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WITH FrIends LIke THese Image Credit: Forbes
WITH FrIends LIke THese Image Credit: Forbes

WITH FrIends LIke THese…

Ryan Williams is one of the most successful 30 Under 30 honorees ever, a tech founder reinventing real estate investing via Cadre—and building a $160 million personal fortune in the process. The only hitch: His most critical backer, Jared Kushner, is one of America’s biggest lightning rods—and won’t divest his big chunk. The inside story of how a startup functions amid the Trump soap opera.

Nathan Vardi

JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS, the Associated Press published an article on the ways Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, might personally profit from the generous new “opportunity zone” tax breaks they had championed as advisors to their father/father-in-law, who happens to be the president of the United States. The very first path cited in the widely read story: Kushner’s investment in the real estate startup Cadre, a stake worth up to $50 million, according to his most recent federal financial disclosures.

The collective groan emanating from Cadre’s headquarters in Manhattan could probably be heard all the way to the White House. “I would be lying if I said the political angle wasn’t frustrating or concerning,” Ryan Williams, the CEO and founder of Cadre, says in as matter-of-fact a manner as possible. “There are people who won’t work with us [because of the Kushner connection], and we get that. But we have over 80 investors in the company. Jared is a passive investor who has no operational control.”

Driving home the point, he gestures toward the dozens of employees toiling industriously at their desks in Cadre’s wide-open office space, maintaining a website where qualified investors can view detailed information on apartment and office properties, with video walk-throughs, maps, lists of tenants and long memos packed with data points. “It’s a normal day, and everybody is executing


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