Take three people with different skill sets but a common ambition, add five years of endeavour and the sum of those parts is property investment company Pallas Capital and its development arm Fortis. Executive Chairman of both companies, Patrick Keenan, gathered over three decades of experience in law, investment banking and broking in Australia with Freehill, Hollingdale and Page (now Herbert Smith Freehills) and in London with Dominguez Barry Samuel Montagu and Prebon Yamane Group, before heading back to Australia in 2005 to be involved in property developments. In 2016, he partnered with Dan Gallen and Charles Mellick to form Pallas Group, which includes Fortis.
“I brought two things to the businesses,” he says. “One was experience in structuring and closing transactions, particularly unusual transactions, and the other was strategic input into how we could take our skill set and turn that into a growing business.”
If Fortis had an early challenge, it was the constraint of having to use its own capital. But it was a case of the right place at the right time, and with the help of long-time colleague Mark Spring, the group quickly established networks of investors. What they’ve learned over the past five years, Patrick says, is that if it was a good enough deal, they could always find the money needed to fund a transaction. So the business has grown quickly. Their limitation now, he adds, is finding enough time to run down opportunities and ideas for developing the business.
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