Though Richard Georgi is infamous for his brash, hard-charging manner—a former colleague once told The Independent:“He's a nice guy but I wouldn't invite him to my birthday party. And if I did I would warn everyone first”—he has nonetheless reached the pinnacle of the European private equity real estate industry. After investing $4 billion as the head of Goldman Sach's Whitehall Funds in Europe during the second half of the 1990s, he later became the global property emissary to renowned trader George Soros, founding Soros Real Estate Partners, an opportunistic property platform.
Georgi, a man known for riding a motorcycle to work, once said his goal was to create the best global private real estate fund in the world. Though he still has his work cut out for him, he may well be on his way. In 2004, Georgi and Richard Mully spun out SREP into an independent entity, Grove International Partners. The firm subsequently raised a $1.2 billion vehicle, Cypress Grove International, which has invested in a variety of properties from industrial assets in Italy to residential housing in Poland.
Though Georgi's personality rubs some the wrong way, he nevertheless gets the job done and has led some pioneering deals, according to a former colleague.
It was once reported that Georgi kept a quote by the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw tucked away in his notebook. “Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world,” Shaw wrote “Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.”