Mark Alfieri’s early roots as a bar owner taught him about more than how to keep the inventory stocked. Serving a varied audience and having a flat management style based on transparency are habits that have served him well.
He bought a bar on Harvey Road in College Station after his sophomore year at Texas A&M University when he was 19 and the drinking age was 18. “I hired a lot of students and the bar was highly successful,” he said. “It was the bar, and it was fun, but I had no business owning my own company. I was too young and inexperienced. It taught me a lot – including the fact that I didn’t want to do that for a career.”
Alfieri, a 1983 marketing graduate from Texas A&M, recounted his career to a group of Mays Business Honors students recently. “You’ve got to set your goals and make your plan, then follow that plan all the way through,” he advised them. “You need hard work, patience and most importantly, dedication.”
Alfieri started working for ALMI, a Dallas-based company that bought and sold upscale apartment complexes. That move set the tone for more than 20 years in the apartment industry, including eight years of building his company since its inception.
Prior to joining Behringer as chief operating officer, Alfieri operated as senior VP for AMLI Residential from 1998 to May 2006. During that time he served on the board of directors for the National Multi Housing Council and was recognized as “Executive of the Year” in the 2011 edition of Multifamily Executive magazine.
In 2014, Behringer Harvard Residential became Monogram Residential Trust, and Alfieri was appointed CEO and a member of the Board of Directors.
The company is a $4 billion Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that was listed on the New York Stock Exchange this year after being a publicly registered non-traded REIT for most of its life cycle. He described to the students some of the advantages of taking a company public, such as creating access to capital and liquidity for the company’s 49,000 shareholders. “Stock is a currency that can be used to acquire other companies,” he said. “And when you’re a public company, everything is public. You tell people what your strategy is, what your plan is and become fully transparent for the benefit of shareholders.”
Alfieri became animated as he described the “road show” he went on to tell potential investors about his company. “It was a wild and woolly two weeks, and an experience I’ll never forget,” he said. He then recalled getting to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on his company’s listing date – what he called “the epitome of capitalism” and “the coolest thing ever.”
Alfieri is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Texas and served on the board of directors of the National Multi Housing Council from 2002 to 2015. In 2011, he was honored as Executive of the Year by Multifamily Executive magazine.
The students who met with Alfieri said they learned a lot from him.
“Having the opportunity to meet and interact with Mr. Alfieri was incredible,” said Nicholas Davis, a business honors and finance major. “He was extremely personable and made it into a relaxed environment. It is not every day to be able to listen firsthand how a CEO processes different events and executes taking a company public.”
Business Honors sophomore Margaret Hartman said she enjoyed hearing about Alfieri’s career path. “His success story of how he set the goal for himself to run a publicly traded company and achieved that goal is inspiring,” she said.
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Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.
Categories: Executive Speakers