Chairman and CEO of Studley, an international commercial real estate services firm specializing in tenant representation. The company has 300 professionals in 19 domestic offices and one in London. Steir started at the firm in 1988 and, along with a group of partners, bought the company from founder Julien Studley in 2002.
What is your full name?
Mitchell Shubow Steir.
What is the origin of Shubow?
It was my grandfather’s name, who was a rabbinical scholar in Boston. My mother changed my middle name to Shubow after he passed away in the late ’60s.
What was your original middle name?
I don’t even know.
What is your birth date?
August 3, 1955.
Where did you grow up?
Where do you live?
On East End Avenue.
Do you have any other homes?
In Sagaponack [in the Hamptons].
How old are your kids?
My son is 16, and my daughter is 11.
What’s your favorite restaurant?
My favorite restaurant du jour is chez Steir – my kitchen. I got so tired of eating out and ordering in, so I said to my wife, “Let’s hire a chef.” As for actual restaurants, it’s Nicola’s, on [East] 84th Street, and the Four Seasons.
What’s your favorite sports team?
The Red Sox. Red Sox is a religion when one grows up in Boston, so having to carry the flag in New York only increases the passion. It’s finally paid dividends.
What outside interests do you have?
I love to ski. It’s a passion of mine. And I love swimming in the ocean, film and collecting photography.
What was the first job you ever had?
I had two jobs: a garbage man in South Boston at 13 or 14, and on the floor of the Boston Stock Exchange. That was the same summer.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I think a comedian. I never had the nerve to pursue it.
Are you funny?
You probably wouldn’t think so. My close friends think I am. I’m reasonably entertaining in an intimate setting.
How many deals have you personally done this year?
I couldn’t tell you for certain, but approximately 20.
How much revenue do you expect your company to bring in this year?
Studley will do north of $250 million.
How’d the company do last year?
2006 was a record year; 2007 should be 20 percent better.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Treat people the way you would like to be treated. It was preached to me by my father.
Are you a micromanager?
Absolutely not. From a transactional standpoint, one might say I’m a stickler for quality control, not a micromanager.
What one word would you use to describe yourself?
What one word would people use to describe you?
Tenacious. Please tell my competitors that I’m mellowing a little.
How do you deal with antagonists?
Well, if they’re rational, I would look to reason with them because I believe I’m a pretty good communicator. If they’re not, then I would try to figure out how to outsmart them and accomplish what I need with having as little interaction with them as possible.
What would you say you’re missing in your life?
I’d like to spend more time with my children. I’d like to ski more while I can still physically do it well and swim more in the ocean.
How do you size up people when you first meet them?
Fairly easily. It happens to be a strength of mine. I’m pretty good at reading a person as sincere or not. And I’m pretty good at sensing what kind of character they have.
What publications do you read every day?
Typically in order, the Journal, the Sun and the New York Times. And when the Yankees are losing, I love to read the back page of the Daily News or the Post.
What kind of car do you drive?
The car I drive most often is an eight-year-old Jaguar. I have three cars [the others are an SUV and a BMW].
What’s the last book you read?
I usually read two books at a time. I love sports, and I love history.The last two were “The Blind Side [Evolution of a Game]” by Michael Lewis, and “Presidential Courage [Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989]” by Michael Beschloss.
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Be more attentive in high school and in college.
What was on your mind?
Enjoying myself. I was majoring in having fun and chasing girls.
Interview by Lauren Elkies