For many years, the name Dan Neidich was synonymous with the private equity real estate industry. As the founder and head of Goldman's Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds, Neidich oversaw the growth of one of the largest and most influential real estate franchises in the world—under his leadership, the investment bank raised $12 billion of equity, invested in approximately $60 billion worth of assets and participated in some of the most prominent transactions in the industry's history.
In building such an empire, Neidich earned a reputation as a fierce and ruthless negotiator— The Wall Street Journal referred to him as Goldman's “rottweiler.” In the acquisition of Rockefeller Center, for example, Neidich butted heads with Sam Zell, who later sued Goldman over its multiple roles in the deal. During the restructuring of Cadillac Fairview, Neidich reportedly pushed through a plan that so infuriated CalPERS, an unsecured debt holder, that the pension fund temporarily stopped doing business with Goldman.
No wonder Neidich was sometimes referred to as the “godfather of private equity real estate.”
Even in retirement—Neidich left Goldman in 2003—the don's influence can still be felt. By forming Dune Capital with fellow Goldman alum Steve Mnuchin, Neidich become one of the first high-profile figures to cross over from private equity real estate into the hedge fund arena.