Steve Murray: The Investment Guru

CCMP is an investment firm that specializes on growth capital and leveraged buyout. It was known as JP Morgan Partners before they separated from JPMorgan Chase in 2006. Since its inception, CCMP has investments of up to $12 billion and in 2007, it was ranked 17 in the private equity funds category. Originally, in 1984, it was named Chemical Venture Partners where it started as a private equity and venture capital branch of Chemical Bank. The key people who made sure that the New York based investment firm was operating properly were Greg Brenneman, the CEO Stephen Murray CCMP Capital, who was also the President and the Chief Executive Officer.

Under the leadership of the late CEO Stephen Murray, the chemical investment firm then adopted the Chase name after acquiring the Chase Manhattan Bank in 1996. In 2000, he spearheaded the procurement of J.P. Morgan & Co. and, it led to the formation of JPMorgan Chase after which it changed its name to JP Morgan Partners. In 2004, the investment firm acquired Bank One which already had its own investment group. Between 2005 and 2006, JP Morgan Partners announced a spinout. The firm that formed after adopted the CCMP which stands for Chemical and Chase and JP Morgan Partners. The Morgan Partners were also followed by many other private equity groups.
In 2007, there was a fundraising that closed on $3.4 billion in commitments according to Wall Street  for the Stephen Murray CCMP Capital Investors II. It was its initial capital after they had split from other major partners like the JPMorgan Chase. Other firms like the Panorama Capital that is based in Menlo Park, California specialized on venture capital after the separation. Others that firms which resulted from the spinout include the Unitas Capital that formed from Stephen Murray CCMP Capital Asia. Under his tenure, Murray was able to secure responsibilities like the firm still manages both the JP Morgan Partners Global Fund. Other investments made include AMC Entertainment, Berry Plastics, Guitar Center, Inc., Hanley Wood among others.

Murray, unfortunately, died at the age of 52 after he left the firm due to health related issues. His works will be remembered as he tirelessly worked with the company since its 1989. He began his career after the JPMorgan Partners opted to spin out of the CCMP. He succeeded the then CEO and founder Jeff Walker. Other responsibilities that the late Murray held include Infogroup Inc., LHP Hospital Group, Octagon Credit Investors and Crestcom International. Greg Brenneman took over his position after his demise.

2015 Final Quarter Manhattan Real Estate Trends

The leading New York real estate firm TOWN Residential, specialized in luxury real estate services for NYC apartments for rent, recently released their fourth quarter analysis. The report a consistent rise in price action and the soft patch has yet to stagger down the line and hit the market.

By the end of the year, price per square foot was reaching record high levels reaching 6.2% higher than the year before. This confirmed the year over year growth and also showed an 8.4% rise from the previous quarter.

With this middle sales price, including the nearly 20% increase, Manhattan condos showed the biggest growth. While other areas are averaging roughly $1,505 per square foot, Manhattan is averaging roughly $1,606. Manhattan co-op sales are also up, previously they came in at $1,217,017, and the fourth quarter saw a jump to $1,272,902. When the properties were looked at by size, the report showed growing price trends in nearly all areas in the final quarter of the year.

Over the past year, Manhattan has seen a growing gap between newer development sales and the resale market. While the area shows a boost in the area, this is largely attributed to the areas trophy listings in new developments. The resale market is seeing a stabilization as sellers are now adjusting their prices from the peak levels hit earlier in the year. This has made it so the end of the year is simply a soft patch instead of a systematic downshift.

TOWN Residential says that they are still seeing sales at record prices which are helping add to the year over year gains. New York City overall had 7,963 units, including condos, on the market, 4,326 of those were located in Manhattan.

The power in the market is still shifting to the buyer, who is often more cost careful in their approach to any purchase, this combined with the quarters sharp increase in median days on the market, has changed the way things are moving. Buyers are now aware of their options and are not willing to pay any price for their purchases.

Bruce Levenson Facilitates Philanthropy

The Center For Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership at the University of Maryland has had swift growth, now being considered the leading philanthropic studies institution by the nation’s capital. As reported by PR Newswire, this innovative philanthropic center is responsible for tens of thousands of dollars being raised toward philanthropic pursuit every semester. Bruce and Karen Levenson started the facility three years ago, and Bruce maintains it is one of the greatest philanthropic undertakings he has accomplished. Currently, the center offers courses that will raise over ten thousand dollars every semester. The center is expanding, and has even recently incorporated a dormitory. The Levenson’s philanthropy center is quite the feather in the University of Maryland’s cap. Not only does this encourage donation, but students will continuously raise money through the center’s courses, such that now the University of Maryland has a very positive philanthropic quotient. This reputation has begun to pay off, as students involved with the center are now being frequently sought by D.C. non-profit organizations for actual work in the real world. The Levensons are absolutely ecstatic about the center and its impact now, and in future. Indeed, the students of this center will be able to profoundly impact the entire world in a way that’s good for everyone involved. Barry Levenson owns an NBA team and works as a board member and a philanthropist. He and his wife Karen have exceptional philanthropic aims, and are both regularly active in education and the betterment of society in general.

Hague Wants to Change How Real Estate is Sold

Greg Hague, of Scottsdale, Arizona is an entrepreneur first of all, but he is heavily involved in the real estate market. Part of his being a business man is shaking things up, and with his new company, Real Estate Mavericks, he hopes to change some things. In an article published on the Forbes website, he talked about his “22-step Home Launch Formula and 29-Day Fast Sale Plan” as two main ways to change things.

He said the way homes are sold has not changed in 75 years, and he wants the market to adjust to the times. Instead of just listing a house, having an open house, and hoping a buyer shows up, he wants to use more modern sales techniques. He said his program would build excitement about a home before it even gets listed. His research shows current marketing results in a 3 to 8 percent drop in home prices, below the asking price.

Before the home is listed on the market, he would like to have a pre-launch marketing campaign. He would have “drip feeds” of information about a great home coming soon into the market, to create curiosity and interest. He would also show some potential buyers the property in advance. He said people like this sort of thing, and these people are more likely to pay a higher price than if the home had already been on the market for awhile.

He suggest real estate agents send out private messages to other agents, to let them know the house will soon be on the market. This might encourage them to help arrange private showings for potential, and already qualified, home buyers. If they like the home and want it, they are more likely to pay a higher price, or be more agreeable to the asking price. He also says homes that sit unsold for a long time tend to make would be buyers think something is wrong, or it makes them think the price should be lower.

He said real estate agents accidentally hurt sellers by doing things the way they have always been done. “They’ve just never been exposed to the kind of price maximization strategies used by top retail and online marketers, and how those techniques could be applied to real estate,” he said in the article.

His company, Real Estate Mavericks” is not a real estate company. He coaches real estate agents and agencies on his methods to change the way real estate is sold. His main two programs, 22-step Home Launch Formula and 29-Day Fast Sale Plan, are the main programs his company offers. It also offers coaching to real estate agents, to teach them his programs.

He also writes a blog offering tips to his new way of doing real estate business, and has a live program on his website to help people learn his system. Hague is part motivator, and teacher, as he tries to help real estate agents catch his vision of changing the way homes are sold in America.