Bob Gries has been called the “Warren Buffet of Tampa” for his extraordinary string of successful investments. And it’s no wonder as he often cites Buffet’s motto – “Don’t lose money!” – as the guiding principle behind his Tampa-based Gries Investment Funds, which has achieved a consistent 15-20% return for investors, while holding equity in companies whose combined revenues exceed $1 billion. Its projects include mezzanine debt and joint venture equity; acquisition and financing of bank notes and REOs; corporate financing for acquisitions, buyouts and recapitalizations; financing for professional sports franchises; and bankruptcy transactions. Gries is also the largest shareholder of Crius Energy Trust, one of America’s biggest independent energy retailers in the Unites States with over 800,000 electricity and natural gas customers. His love of sports and sports investing run deep, going back to 1961 when his father, Bob Gries, Sr., joined with Art Modell in buying a 40% stake of the Cleveland Browns. Bob, Jr., is the former owner of the Tampa Bay Storm and Orlando Predators arena football teams. The expert financier is excited to share his prosperous business strategies with other investors.
First and foremost, Bob Gries attributes his financial success to his ability to evaluate risk. “Protecting capital and maintaining a viable exit strategy should always come before sizing up one’s potential profits,” says Gries. “Our success stems from selecting the right deals and the right people. We say ‘no’ far more often than we say ‘yes.’ We believe our track record indicates we understand how to evaluate risk.” One key to this is taking a creative approach to collateral. Gries Investment Funds reviews the type and amount of collateral on a case-by-case basis to secure personal guarantees and other securities to hedge investments from downside risks.
Where many other investors may see only the size of potential return and overlook potential risk, Bob Gries takes a more modest and safe approach. Characteristically, he encapsulates the strategy into sports lingo – “While others swing for the fences, our goal is to simply and repeatedly hit singles. And oftentimes, singles can turn into doubles, triples or home runs with investments earning higher returns than initially forecasted.”
Ultimately, Bob Gries encourages investors to not focus on a particular industry or type of company. Instead, the question should always be “What’s the collateral and how do we get out of the deal?” That diversity is well reflected in his portfolio and prior deals. He provided the Five Guys restaurant chain the capital to help them expand outside of Tampa and is now a financier and owner of BlackRock Bar & Grill. His portfolio includes many diverse real estate assets, loans and operating businesses whose collective revenues exceed $1 billion.
Bob Gries, Jr. is the Founder and Managing Director of Gries Investment Funds, the largest shareholder of Crius Energy Trust, and former owner of two professional football teams, the Tampa Bay Storm and the Orlando Predators. He has managed multi-million dollar properties and businesses, and participates in many philanthropic endeavors including establishing the Tampa Bay Volleyball Academy and contributing to the Heart of a Champion Scholarship, which offers scholarships to 70 high school seniors each year.
Bob Gries puts money where the bank won’t, and it pays – Tampa Bay Times: http://www.tampabay.com/news/bob-gries-puts-money-where-the-bank-wont-and-it-pays/1072864
Clients call Bob Gries the Warren Buffett of Tampa as investments grow: http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/print-edition/2012/12/28/clients-call-bob-gries-the-warren.html