Stars to Watch 2014: Daniel Bassichis

Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Admiral Capital Group

Greatest Accomplishments: In 2007, Bassichis teamed up with Basketball Hall of Famer and philanthropist David Robinson to launch Admiral Capital Group, which has more than $250 million worth of assets under management. The company uses an innovative model that allocates 10 percent of its profits to non-profit programs in markets where the company invests. A turning point came in 2010, when Bassichis and Robinson partnered with USAA Real Estate Co. to form the Admiral Real Estate Fund. Bassichis has also been instrumental in forming joint ventures with institutional players like the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, KKR & Co. and Kohlberg & Co.

Admiral Capital’s portfolio includes the Renaissance Las Vegas, the Hilton Garden Inn Houston Energy Corridor and 200 Ashford Center North, a 160,000-square-foot Class A office building in Atlanta’s Central Perimeter submarket. Through the non-profit Admiral Foundation, the company supports multiple organizations, like the Carver Academy in San Antonio. Founded by Robinson as a private elementary school to serve underprivileged children, Carver is now part of IDEA Public Schools, a growing network of charter schools in Texas.

Best Advice Received: Good leaders surround themselves with the strongest people possible, and they aren’t afraid to be challenged, he learned from Ben Hecht, president & CEO of Living Cities, a nonprofit consortium of foundations and financial institutions dedicated to strengthening low-income urban communities. Added Bassichis: “Watching how David (Robinson) leads his life, I’m constantly getting advice from him.”

Secrets to Success: Forging relationships with like-minded people, such as Admiral Capital’s partners in real estate investment, education and community service.

Greatest Challenges: Navigating the Great Recession with a new firm that blends real estate investment and philanthropy. “To go through that with someone for three years and not give up makes you feel awfully confident that nothing will ever stop you,” Bassichis noted.

Advice to Others: Balance the long term and day-to-day hard work and detail. Stay humble:  “People want to work with people they like and trust.” And “if you have a different vision, it’s not going to just happen. It takes a lot of work.”

What Others Say About Him: “He’s got a lot of integrity, and he’s a very smart guy,” said Richard Weissmann, a partner with KSL Capital Partners L.L.C., who ran Goldman, Sachs & Co.’s hospitality and gaming practice when Bassichis worked there from 2004 to 2007. 

—Paul Rosta

More details on the accomplishments of CPE’s 2014 Stars to Watch appeared in the January 2014 issue.