Day in the life of: Robyn Sorid

The G4 Capital co-founder on her declining Uber rating, Soho House lunches and crashing construction sites

Sep.September 01, 2018 09:00 AM

Robyn Sorid (Photo by Alex Dupeux)

Robyn Sorid co-founded G4 Capital Partners in 2005 with partners Louis Silverman and Jason Behfarin as the real estate finance arm of Silverman’s family business. The hard-money lender mainly focuses on projects in the five boroughs and has originated 160-plus loans totaling more than $1 billion over the past 13 years. Local developers that have lined up financing from Sorid and her team include Michael Stern’s JDS Development, Toby Moskovits’ Heritage Equity Partners and Arthur Becker. Most recently, Eran Polack’s HAP Investments landed $32 million from G4 for its first Tribeca project — a 41-unit condominium — in February, and Polack’s firm is slated to close a $94 million construction loan later this year. “We love to do deals from cradle to grave,” said Sorid, 44, who will often drop by her clients’ construction sites. She’s also spearheading the launch of her firm’s new real estate investment fund. Sorid, who earned her law degree at Harvard Law School, previously worked at Paul, Weiss from 1998 to 2005, helping structure commercial real estate deals for major developers, investment banks and Fortune 500 companies. It was during one of those routine deals that she met Silverman, who was selling off a number of his assets, including a rezoned portion of Williamsburg’s waterfront, to start G4. That meeting led to the opportunity to partner with Silverman and Behfarin, a former commercial broker, so Sorid made the jump from lawyer to dealmaker. “We felt the dynamic between us was very unique, and it’s really continued to this day,” she said. She added that the three partners’ families frequently vacation and celebrate birthdays together. Sorid works out of a satellite office in Midtown with a few other employees and travels to G4’s main office in Roslyn, Long Island, several times a week. She and her husband, Josh Ufberg — a partner at the New York private equity firm Atalaya Capital Management — live with their two daughters in a post-war condo conversion in Tribeca.

7:00 a.m. My day begins with my two young daughters, ages 7 and 9, running into our room. My husband is more of a morning person, so he usually has the music blaring, and the girls do a quick dance routine. Everyone but me is dancing — I need a cup of coffee first.

7:30 a.m. I’ll talk with one of my partners on the phone for a quick check-in before the noise of the day starts. We usually focus on high-priority issues that we just don’t want to wait to talk about. Sometimes it’s giving one another a heads-up that we may, in our negotiating, say things that might not be where we actually want to end up.

8:00 a.m. My kids have to get out the door for school, which is a struggle. I bring them two days a week, and we always take an Uber so I can check my email and hop on quick calls. I have a very specific view on how we get to school and it’s not what Google Maps proposes, which means my Uber rating is not as high as it used to be. I think it’s 4.4 now.

9:15 a.m. Next is a call with my team about a live deal. If I have meetings in the city later, the call is at home; if I’m going out to Roslyn, it’s in the car. When we have deals with complicated structures or interesting counterparties, I particularly love it. It allows me to use my legal background, and I feel like I’m really rolling up my sleeves adding value to our borrowers.

10:00 a.m. A lot of my mornings include a site visit. I’ve gone to site visits where I thought a deal just couldn’t work, and then I got there and saw the developer’s vision. On the project at 465 Washington, they’ve allowed us to attend weekly project meetings where they’re working on layouts and design ideas. I try to keep work boots with me, but I’ve been known to walk active development sites in four-inch heels. I’ve been wearing Manolo Blahniks since I was 30 and my feet have melded to that form.

11:30 a.m. I’m responding to calls or emails from existing borrowers and brokers who want to talk about new deals, and tackling any needs on existing deals. We know a lot of brokers, so my mobile phone will be ringing, my office phone will be ringing and I’ll be getting emails from a number of sources. I think the best way to get a good read on a deal is by picking up the phone. You can parse through the substance so much more quickly.

1:00 p.m. I either have a very quick lunch at my desk — I’m obsessed with Spoon on 33rd Street — or I do a lunch meeting. One of my favorite places to go is the Soho House, either in the Meatpacking District or DUMBO. They’re both about 20 minutes from my office, and they have a really creative, artistic vibe. I will always order a regular Coke if I’m out. It’s my guilty pleasure.

3:00 p.m. Once some of the fires have been put out, I’ll spend some time thinking about future strategy and growth. I’ve spent the past few months thinking about the implications of the new tax code. We try to have a partner call once a week, and a big component of those calls is not just the day-to-day business management but sharing the big issues and ideas that we have.

4:00 p.m. We have our weekly pipeline and asset review meeting around this time. Our nine-person team will get together in a conference room in our Roslyn office for about 45 minutes, and I always think it goes better if we have a late afternoon snack. I have a sweet tooth and I’ve been in a truffle phase — usually Lindt, but the ones I’m really loving are by Jacques Torres.

7:30 p.m. Two nights a week, I’m out with friends or I may be at a professional engagement. The rest of the week, I like to be home with my husband and my kids. They’ll have had dinner by the time I get home, so they’ll probably put on a dance show while I have dinner. Then we may get in an episode of “Shark Tank” or “American Idol” — they’re both family obsessions.

8:00 p.m. At least once a week, I do a call with Pat Walsh, our financing partner at Bank of Internet, who we do a lot of work with on the West Coast. The relationship is close, so they’re easy calls to take wherever I am.

10:30 p.m. I’ll try to get in bed and either read or watch a show. If I’m reading — I like The New Yorker — I’ll probably fall asleep within 10 minutes because I’m so tired. I may stay up a bit longer if I’m watching a show. This last year, my husband and I were obsessed with “This Is Us,” and crying on a weekly basis. I did some binge watching, so I was crying every night at one point. I check my email right before bed. I know that it’s supposed to be unhealthy, but I can’t quit.

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