Stars to Watch 2015: Christopher Bellapianta

CPE0215_stars_Bellapianta_ChristopherDirector of Finance and Acquisitions, Advance Realty

What Others Say About Him: “Chris is a consummate deal-maker and has very strong moral fiber. Not only does he make everyone else’s life easier but he has an incredible ability to put together a transaction and execute throughout the process,” said Peter Angel, vice president with Wells Fargo Commercial Real Estate, who has worked with Bellapianta on $150 million in financing for deals over three years.

“He has a sound grasp of the market, and proved himself very adept at negotiating with the seller and keeping the deal alive through some tenuous times,” observed Stephen Rice, regional director of The Davis Cos., with which Advance partnered on last year’s purchase of a former Ford Motor Co. plant in Landsdale, Pa.

Most Proud Of: “Being part of a great team at Advance and rising to the level where I’m able to work in acquisition and finance with such great professionals.”

Secrets to Success: “Extremely hard work, vigilant focus on detail and believing in myself.”

Greatest Challenges: Learning from his mistakes and anticipating questions going into a deal.  “Make sure that you’re super confident with the business plan and that you anticipate all the questions that they are going to be asking. If there was ever something that was asked that I didn’t have an answer to, I wanted to make sure that I asked myself that question so I didn’t end up in that situation again.”

Best Advice Received: From August DiRenzo, vice chairman, Cushman & Wakefield:  “’If you aim at nothing, that is what you will hit.’ Those words have helped me stay focused and remain goal driven.”

Advice to Others: “Don’t be afraid to fail and don’t give up.  If you believe in a deal, be vigilant and resourceful and see it to completion.”

—Leah Etling  

CPE selected 17 individuals and teams as the 2015 Stars to Watch. Details on their accomplishments appear in the February 2015 issue.