Who We Are
Equator Capital Management was formed during the “Great Recession” and although our inception was during a challenging market environment it forged strong core beliefs. The primary principle of our group is to pursue business plans and investments that have the fundamental flexibility to sustain economic value even during market fluctuations. We believe a conservative approach to underwriting and an intense focus on market intelligence allows us to identify opportunities that create value while having the sustainability to absorb market corrections. Our approach is a 360 degree view, always keeping in mind the perspective of our investors, lenders, end users and the local community; giving us the insight to unlock value that competitors may ignore.
Our ability to navigate high barrier to entry markets and asset classes has afforded us the opportunity to invest in a broad spectrum of real estate classes including acquisitions, ground up developments, and repositionings. Our approach to real estate has helped attract and forge relationships with institutional partners, private investors and joint venture partners.
Equator Capital Management’s goal is to engage in investment opportunities that provide both robust investment return to partners and a best in class utility to its end users. While the world has seen an exponential proliferation of technological advancements; we have built our company on the notion that real estate is still a “person to person” business. We remain steadfast in fostering long term relationships with the mindset that to be truly successful a company has to have strong partnerships with an ethos of constant communication, precise execution and relentless business ethics.
Equator Capital Management’s goal is to engage in investment opportunities that provide both robust investment return to partners and a best in class utility to its end users.
Mehul B. Patel
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Patel has been an investment professional for the past 18 years. Prior to forming Equator Capital Management in 2009, Mr. Patel had led or been part of teams responsible for the entitlement and/or acquisition of over 3MM square feet of real estate product and over $1B+ in total capitalization. He has led and coordinated design, engineering, legal, finance and construction professionals to execute various development and investment plans across both commercial and residential asset classes.
Prior to working in CRE principal investments, Mr. Patel spent time at various large institutions including Lehman Brothers, ING Capital and GE Capital. Mr. Patel was part of structured finance teams working in various finance engagements valued over $5B+. Mr. Patel received his Master’s degree in Real Estate Development from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance from the University of Maryland at College Park. Mr. Patel is a guest lecturer at New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Chief Investment Officer
Mr. Ripka has over 17 years of experience as an investment professional, with the past 10 years focused on principal real estate investment. Through his dealings in real estate, Mr. Ripka has garnered experience in a wide breadth of asset classes, including office, residential, retail, hospitality, and self storage. Prior to co-founding Equator Capital Management, Mr. Ripka played a key role on teams that were responsible for sourcing, structuring, and financing the acquisition of over 8MM square feet of real estate across the United States. Through his past transactions, Mr. Ripka has coordinated the acquisition, repositioning, financing, leasing, sales and marketing, and disposition of over $1B worth of real estate assets.
Prior to working in real estate investment, Mr. Ripka worked in investment management and capital markets. At Managed Quantitative Advisors, Mr. Ripka managed a $160MM long/short equity and derivatives portfolio, and at Salomon Smith Barney/Citigroup, he worked on the International Equities Desk, trading European ADR’s on behalf of the Bank’s institutional and middle market clients. Mr. Ripka received a Master’s degree in Real Estate Development from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science from Boston University. Mr. Ripka is an Adjunct Instructor at New York University’s Shack Institute of Real Estate, as well as a guest lecturer at New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Vice President, Development
Mr. Elkind joined Equator Capital Management in September of 2014. At Equator, Mr. Elkind focuses on managing the ground-up development process and asset management. To date, he has overseen over 600K square feet of ground-up development through various stages of acquisition, entitlement, and delivery.
Prior to working at Equator, Mr. Elkind was the cofounder and principal of Sage Valley Capital, a registered commodity pool operator specializing in algorithmic foreign currency exchange trading with roughly $6MM under management. He ran Sage Valley Capital while completing his MBA with a speciation in Real Estate Development from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Before Sage Valley, Mr. Elkind was a founder and principal of Paragon FX, an online-based foreign currency trading exchange. He over saw Paragon’s growth from inception to conducting an average of over $3B worth of currency transactions on a monthly basis in under a year. Before joining Paragon, Mr. Elkind was the founder and managing member of Edge Capital Markets, a more retail focused foreign currency trading agency business that he started during his senior year at college in March of 2009. Mr. Elkind graduated from Tufts University in May of 2009 with a BS in Economics and a minor in Mandarin Chinese. He completed his MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business in May of 2015 with a focus on Entrepreneurship and Real Estate Development.
Mr. Siso has been a been a real estate investment professional for the past 20 years. Initially, Mr. Siso played an integral role at various brokerage firms based in New York City focused on originations. Mr. Siso shifted to the buy side and entered into capital placement nearly 10 years ago. Mr. Siso’s primary role at Equator Capital has been to manage investor relations as it relates to sourcing LP investment capital. Over the course of the past 5 years he has successfully raised equity across multiple asset classes including residential, office, retail and self-storage. Mr. Siso’s concentrated efforts has led to diverse private client relationships in the United States, Israel and Europe.
Prior to joining Equator Capital Management, Mr. Siso had been a successful (top 1%) residential real estate broker at various leading brokerage firms in New York City with an average sales volume of $70,000,000 per annum.
Mr. Siso received his Juris Doctorate from the Law School at the University of London and was admitted to the New York State bar in 2004. He is fluent in French, Dutch, Hebrew and English.
Louis Buckworth has worked in New York’s real estate market since 2010. His foremost expertise lies in the facets of the City’s New Development and Real Estate Investment markets. He has facilitated transactions for a wealth of international buyers, sellers and investors in excess of $3 Billion Dollars. He concentrates his efforts on servicing individual transactions for select HNW clients.
Prior to his arrival in New York from London, Louis graduated from the University of London’s Law School with honors. He subsequently established himself as a successful independent figure in the hospitality sector.
Between 2010 and 2015 Louis financed and co-developed over 500,000 square feet of residential assets in New York and Miami.