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Five Questions with – Taidgh McClory, T.H. McClory, LLC,
Taidgh McClory is a senior-level commercial real estate executive whose professional focus has turned to social impact. A former Managing Director/Partner at CBRE/New England, Taidgh actively promotes diversity and inclusion through his civic engagement and his business, T.H. McClory, LLC, a social impact enterprise founded in 2019 and dedicated to devising and implementing diversity & inclusion strategies for the CRE industry.
1. How you are hoping your venture, T.H. McClory LLC, will shape commercial real estate?
My business practice acknowledges the imbalance of economic opportunities available to people of color and women in the field of commercial real estate and aims to help owners/developers create strategies that promote true economic inclusion throughout the entire development lifecycle.
As an example, through my work as the Director of Social Impact and Inclusion for MP Boston, I am implementing MP Boston’s Economic Inclusion & Opportunity initiative for the firm’s Winthrop Center development. That primarily includes executing a plan to raise capital from people of color and developing strategies for workforce development and supplier diversity efforts. Ultimately, our vision is that Winthrop Center creates meaningful change in our industry and becomes a model that other owners and developers can adopt to make economic inclusion sustainable in Boston and beyond.
2. What are the limitations that block diverse communities from investing in CRE funds and how does your work ease this pressure?
There are barriers preventing people of color and women from entering the sphere of private equity investing—not just in commercial real estate. It is a reflection of a larger set of historical trends within private equity investing, which tends to be surrounded by a network closed to outsiders. Traditionally, opportunities to invest in CRE have been limited to a network of accredited investors who come from similar demographic backgrounds and have access to networks from their families or educational institutions. It has created a “legacy effect” limiting access for people of color and for women.
Commercial real estate also suffers from an awareness problem. Commercial real estate is arguably one of the best forms of wealth creation. Yet unlike more traditional investments in stocks and bonds, the general population is largely uninformed when it comes to private equity investments in CRE.
With little awareness of the industry and limited access to network relationships – which take time to build and curate – people of color and women will struggle to access opportunities. Without a proactive and intentional strategy to address these barriers to entry, the same narrative will unfold.
Ultimately, my practice is focused on developing solutions that build bridges and create pathways towards opening the closed network of CRE. Facilitating meaningful change is done by building a greater awareness of CRE as a profession and investment opportunity, and forging new relationships that can open doors for a new cohort of professionals and capital partners to enter.
3. How do you see ULI Boston’s Pathways to Inclusion program supporting your work?
ULI’s Boston Pathways to Inclusion program is the perfect complement to my work because our mission and purpose are intrinsically aligned. Being involved in the Pathways to Inclusion program has provided a wonderful platform for me to connect with fellow peers, build new relationships and share best practices.
4. What is the last book you read?
New Localism: How cities can thrive in the age of populism by Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak. This fascinating read examines how local communities can leverage the collective power of the public, private and civic sectors in innovative ways to “get things done.” There are some amazing case studies in the book that highlight “new norms of growth, governance and finance, and a path towards a more prosperous, sustainable and inclusive society.” It specifically resonated with me because, while my consulting practice is focused on strategies for commercial real estate developers, I envision a future where the practice zeroes in on economic inclusion and social impact investing strategies that can be applied to local communities across the Commonwealth and the nation.
5. Winter is harsh in New England. Do you have a winter getaway spot?
I’ve lived my entire life in New England, so I have built up a wonderful appreciation for the winter months. Also with three young children who all play hockey, I spend most of my time in hockey rinks during the winter months. In this season of my life, I don’t have a winter getaway spot; however, ask me in another 30 years! While I don’t have a go-to getaway spot for winter today, in the future I can see myself on a golf course somewhere in the Caribbean.