Corp. and helped establish GE Real Estate’s global investment and business strategy. In his last 10 years at GE he rose to the position of Senior Vice President of Global Asset Management. In that capacity he created and directed GE Real Estate’s Global Asset Management Operations. He was responsible for $85 billion in investments and managed a global staff of 650 professionals located in 45 offices across 28 countries. Bob retired from GE in 2008 and has been active mentoring a large network of real estate professionals, investing for his own account, advising private real estate companies, and pursuing philanthropic interests.

Bob has maintained a 20 year relationship with some of the PILOT principals, began advising PILOT during 2010, and his Real Estate Solutions and Investments, LLC recently commenced co-investing with PILOT.

He is a graduate of Lehigh University with a B.S. in Business Administration.

Michael Galante

Mr. Galante joined PILOT after three years at GE. Mr. Galante started his career at GE in their Financial Management Program (FMP) and during his two years in the program, he rotated positions across GE Sales & Project Finance, GE Ventures, and GE Asset Management Real Estate businesses. After graduating from FMP, Mr. Galante joined the Investment Strategies group at GE Asset Management which was responsible for overall asset allocation for the GE Pension Trust as well as several external clients.

Mr. Galante is responsible for supporting the asset management of investments within PILOT’s portfolio as well as the overall cash management of the current portfolio. In addition, Mr. Galante supports the group in performing due diligence and underwriting activities for potentials deals.

Mr. Galante holds a B.S. in Finance from Fairfield University.

Chris Geletka

Mr. Geletka joined PILOT from Sentinel Real Estate. As an acquisitions analyst with Sentinel, he was responsible for the underwriting of new opportunities, property due diligence, and the facilitation of transaction closings for multifamily assets in primary and secondary markets throughout the US.

Prior to Sentinel, Mr. Geletka was a senior consultant in Oliver Wyman's Corporate and Institutional Banking practice for four years. There, he executed a range of project work in the real estate capital markets and hedge fund spaces, examining clients' strategic positioning in light of: regulatory/policy, operational, credit, and market risks.

At PILOT, Mr. Geletka is responsible for supporting the group's acquisition and lending functions as well as the asset management of existing holdings.

Mr. Geletka graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Business Administration and is currently pursuing a M.S. Real Estate Finance from New York University's Schack Institute of Real Estate.

PILOT Real Estate Group - Acquisitions, Finance, Management