Founder and CEO
Monte Lee-Wen is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Casoro Group, a 100% minority-owned multifamily and real estate investment firm focused on residential properties in fast-growing areas of Texas and the Sunbelt. Since 2002, Monte has guided Casoro (formerly called The PPA Group) from its start as a fledgling entrepreneurial venture to success as a vertically integrated multifamily owner/operator in the surging Texas metro markets of Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. Since Monte founded the firm, Casoro Group has acquired, managed, renovated and repositioned around $2 billion in multifamily properties, winning industry awards for its residential acquisitions, developments, renovations, property management and capital markets expertise.
Monte’s college studies in mathematics, logic and his entrepreneurial energy found its first outlet in founding a profitable IT and software development startup. In a few years, the much greater potential of real estate investing led him to sell this business and bootstrap a new one specializing in value-add, multifamily real estate investing. An early start in martial arts training turned out to be an invaluable complement to his skill set of financial analysis and market cycle theory, preparing him with a strategic edge and boldness that enabled him to win deals and compete successfully against larger and much more established firms. Monte’s insights on his business success and the challenges facing newcomers, particularly minorities, has been shared widely on radio shows, books, podcasts and in many speaking engagements.
Monte has evolved an investment philosophy of leadership, agility, and trust that infuses the culture of Casoro Group. After years of studying the “secret sauce” of organizational success, he has arrived at the firm conviction it is always about leadership – leadership with agility to react to changing situations and opportunities, and leadership that inspires trust throughout the organization for its competence and fairness. Monte has recently expanded his leadership role at Casoro and recruited additional executive talent in anticipation of the investment opportunities that economic and financial crises inevitably offer to prepared, agile and strategic investors.
Casoro Group’s investment approach includes short-term and opportunistic investments as well as long-term holdings. An example of the latter is an early, pivotal investment Monte made in a 1000+ unit portfolio in San Antonio. Three of the four multifamily properties were recently sold, more than a decade later, at an exceptional return multiple, with retained ownership of one of the prime land sites for future Casoro residential development. Monte’s plans include a major expansion of its capital market platform and Casoro becoming a capital/fund manager, in addition to being a vertically integrated operator.
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