Stars to Watch 2014: David Pinsel

Managing Director, Colliers International

Greatest Accomplishments: After becoming the company’s youngest managing director at age 30 and building up the Southern California business, Pinsel was asked to turn around the Dallas office. Following massive staff restructuring, he ultimately expanded the broker headcount and increased revenue by about 50 percent.

Best Advice Received: His father, retired banker William Pinsel, had a strong work ethic. He advised: “You need to outwork your competition. Work harder than the guy next to you, and good things will happen.” Mentor Jack Cohen, founder of Cohen Financial, “told me in some of my more stressful times, ‘Don’t worry about things you can’t control. Stress makes you old fast.’”

Secrets to Success: “My ability to relate to other people. I learned very early on in my career not to work for the deal but to work for the relationship. That has served me extremely well. Positive outcomes in a commercial transaction really come from the relationship. The success of the deal is a derivative of that.”

Greatest Challenges: Moving to a new state and starting from scratch. Always having been younger than his peers and the people he manages. “Initially, I have to prove myself every time I meet someone new, hire someone new or align with someone in the company. I’m looking forward to aging so I don’t have to do that anymore,” he quipped.

Advice to Others: Hard work does pay off. “I always tell my young brokers, ‘The harder you work at the beginning of your career directly impacts what your ceiling is on the back end of your career. The more you put in at the beginning, the more you get out at the end.” He also recommends finding a capable and willing mentor. “This business can cannibalize you if you don’t find an advocate and someone willing to teach you.”

What Others Say About Him: Cohen attributed his success to “who he is as a human being. David is an enormous pleasure to do business with. He has a super-human capacity to relate to other professionals.” Cohen also lauded Pinsel’s intuition, sense of honor and integrity and level of human decency in his interactions. “David has made an art of being nice. He is warm, compassionate and deeply cares about helping others.”

—Leah Etling

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