Adam Ifshin: What’s the Value of Human Capital? The Family Business Voice
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As the CEO ofDLC Management Corp– an entrepreneurial real estate firm he co-founded with his father, the late Steve Ifshin, in 1991 – Adam oversees a portfolio that contains over 20 million square feet of retail space concentrated in the Eastern United States.
Under his stewardship, DLC has become one of the leading private owner-operators of open-air shopping centres in America.
Initially, Adam Ifshin‘s primary concern for the company was expansion. Now, culture is his priority. Business, in his view, is not just about the numbers; sustaining success is a matter of investing in DLC’s people. The retail property giant’s core values reflect Steve Ifshin’s unwavering belief in his son’s capabilities as a family business leader.
Their journey has not been without challenges. In 2010, DLC came close to going public. After two years of recession, Adam Ifshin found himself at San Francisco airport’s private terminal contemplating the future of his business. DLC owed the banks $365 million. Adam was going to clear the debt with proceeds from a public offer, but something didn’t feel right – the value wasn’t there.
Following his intuition, Adam Ifshin notified his team — the deal was off. Directly after, he stepped out on to the exposed tarmac and called his father.
Steve Ifshin, who was recovering from open-heart surgery at the time never asked his son why, nor questioned his judgement. He simply said, “Get the plane and come home. Tell me what I need to do. I’ll be in the office at six in the morning.”
Had Adam decided to follow through on the offer, the move would have made DLC the largest real estate IPO in the 2009-2010 cycle to that point.
Recently, we sat down with Adam Ifshin to discuss why he never regretted that momentous decision, the critical importance of developing exceptional talent and the future of DLC.