Keith Breslauer

Keith Breslauer, '88, Managing Director & Senior Partner

Spinning Straw into Gold

The market for distressed assets is often opaque. But success favors a consistently inquisitive mind.

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The Information Advantage

As an executive at Lehman Brothers in the 1990s, Keith Breslauer became interested in buying distressed real estate, first in the US and later in Europe. Breslauer then launched his own firm, London-based Patron Capital Partners. Having raised capital through four funds, the firm manages $10 billion in assets with a 70-person team operating in the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Poland.

Breslauer says the forces at work in his sector are complex and that information is often limited, as compared to, for example, the stock or bond markets. "If we can possess more information on a more cost-effective basis than anyone else, we should be able to make more money, assuming we have the right team," he says. 

The Chicago Approach

At Chicago Booth, we believe that rigorous inquiry, leads to the creation of new knowledge, new ideas and better solutions.

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Information Advantage Infographic

Patron's Investment Focus: Core Europe 

Macro and Micro

Tackling problem real estate requires spotting a diamond where others only see coal. The discovery process also requires examination from a number of viewpoints, Breslauer says. One perspective is macro—understanding supply and demand in a particular location. The micro side involves understanding the characteristics of a particular building. Will it be attractive to a tenant? Will Patron be able to make a profitable enough exit?

In weighing investments, Patron also considers different product classes, such as office buildings or residential, the political and economic conditions in different countries, and economic cycles, Breslauer says.

"The UK might be a great place to invest today, but we're not ready to say that we're going to buy into fully leased British office buildings."
-Keith Breslauer 

The Chicago Approach

The Chicago Approach is a multidisciplinary framework whose application provides greater clarity and understanding and an ability to see connections that transcend accepted wisdom.

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Follow the Data Flow

Data is critically important in assessing real estate opportunities. "It wins out, always," Breslauer says. But data is more than the underlying numbers: "It's incredibly important to have information and know how it is flowing, to get a sense of what's really happening."

Spain, for example, has a 25 percent unemployment rate, and the rate soars to 50 percent for youth. There are between four and five million people who are unemployed. But is that statistic in and of itself a warning not to invest? 

The Chicago Approach

The Chicago Approach champions the use of data over dogma to get to the bottom of a business problem.

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Follow the Data Flow Infographic

Data Points: Investing in Spanish Real Estate 

Source of unemployment rates: Eurostat

Source of tourism value: United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Tourism Highlights. 2014 Edition. (PDF)

Source of foreign investment: World Bank

The Importance of Outside Instigators

Breslauer recruits senior partners who can help spark discussion and debate at Patron. He also looks to professors: Mark Zmijewski, Leon Carroll Marshall Professor of Accounting, and University of Chicago Professor Emeritus Robert Aliber. Both serve on Patron's advisory board. 

The Chicago Approach

The Chicago Approach gives you the tools to break things down to their fundamentals in a culture where discussion and discourse are a critical part of testing and refining ideas for greater insight.

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"What we don't want to create is a situation where people are yessing me, or yessing each other—where they all assume that actually something makes sense because they can convince each other that's the case."

Keith Breslauer

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Events

Join us for our upcoming informational events held around the globe. The events are hosted by our Full Time, Evening, Weekend, and Executive MBA Admissions teams.

Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Information Session

Gleacher Center
April 07, 2017

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Equity: A Film Screening & Discussion with Linnea Conrad Roberts, ’90

Venue SIX10
April 12, 2017

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Booth Insights in DC: Nudging Now: How Behavioral Economics Explains US Politics

W Washington DC
May 18, 2017

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Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Information Session

Gleacher Center
May 19, 2017

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Booth Insights in Boston: Getting Better, Faster: Optimizing Drug Trials and Medical Treatment

Hyatt Regency Boston
May 24, 2017

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Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Information Session

Gleacher Center
June 12, 2017

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Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Information Session

Gleacher Center, Room 100
July 11, 2017

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Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Information Session

Gleacher Center, Room 100
August 04, 2017

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Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Information Session

Gleacher Center, Room 100
September 15, 2017

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Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Information Session

Gleacher Center, Room 100
October 06, 2017

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Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Information Session

Gleacher Center, 621
November 03, 2017

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Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Information Session

Gleacher Center, Room 100
December 01, 2017

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