Allen Gross, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Allen Gross, Chairman & CEO of GFI Capital Resources Group, brings over 40 years of real estate expertise to the company. In 1978, Mr. Gross started as a real estate transactional attorney and soon established a neighborhood mortgage banking business while seeking opportunities to rehabilitate under-performing multifamily assets. This later became the foundation for GFI’s property management portfolio which currently manages close to 16,000 residential apartment units throughout the country. In 1979, Mr. Gross started focusing his attention on developing and converting various condominium and cooperative projects. His ability to maintain strong lender relationships has enabled Mr. Gross to also be a driving force in the commercial sales and finance markets.
Among his many accomplishments includes the development of the Ace Hotel New York, a 275-room boutique hotel that was internationally praised by publications such as The New York Times and Wallpaper Magazine, as well as winning a coveted award for best boutique design hotel from Interior Design magazine. Allen’s main emphasis has been on creating value in any project he’s involved in; which includes neighborhood revitalization. Mr. Gross’s most recent strategic development was The Beekman Hotel & Residences in downtown Manhattan. This unique, historic structure, together with an adjacent site, has been converted into a luxury hotel consisting of 287 guestrooms and 67 residences and has become a catalyst in the revitalization of lower Manhattan with its close proximity to major landmarks including the new One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower) and the New Fulton Street Transportation Center. The Beekman Hotel has been featured in many elite publications including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Hotels Magazine, and Vogue. The Beekman has received multiple awards including Travel & Leisure Magazines, “Best Hotels in New York State,” and Trip Advisors “Best 5 Star Hotels In New York City 2017.”
Mr. Gross is not only an established entrepreneur, but also serves his community by guest-lecturing at universities, real estate symposiums, and various other organizations.
Spero Tsocanos, Director of Information Technology
Spero Tsocanos is the Director of Information Technology at GFI Capital Resources Group. Spero provides leadership for the continued development of an innovative, robust, and secure information technology environment throughout GFI. The primary responsibilities for this office encompass a wide variety of strategic technology issues: governance and policy, resource allocation, information technology protocols, and the GFI Information Technology organization.
Prior to joining GFI, Spero spent over 25 years in information technology roles within corporate environments. Most recently, as the Director of IT at Resource Residential in Philadelphia, PA and as the Director of IT at Jonathan Rose Companies in New York, NY. Spero holds a B.B.A in Management Science and an M.B.A. in Computer Information Systems, from Baruch College in New York City.
Glenn Wasserman, Chief Operations Officer
Glenn Wasserman serves as GFI’s Chief Operating Officer overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations, and provides the leadership, management and vision necessary to ensure that the company has the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people systems. Together with the CEO, Glenn is responsible for setting the strategic vision for GFI and its affiliates.
Previously, Glenn served as the Chief Financial Officer for Denihan, a nationally recognized, independent owner and operator of boutique and independent hotels (including The James brand, The Affinia Collection and luxury independent hotels). In this capacity, he oversaw the financial strategy for Denihan, including all accounting, asset management strategic planning, capital markets and investor relations. He also worked closely with the company’s development team in identifying, evaluating and securing capital to fund Denihan’s growth strategy.
Formerly, he served as Executive Vice President of Capital Markets and Strategic Planning for RXR Realty, a New York real estate operating company. There, he executed over $12 billion of capital markets activities during a ten-year tenure and served on the executive, operating and investment committees. He joined Reckson Associates Realty Corporation (predecessor to RXR) as Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning, where he developed corporate and operating strategies including property level five-year forecasting, business planning and reporting processes.
Earlier in his career, he was an associate in Bear Stearns’ Real Estate Investment Banking group and also served as a manager in Ernst & Young’s management consulting practice. He earned a B.S from the State University of New York at Albany and M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Ilya Braz, Managing Director & General Counsel
As Managing Director & General Counsel, Mr. Braz directs all of the day-to-day legal affairs of GFI and its affiliates, including the planning, structuring and negotiation of complex transactions, joint ventures, regulatory and compliance matters and corporate governance. Mr. Braz is a member of GFI’s Executive and Investment Committees and coordinates execution of the Company’s investment strategies.
Prior to joining GFI, Mr. Braz was the Director of Legal Services for Africa Israel, USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Africa Israel Investments, where he advised the company on all legal matters concerning the company’s U.S. real estate holdings. At Africa Israel, Mr. Braz played a key role on development projects including: 20 Pine- the Collection, a conversion of a high rise office building in Manhattan’s financial district to 409 luxury condominium residences and ground floor retail, the ground-up development of the Marquis, a 67-story luxury condominium and hotel located in downtown Miami and the redevelopment of the Times Square Building.
Mr. Braz earned his bachelor’s degree, from Clark University, cum laude with honors in Economics, and received a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.