UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO / Spring 2009
[entrepreneurial]
Three’s Company
Tough economy translates to business opportunity
by Ryan T. Blystone

Despite the uncertain financial climate, Edward Aloe, Mark Mozilo and Pat Wakeman are moving full speed ahead. Armed with knowledge, experience and a knack for being ahead of the curve, the trio of 1986 USD alumni have pooled their talents to form California Capital Real Estate Advisors (CALCAP), which has two main components: private lending and real estate investing.

“The business we’re in is very cyclical. It seems every eight to 10 years, there are major swings in our marketplace, but nothing like we’re seeing today,” says Aloe. “This is not a normal cycle, it’s a crisis. But we think that with our direction and what we’re doing, we’re in a very good spot.”

What makes CALCAP different? “We’re in the market, we’re looking to buy and we’re writing offers,” says Wakeman, who owns San Diego-based Landmark Realty Group. “I’d say 95 percent of property owners are on the sidelines right now.”

While Wakeman and another USD grad, Sam Thomas ’06, search for potential acquisitions, Aloe and Mozilo are launching a private lending business from their Pasadena-based office. “There’s a huge void in regular single-family lending and the ability for good borrowers to get loans,” Aloe says. “We’re rolling out a private money lending company that’s basically going to be a no-income, verified asset-type loan for good, credit-worthy borrowers.”

Their business plan is still in its infancy, but as they developed it, they made sure to do their homework. Among those they spoke to was Mark Riedy, executive director of USD’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

“USD has a great business reputation and a really good network of people who are doing great stuff,”Wakeman says. “When Ed and I were forming CALCAP, we took Mark to lunch, sat down with him and talked. We shared our idea with him and he gave us some suggestions.”

The three continue to utilize their USD connection for ways to enhance their business. In early December, Aloe, Wakeman and Mozilo attended the Burnham-Moores Center’s Residential Real Estate Conference.

Working together suits these alumni quite well. Wakeman and Aloe were college roommates, fraternity brothers and have been longtime business partners. “Ed and I started forming limited liability companies and limited partnerships 10 or 12 years ago,” Wakeman says.