“The leader is one who, out of the clutter, brings simplicity… out of discord, harmony… and out of difficulty, opportunity.”– Albert EinsteinBrent BonoDirector of Finance, M2G Ventures
How a member of the “Bono Balloon Boys” landed a finance gig at M2G Ventures.
As one of the youngest members of M2G’s leadership team, Brent is here to prove that age is just a number.
Brent’s quick mind, sharp wit and servant leadership coupled with a process-driven ethos have catapulted him towards his recent promotion to Director of Finance. This role at M2G is integral to the success of each phase of the development cycle and we are incredibly grateful that Brent is leading the finance ship.
Brent is a man of many talents. And he uses these talents to push himself to be the best in his field.
of M2G Projects Capitalized
Bad Jokes Told
“You can accomplish anything with perseverance, persistence, and snake-eyed concentration.”
– Brent’s mom
You moved to Dallas from Atlanta a few years ago! What led you to DFW and to M2G?
Growing up in Lake Highlands, I’ve always considered Dallas home. I knew I wanted to leverage my skill set to create innovative spaces with a developer that had creative vision and purpose above all else. After I found M2G, the rest is history.
Why do you feel like you’ve found your home at M2G?
Besides the above, it’s clear Susan and Jessica have created something particularly special. The resilient, can-do attitude trickles down from the ‘top’ of our relatively flat organization to our extremely bright and able team. We’re quite the diverse family, smothered and covered with drive and character, topped with mental health as a pillar of our optimistic culture.
You’ve been a part of the M2G team for two years now. What has surprised you most about M2G and how have you grown?
At M2G, each talented individual takes commendable ownership of their responsibilities and often extends themselves past their role to help others; all while maintaining an ego-free, open-door policy. Personally, I’ve surprised myself by pushing past subconscious limitations with patience, earnest effort, and the support of the team. I love seeing breakthrough growth mirrored in our team and doing what I can to help foster it!
Congratulations on your recent promotion to Director of Finance! How would you say your role has evolved since joining M2G as a Finance Associate? What are you most excited about regarding your new role?
I joined M2G at the beginning of 2020 and– by extension– the onset of COVID. At that time, the uncertainty of the world and our team being half the size it is today necessitated wearing many hats: defending and recapitalizing the portfolio with asset management nun chucks, being a cordial investor relations liaison, and driving the tip of the spear through acquisitions and financing. After onboarding a best-in-class team, my role has evolved to focus more on investor syndication, relationship, and capital markets-driven functions. We continue to grow the team and our capabilities as a company, ensuring no days are ever dull!
What does the Director of Finance position mean to you?
Solving puzzles with a combination of math and servant leadership!
Your first wedding anniversary is quickly approaching! What’s your favorite memory from that day?
Ah! Time flies! The best day of my life by far, I guess that’s true for most. Our ceremony was held outdoors at the lush Asheville Arboretum. The slow-mo moments of Morgan walking down the aisle, flanked by all our friends and family, with trees and plants rustling in the wind while my talented brother sang Andrea Bochelli’s Con te Partiró– my Dad’s favorite song (also featured in the movie Stepbrothers)– are beyond words. Ha! I get chills thinking of it now! If not that, it would have to be Morgan and I’s surprise choreographed dance to Beyonce’s “Love on Top”.
Around the office you’re known as the Excel ace. Do you have any other secret talents?
Well, depends on who you ask. I can juggle any 3 similarly sized objects, alpine ski with some competency, and enjoy performance track driving. I’ve also won amateur donut and wing eating competitions among friends and coworkers, if that counts for bonus points.
How did you get started in the commercial real estate industry?
I’ve always been interested in how things work. After honing my penchant for numbers and discovering an interest in architecture and design in college, CRE formed as a natural tangent to– what one might say– is the more traditional route through business school. A small investment sales team took a chance on me after graduation, and we built a great platform and strategy, growing revenue 10-fold, and eventually being ‘bought out’ by a larger shop.
What was your very first job and how did it lead you to where you are today?
Oh, this is a good one. My first endeavor was twisting balloon animals alongside my brother and juggling and face painting Dad at events, like birthday parties and fairs. The ‘Bono Balloon Boys’ kept at this craft over the summers for several decades. A later, ‘real’ job comes to mind when I think of teachable experiences: I was a US Census enumerator, knocking on the doors of those who were late in mailing back their census forms. I sure learnt polite persistence and how to assuage someone’s kneejerk reaction when answering the door to a government contractor… sometimes in their underwear! (them, not me)
What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?
Tough question, but it would have to be my wife & I’s trip across Morocco. Wandering mazes of markets (“medinas”) that date back millennia while soaking up the rich culture, eccentric architecture and gardens, and eclectic combinations of food; it was a total shock to the senses. Measured on this scale, we particularly enjoyed our time in Fez, but our entire time there was a dream.
What’s a trip that’s on your bucket list?
Eating our way across France and ending on the coast in time for the Historic Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo: a legendary racing venue that runs vintage Formula One cars from the 1930s to 1980s. I nerd out on history and motorsports, so this checks several boxes!
Where do you enjoy allocating your time outside of work?
When not exploring tasty food, hunting, gardening, DIY’ing our 1930’s craftsman home, or enjoying live music; downtime is spent catering to our rescue puppy, Roux. She’s now a 5-month-old Great Pyrenees/Doberman mix named after the base sauce in gumbo– a nod to my Father’s heavily Cajun side of the family. “It’s all about the food, Chere!”
“Brent is the best person I know. His light, loyalty, nature, intellect and steadfast commitment are a few of my favorite qualities. He is a rare gem and we are so lucky to have him.”
Susan Gruppi, Co-Founder, M2G Ventures