We recently interviewed Chad Gleason, Chief Executive Officer at Pentavirate. This global investment company specializes in concierge-level investment advisory and services to international investors in North America’s high-yield, institutional-grade commercial real estate (CRE). Chad has been associated with this industry for over 17 years with a proven track record of leveraging scalable Blockchain technology and Islamic finance principles, delivering risk-adjusted returns that exceed the traditional gateway markets and core product types. Let’s learn more about Chad Gleason’s fantastic career path and achievements through this interview below.
Inspiration Behind This Journey
We started the interview by asking, “What inspired you to start your company or become an industry leader?”
Chad Gleason shared, “There was a need to serve global investment clients looking for institutional, commercial real estate in the United States of America. These investors needed access to quality assets, returns, transaction transparency, associated taxes, and regulatory implications.
They were given access to sub-quality assets at the top of market pricing due mainly to needing access to the market information not readily available in their region.
Our goal was simple: to build a company that would provide a unique personalized interaction with each client that operated with the business acumen, analytical expertise, and operational capability of a much larger corporation but maintained a customized relationship with the investor, who could talk directly to the asset, acquisitions, or fund manager. This transparency in communications happens in our company because such experts are also the company owners, diligently dedicated to customer service excellence, education, and transparency. We look to make the investment process cleaner and more accessible to clients by providing a point of access to Islamic investments in the US.
The GCC region is leading global innovation, economic growth, and quality of living. It is inspiring and motivational to be part of this regional expansion and grow our company.”
Obstacles In Industry
In any career path, facing challenges is inevitable. So we asked, “What are the biggest disruptors shaping your industry today?”
Chad Gleason shared, “Geopolitical tensions, trade disputes, and economic fluctuations have been the big disruptors impacting global investment patterns. Traditional pathways are being changed, from the usual outbound capital to the US and Europe to others developing into regional investments from local money into infrastructure projects, influenced by regional political and cultural accords.
We must consider the rapid growth of technology in the region, AI, alternatives, extensive big data investment modeling, and blockchain security. ESG has started to gain traction, along with impacts from the pandemic that shifted traditional trade routes and their associated investment behaviors.”
Principles Followed By The Organization
Every organization follows a set of goals and principles to achieve over the years of functioning. We asked, “What is the mission and vision of your company? How do you ensure that these principles are embedded throughout your organization?”
Chad Gleason replied, “Pentavirate mission is to be a full-service capital placement firm specializing in low-risk adjusted investment vehicles and advisory services for international investors, delivering returns that exceed traditional gateway markets and core product types while increasing the peace of mind of clients yielding higher returns than their bonds, CDs, or other investment alternatives, but with a gradually comparable and acceptable safety level.
Our vision is to be the bridge between the ethical and philosophical principles of Islamic finance and the security of developed markets investments, utilizing the guidance and transparent behavior of the former to create investment instruments that can perform very well and remain under the tutelage of such philosophy.
We ensure that our mission and vision are embedded and followed consistently throughout our organization by developing, training, and applying clean, structured, consistent, and replicable processes and protocols to create and continually improve our offerings’ analyses, proposals, estimated results, and their communication to investors, keeping the messages and recommendations simple, strive to hire good-to-great people, and always, systematically do what we say!”
Significant Influence on the Career
We were intrigued to learn what majorly influenced his career choices. We asked, “What pivotal decision or risk did you take that impacted your career or company?”
Chad Gleason shared, “I remember the decision very well; I was at MIPIM and was surprised at how the US needed more representation on the global stage. I knew then that was my opportunity to provide quality investment to that market; Pentavirate was founded then for such a purpose.
We toured Dubai in the fall of 2019 for the first time with an extensive portfolio and had limited success; it was a learning process to understand the region and the DIFC marketplace better. The pandemic arrived shortly after that and caused a severe noticeable delay; we took that time to build the company. We made the decision then to move halfway around the world to Dubai. We knew we had to commit to the region and make ourselves part of the community and city.”
Attracting The Right Talent
Having the right talent is paramount for achieving business success. We asked, “How do you attract top talent and foster a culture of collaboration?”
Chad Gleason shared, “We have planned to grow critical pieces of our company in the region, and the opportunity for quality employees, partners, and vendors here in Dubai is very high. Finance and accounting are departments that will be located here. Thus, with the hiring of young talent living or moving into this geographic area, we will have the opportunity to instill in them our philosophy and culture of “working together to win together,” which exemplifies that through peer-reviews on numerical analyses, pitch book development and cross training, all employees and leaders win, as the result is a better product while educating many in the process.
