Kevin Werner, CEO
Daniel Rosen, Senior Vice President of Sales
For Kevin Werner, the Founder and CEO of Renovo Financial, a career in real estate lending was a natural fit. A focused “self-educator” and avid reader, Werner’s early career was influenced by a variety of sales trainers, business coaches and Tony Robbins training seminars. These days it’s a peer group of banking, hedge fund and real estate executives who meet monthly to challenge each other on the growth of their businesses. Nothing has served him better, though, than the old-fashioned “School of Hard Knox,” as he puts it.
Now 20 years into his lending career, Werner has overseen direct lending companies that have provided more than $500 million in funding to thousands of Chicago-area new-construction and renovation projects. As the CEO of Renovo Financial, Werner services clients with a variety
of needs. Regardless of the project, Werner defines his philosophy succinctly: “all in.”
“My philosophy is to choose your business, your team, and your clients wisely, and then put everything you’ve got into being the best advocate for each, doing everything you can for everyone involved,” he explains. “Renovo is in the customer service business. There is no excuse for anything less than amazing customer service.”
Renovo was started from scratch in 2011 with an investment from the private equity firm Granite Creek and represents a twist on a traditional business model. “The private-money lending world has traditionally been comprised of smaller, more boutique businesses funded by a few high-net worth investors,” Werner says. “Renovo is one of the first to get the backing of institutional private equity capital, including both Granite Creek and Victory Park Capital.”
Co-founder Daniel Rosen is the firm’s senior vice president of sales. A graduate in real estate finance from the University of Wisconsin School of Business, Rosen has provided loans of more than $250 million on thousands of rehab projects throughout Chicagoland, a volume that, he says, is made possible by Renovo’s structure.
“We provide reliable and quick funding on investment deals, and combine that with the knowledge and service our clients need to grow their business,” Rosen explains. A former rehabber and investor, Rosen is uniquely familiar with the needs of his clients, most of whom are small- business real estate investors. Some of his biggest business lessons, though, came from an unlikely source: a triathlon.
“When the real estate market crashed, I was given the gift of time, time that I dedicated to completing an Ironman Triathlon,” Rosen says. “I will never forget the lessons it taught me. One, that the seemingly impossible tasks we say we cannot do are often, in fact, possible, and two, that finding the right coaches and mentors – who are dedicated to seeing you accomplish your goals – can make all the difference.”
Thanks to MILA for letting us use their beautiful location for our photo shoots.