Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

LeFrak: We’ve been bunting for years


LeFrakWatch out for Richard LeFrak when he’s at bat and you’re in the outfield. He has a tendency to bunt.

This is a funny baseball technique to use when most executives spend their time trying their best to hit home runs, but LeFrak Organization‘s chairman, president and CEO says it’s worked for his real estate empire, so there’s no need to stop now. When we asked him at our Reuters Global Real Estate Summit why his company didn’t borrow a ton of money during the real estate boom, he said:

We did not want to be seduced by market conditions. My children like to kid me — Every time you get up to the plate, you bunt, and we’ve been bunting successfully for a hundred years. As a result, I’m not interested in changing the methodology that’s worked so successfully.

LeFrak, grandson of Harry LeFrak, who started the company in 1901, took a similarly cautious approach to resort hotels, which he also talked about at his summit appearance on Monday in New York City: