Faces of Palm Desert with Rick Langley & Chris Knight | Fusion Workplaces

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Faces of Palm Desert with Rick Langley & Chris Knight

Faces of Palm Desert with Rick Langley & Chris Knight

Malcolm Forbes once said, “I made my money the old-fashioned way. I was very nice to a wealthy relative right before he died.”  Unfortunately, that’s not the case for most of us so how we manage our money and who we choose to manage our money is crucial. 

This month we sat with our members who manage money for a living, Rick Langley and Chris Knight of Bridgewater Opportunity Management.  From them, we learn about their business, how they got started in money management, a little about them personally and why they chose Fusion Workplaces Palm Desert. 

Bridgewater Opportunity Management, LLC, has established a fund to provide alternative investment options to accredited investors seeking additional returns and diversification to their current portfolio holdings. The focus of the Fund will be to obtain the highest possible risk-adjusted returns through the purchase of mortgage notes/contracts and real estate for the specific purpose of generating income, appreciation, and tax shelter through depreciation.

Their Fund Managers have developed strategic relationships with major banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, and various professionals over the last 30+ years, and shall utilize these relationships to purchase mortgage notes/contracts and distressed or below-market valued real estate in the residential and commercial markets at substantial discounts. These discounts provide an extra margin of safety for the preservation of capital.

Although they regularly review assets to purchase, they have found the greatest opportunities surface when real estate markets experience a correction or when financial institutions need to liquidate their real estate assets. Institutional liquidation may be necessary when compliance issues, tax or accounting needs are discovered. Their reputation as a cash buyer with the ability to buy in bulk and close quickly allows them access to unique opportunities of heavily discounted assets that are not available to the general market, and thereby meet the needs of institutional sellers who value a fast closing over a higher sales price.

What do you do for the Company?

(Chris Knight) I am the Fund Manager and Rick Langley is the Co-Fund Manager.  We identify and secure real estate investment opportunities for our investors to provide secured returns.

How did you get started in the industry?

(Chris) I embarked on a career in the mortgage industry in 1986 when I founded Brandonn Funding Corporation.  BFC quickly became a major force in the seller carry-back mortgage arena, purchasing, servicing, and selling thousands of secured notes.  Since 2008, I have purchased, held and/or sold hundreds of residential and commercial properties throughout the United States.  Asset purchases have also consisted of non-performing “scratch-and-dent” loans and REO properties from a multitude of financial institutions, with subsequent sales requiring simple to highly complex financial structuring and negotiation.

I bring 30+ years and over a billion dollars of real estate and finance experience, and currently serves as a Managing Member and President of Bridgewater.

(Rick Langley) I have over 30 years of experience as a finance professional and CPA in real estate development, residential and commercial construction and working in private equity.  Together we decided to combine our more than 60 years of experience to form a real estate investment fund.

What is something about Bridgewater Opportunity Management, LLC that most people don’t know?

(Chris) The focus of the Fund is to provide investors with the highest possible risk-adjusted returns secured by first position mortgage liens and real estate.  Security, preservation of capital, and yield are our primary focus. The foundation of our success has been built on adherence to a matrix of acceptable loan-to-value (“LTV”) or investment-to-value (“ITV”) ratios we have established to guide each purchase, based on 30 years of real estate industry experience and thousands of transactions.

(Rick) Each investment we make is limited to a conservative percentage of the property’s actual cash value, less any outstanding taxes and repairs, whether we are buying a mortgage note/contract or an REO property.  By following these procedures, buying at a discount, and investing in first-position opportunities, our risk is minimized, and we realize an extra measure of safety and ensure investment capital is protected.

Where do you see Bridgewater Opportunity Management, LLC in 5 years?

(Chris) We view our company growing as a secured income fund for investors who seek to diversify their portfolios with investments in secured real estate. 

What will you have to do to achieve that?

(Rick) Our goal is to demonstrate our successful record on return on investment (ROI) to new accredited investors to give them an overall annual return of 12-15%.  This is based on developing transparent relationships and trust with our investors.

Tell us about yourselves?

(Chris) I have known Rick for over 15 years.  We had partnered in acquiring mortgage notes and real estate owned properties and decided in 2018 to form Bridgewater Opportunity Management, LLC and Bridgewater Secured Income Fund, LLC to share our combined experiences in real estate and finance with accredited investors.  I live in Rancho Mirage with my wife Maryann and our two children for the past 16 years.

(Rick) I recently relocated back to the Desert with my wife Trish.  We had previously lived in Palm Springs for 10 years.

Other than work, do you have any hobbies?

(Chris) I enjoy spending time with my young children and traveling back to upstate New York where I was raised, and I still have family there. 

(Rick) I relax by spending time with my wife and visiting our son who resides in San Diego, especially in the summer.  I enjoy golf and my wife, and I have recently taken up Pickleball.

What are you passionate about?

(Chris) Why do we do what we do and what are we passionate about at Bridgewater?  We believe in helping people realize the American Dream by being able to purchase a home that is affordable and fits their needs.  Also, we believe that situations happen in our daily lives that can lead to financial and personal hardships for many different reasons.  We consider helping people get back on their feet provides them with the opportunity, if they so desire, to remain in their existing home or to be a first-time homebuyer. 

(Rick)  As result of hardships, the mortgage notes we purchase are often times non-performing because of these personal situations (job loss, divorce, family issues, bad credit, etc.) and the traditional banks and lenders are not equipped, nor willing, to work with these homeowners to find a mutually beneficial solution to the problem of nonpayment.  The Real Estate Owned (REO) packages that become available to us is an opportunity for people to be homeowners at a reasonable price.  Understanding the challenges individuals and family’s face each day and finding a workable solution for them to stay in or purchase an affordable home drives our purpose. Our desire to help extends to the banks, hedge funds and other lenders that we buy our product from by helping them liquidate assets that they no longer can or want to hold any longer.

(Chris) History has proven that real estate values run in cycles with periods of escalating prices and the opposite in down markets.  We believe in providing investors with alternative secured real estate investment opportunities that serve as diversification to one’s current portfolio and an option to a volatile stock market.  We understand that investors have many alternatives and can find it challenging to find secured investments that provide comfort and reasonable returns.  We believe in building relationships, being trustworthy, running our business with integrity and ethics and being an “alternative” for investors that seek investment in real estate.  Over the past 30+ years, we have developed friendships with our investors and strong business relationships with whom we acquire under market real estate, which has benefited individuals and investors alike.

Why did you choose the Coachella Valley to grow your business?

(Rick) We both like the Desert lifestyle of the Valley and the overall year-round climate. It is a perfect place for our business.

More specifically, what was it about Fusion Workplaces that made you think it would help your business?

(Chris)  We chose Fusion Workplaces because it provides us with a professional workspace while we grow our business and is centrally located in the Valley where we both reside.  The many services that Fusion offers fit well for us right now as we manage our costs as we continue to grow our business.

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