In Memoriam - Richard H. Blum
We will forever remember our friend and founding partner, Richard Blum, who we started this journey with, and his life was cut far too short before we got to finish what we started together over a decade ago. Rick had a big persona, was kind, honest to a fault, blunt, quick witted, and the brightest real estate mind we have known. He was a gentle giant and true man in full. The company was founded on the premise that “life is too short,” and for Rick this was how he lived, and unfortunately his fortuitous mantra couldn’t have been more true.
Rick loved the “deal.” He would obsess about it, always finding the right way to approach a project, how to equitably structure it, and most importantly how to execute it. Rick trusted his instincts, relied on his partners, solicited feedback, and moved swiftly. He never hesitated. He would talk jokingly about the “expediency curve” and how it related to value creation, but he also lived expediently. He was impatient with the frivolous details, always saw the big picture, and treated his partners with respect and integrity.
Rick prided himself on partnering with high integrity people and was never shy about giving credit where it was due. He often referenced Winston Churchill, who said “…show me two guys that think alike, and I will show you one that I do not need.” This was Rick. This is who he was.
Rick loved a lot of things in his life, among them his pool, his cigars, the Blackhawks, his exotic travels, but he did not love anything more than his family. He leaves behind three dynamic children, and his amazing wife Suzanne. Like them, we are all finding our footing without him.
While we move forward, life can never be the same without him, however his guidance and mentorship sticks with us and will forever carry us in the right direction. We honor his legacy by moving forward with the principles with which we founded the firm. Rick was a true friend, partner, and natural born leader. We will miss him.
Richard was the Managing Principal and Co-Founder for White Oak Realty Partners between 2009 through 2019 and oversaw all of the firm's activities with a focus on acquisition, financing, operations and disposition activities. Prior to forming White Oak Realty Partners in 2009, Richard was Executive Vice President, CFO & Principal at Fifield Companies managing all transaction and property level operations in the acquisition, disposition, and financing process including responsibility for all offices, parking, retail and residential properties. After initially joining Fifield in 1994 for the acquisition, financing and repositioning of the Civic Opera Building in Chicago, Richard rejoined Fifield as a principal in 1996 where he spent 14 years placing over $4 billion in debt and equity for all of the firm's projects including the USG Headquarters Building, Dulles View office campus in Northern Virginia, the Quaker Oats Company Headquarters Building, the Windy Point office complex, the Zurich American Insurance Headquarters, the 550 West Washington Building, all residential projects and numerous land acquisitions. Prior to Fifield, Richard was a mortgage banker at Mesirow Financial, a leading Chicago financial services firm, where he specialized in real estate finance and acquisitions of several bank REO and RTC owned office properties. Prior to Mesirow Richard was with Banbury Development/BASSAC Financial where he was responsible for the firm's development financing and placement of third party equity and debt for several local and national based real estate owners. Richard received his real estate education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA in Real Estate Finance at DePaul University in Chicago.