Many good people are in this region; we must separate ourselves to get noticed. Still, we need some introductory provisions of enticement for critical employees. We provide a good brand with Pentavirate, its growth potential, and the advancement of its future employees. We will be very competitive with compensation and benefits. However, a solid point for us is our belief that people make a company and, consequently, the financial success that comes from them, not the other way around. Thus, maintaining, strengthening, and systematically living our values are the cultural attributes we must adhere to, making our culture the critical ingredient to our success.”
To learn more about the features that make Chad’s company different from others in the industry, we asked, “How do you differentiate your company from competitors in the market? What unique value proposition do you offer to your customers?”
Chad Gleason shared, “We are unique here because we are a US investment company offering Islamic finance investment opportunities for institutional and family offices. We pride ourselves on the ability to source and acquire producing assets for investors that comply with their investment needs rather than vice versa. Therefore, focusing on investor expectations and needs is essential to our success.
Our value proposition is centered on offering transparency, financial and commercial real estate expertise, and the resulting quality work for our investors, with an innovative investment structure and regulatory and audit overviews, all maintained while keeping competitive pricing and value. This, of course, is only achievable with our aforementioned key local partnerships and alliances.
Another significant and unique value that our company philosophy exudes is the continuous client communication throughout the life of our bond financial products. We do not have the old-fashioned hard sell approach where after a client invests her hard-earned money, communications and reports become infrequent and mainly in a virtual manner. Our work starts after the client purchases our products. We regularly meet with clients in person, intentionally build relationships with each of them, communicate extensively, meet to review quarterly reports on their assets and returns, and explain each update on their performance through transparent and accessible communication that fosters an environment of trust, stability, and longevity in our client’s relationship with our firm.
This sophisticated business approach is not unique to our firm. It has been used in English, American, and other companies throughout the last few decades. However, such is usually seen in larger or boutique firms where clients have significantly invested money.
Our uniqueness comes from having this communicative, respectful, informative, and refined business approach for clients with smaller investments.”
Approach Towards Sustainability
“What is your approach to sustainability and corporate social responsibility?”
Chad Gleason replied, “We are big supporters of ESG within our corporate mandate. Moving forward, we are working to have more robust internal rules and regulations. The upcoming COP28 UAE and all the great news and collaboration that will come with it will be fascinating. It is an excellent spotlight for the region and a key focus and responsibility for everyone.”
Moving Forward Towards A Global Approach
While operating on a global scale, a business has to confront specific cultural differences. So we asked, “How do you navigate international markets and cultural differences?”
Chad Gleason shared, “Establish partnerships with local companies, distributors, or agents who deeply understand the market. Be respectful of local customs, etiquette, and social norms to avoid cultural misunderstandings. Adapt marketing messages, branding, and advertising campaigns to resonate with the local audience. Be prepared to adjust your business model based on the market’s demands and conditions while not compromising our respect for every person, our fiduciary responsibilities, and our ethical and moral mandate towards transparency and communication.”
Global Expansion, we asked Chad Gleason
We were interested to learn about the facts that make him excited to work in this industry in the future. So we asked, “What excites you about the future of your industry?”
Chad Gleason replied, “Global expansion of Islamic finance and investments was expected to continue beyond traditional Islamic markets. This growth could be driven by the increasing awareness and demand for ethical and socially responsible investment options. The industry was anticipated to see innovation in developing new Islamic financial products and investment vehicles that cater to the unique requirements of Islamic principles.
Islamic real estate investment was anticipated to grow, focusing on income-generating properties aligned with Sharia principles. Infrastructure projects, which positively impact society, were also seen as attractive investment opportunities. The sukuk market (Islamic bonds) was expected to grow as governments, corporations, and institutions sought funding through Sharia-compliant debt instruments.
Integrating fintech and Islamic finance could lead to more accessible and user-friendly platforms for Islamic investors to manage their portfolios and execute transactions. Fintech and technology-driven solutions were predicted to play a significant role in improving access to Islamic investment opportunities and enhancing the efficiency of Sharia-compliant transactions.
Cross-border collaboration among financial institutions, governments, and regulatory bodies was predicted to foster a supportive global environment for Islamic investment to flourish.”
Find Chad Gleason on LinkedIn.