August 13, 2021
Peter Marzo

Driven by the desire to help people better their lives and to improve communities, Peter Marzo has built an impressive 20-year career in investment and real estate. He got his start as an investment banker on Wall Street, where he spent 15 years managing and advising over $250 million for top Fortune 500 companies, including Sony, YUM! Brands, DuPont, Timken, Celgene, Denny’s, and AdCare Health Systems. Peter later became affiliated with Marcus & Millichap, one of the leading real estate investment firms in the U.S. and Canada. Then, in 2015, he founded Marzo Capital Group, a nationally recognized alternative investment company with a focus on real estate. Based in Tampa, Florida, with the vision to create high-quality investments and to build strong communities throughout the U.S., the firm has participated in over 100 deals on both the sponsor side and capital-raise side with a combined value of $1 billion in real estate transactions. Underlying Marzo Capital’s astounding success is Peter’s unshakable faith and his determination to help people transform their financial futures with products previously not available to them. He sat down with us to share more about Marzo Capital Group, the customers they serve, and the importance of philanthropy.

What compelled you to leave Wall Street and start Marzo Capital?
I’ve always had a passion for working with investors and helping them discover financial freedom by getting away from traditional investing methods. While working in my previous career, I recognized firsthand how outdated the traditional portfolio model was and how superior alternative investments were, but they weren’t readily available to retail investors. I wanted to create a firm where I could depart from the limited box of products that left money on the table, so to speak, for investors, and offer them the broadest array of alternative investments possible that could provide much higher risk-adjusted returns, greater diversification, a higher level of stability, and more favorable tax optimization.

How is it unique from other investment firms?
Our team of professionals possess unique market knowledge and maintain strong relationships throughout the industry.  At our core, we specialize in placing investor capital with experienced operating and development partners across a diversified portfolio.  Through strategic partnerships with leading private equity firms like Blackstone, KKR, Carlyle Group, etc., we provide one of the largest alternative investment platforms in the industry—including real estate, private equity, and alternative advisory services, offering clients further variety and diversification.  In the past, alternatives came with large minimum investments typically over $5 million and were only available to pension funds, endowments, and public corporations.  Our firm exists to be the bridge between institution and investor capital. We also carry out deals that originate internally and have overseen the restructuring, recapitalizing and redevelopment of several core assets throughout the country.

These high-level products are popular among your clients. How do they work and to whom are they available?
While every investment we offer differs, the most popular are our real estate funds. These are the larger private equity real estate deals that we offer through the Blackstones, etc., that select investors can be a part of. These are particularly popular among real estate owners who want to go from an active role to a more passive one. At the end of the day, real estate is a phenomenal investment, but it’s an active investment, like running a business.  So rather than managing, say a 20-unit multifamily building, the investor would act as a limited partner within a larger property, say a 400-unit new construction building and reap the financial rewards without lifting a finger.  In addition, since the properties are pre-vetted, pre-financed and pre-closed, it enables a 1031 exchange investor to meet 1031 timelines more easily, making the fund a very appealing alternative compared to traditional exchanges.     

Tell us about your specialization in the retail development space.
We focus on shopping centers and single-tenant, net-leased properties. As a private equity investment firm, we act as a development partner for major Fortune 500 tenants—Verizon, Burger King, CVS, Dollar General, and other well-known quick-service restaurants and retail establishments. As a company that is capital strong and performance-driven, we have the ability to seek opportunity where others do not and really drive operating improvements to create value. Further, we have intimate knowledge of the geography, demographics, and new construction projects coming out to fill voids in areas that are up-and-coming or being re-gentrified. Once we get to know where these companies want to be geographically and what demographics they’re looking for, we can analyze the properties and get them leased or filled into an existing center or new development.

You’re also deeply committed to community as a philanthropist and as the leader of a company with the vision to re-gentrify core markets. Why is this important to you?
My faith and my relationship with God are what really drive me and keep me grounded, and as I grew professionally, I began to see a bigger picture outside of serving my clients, investors, and even my own career. To be in a position to help all these other groups really had an effect on me. That was a driving force behind our vision when I founded this firm—to use our knowledge and skills to not only help our clients and employees thrive, but to help communities through both our work and philanthropy. It is truly fulfilling when you can look outside yourself and see a change in the world, however small, that you had a hand in. Our group believes that giving back to the community is important. That’s why we serve on many local committees and volunteer for organizations like ASPCA and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. We also support the Wounded Warrior Project, American Breast Cancer Foundation, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and many others.

To what do you attribute your success?
My relationship with God has helped me through tough times and has served as a foundation to better myself as a person and for others. For me, having unbreakable faith and good moral beliefs is the key to a successful career and family life.

Peter has completed several core fundamental courses from Harvard University and maintains seven federal and state designations, including the Florida Real Estate Brokerage, FINRA Series 7, and CEP. He also holds the Real Estate Finance and Investments (REFAI) certification though REFM.

Download magazine here

The Highest Quality Alternative Investments Period.

400 N Ashley Drive, Suite 1900, Tampa, FL 33602