"The most interesting deals are the ones where you get to be creative and solve problems," Matthew Kasindorf, the Honorary Banker at Schack’s 2019 Evening of Monopoly, says of his work. Kasindorf, chair of the Real Estate Group at Meister Seelig & Fein, has taught at Schack for the past 15 years. Over the course of his career, he has become known for his ties across the industry—colleagues refer to him as the "Chief Networking Officer."
The 2019 Monopoly fundraising gala was one of the first major events hosted in the newly-opened Hudson Yards. The event brought together Schack alumni, students, and the broader community of New York real estate professionals. Located along 10th Avenue on the West Side of Manhattan at the end of the High Line, Hudson Yards is among the largest private mixed-use developments in the United States. This event marked the 25th year of the Monopoly event, and celebrated Schack’s history.
Following the event, Kasindorf spoke with Schack about his commitment to the school and the career he has built in real estate. "I transferred to NYU, got my accounting degree, and never left [New York]," Kasindorf says. After completing his LLM in tax from the NYU School of Law and starting his legal work, Kasindorf became interested in Schack and its work. "Monopoly Night was important for me—I always went to meet people in the industry," he says.
While attending in 2004, Kasindorf mentioned to friends that he wanted to develop a deeper connection to Schack. They suggested he teach in the program. "That night brought me to become an instructor at Schack." After 15 years, he still loves getting to know each new class. "Every class is different. You have to pitch to the catcher."
In his career, Kasindorf has developed a reputation as an efficient dealmaker and someone you want to work with. "Some of the most memorable deals got done in situations where we had to navigate failed projects. It’s all about solving problems and getting to a solution." That keen interest in the work itself, and his personability, has made Kasindorf well-liked in an industry built on relationships. Explaining what makes him stand out professionally, Kasindorf points to his "ability to integrate my [expertise] and focus on the essential economics of a transaction."
Despite his impressive networking skills, Kasindorf wasn’t always particularly social. "I was really a late bloomer. When I met my partners I realized [the importance of networking]: It’s not about collecting business cards; it’s about developing meaningful relationships that solidify your place in the industry." Deals are enlivened by developing good working relationships that can carry over from one project to the next, and into a professional network, he says. He calls the concept "Atomic Networking."
Today, Kasindorf is excited to continue teaching and mentoring future industry professionals. He helps students develop their networking skills at events including the Schack Capital Markets Conference, and he is involved with REISA. From his professional work managing real estate deals to his teaching, Kasindorf believes in the power of understanding the key business components of a deal. "It’s about acquiring skills that you can apply to any transaction—and then it’s about getting good results."