Connaught Real Estate Finance has established a highly qualified, extremely dedicated and diversely experienced team of professionals. Each individual team member collaborates across tasks and projects, ensuring that everyone’s perspective and creativity is utilized to its fullest no matter the endeavor. Connaught’s boutique size and horizontal management structure allows us to respond with the speed and flexibility necessary to successfully invest capital or to provide valuable advisory services. We pride ourselves on responding to any opportunity within the marketplace with a willingness to overcome complexity, to meet timing deadlines and to prove our expertise. The below profiles highlight each team member.
Sean Conlon – Principal and Chairman
Mr. Conlon serves as Chairman of Connaught Real Estate Finance. Mr. Conlon’s responsibilities include business strategy and investor relations.
In 2000, Mr. Conlon founded an Illinois based real estate brokerage firm with an annual brokerage sales volume in excess of $2 billion. In 2006 he sold a majority interest to a Cendant sponsored group. Previously, Mr. Conlon was a very successful realtor, being recognized as one of the top producing real estate sales agents in the country, concentrating in new construction, with over $150 million in annual sales.
Mr. Conlon, in partnership with Daniel P. Fowler, acquired Near North National Title ("Near North") in 2004. Near North is a national real estate title company, established in 1988 that handles over $4 billion in real estate transactions annually. The senior executives of Near North have over 50 years of collective service at the company. These executives manage the day to day functions of the business. Additionally, Mr. Conlon is involved in real estate development and has participated in over $100 million of projects in several locations across the United States.
In less than a decade, Mr. Conlon has become recognized as one of the top real estate experts in the country. He is often the “voice of real estate“ for journalists and reporters and has been interviewed by CNN, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal to discuss the market and trends within the real estate industry.
Mr. Conlon immigrated to the United States in 1991 from Ireland.
Daniel P. Fowler – Principal and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Fowler serves as Chief Executive Officer of Connaught Real Estate Finance. Mr. Fowler is in charge of the oversight and management of the company’s operations including strategy, investor relations, legal and finance.
In 2004, with Mr. Sean Conlon as his partner, Mr. Fowler acquired Near North National Title (“Near North”). Near North is a national real estate title company, established in 1988 that handles over $4 billon in real estate transactions annually. The senior executives of Near North have over 50 years of collective service at the company. These executives manage the day to day functions of the business.
Prior to 2004, Mr. Fowler was the President of a Chicago development company focused on urban residential properties. Mr. Fowler was also a corporate attorney at Winston & Strawn focused on private equity and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Fowler graduated from Indiana University with honors, receiving his B.S. in Finance in 1992. He received a J.D., magna cum laude, from Indiana University Law School in 1994, where he was an associate editor of the Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif.
Mr. Fowler serves as a real estate industry delegate on the Chicago Federal Reserve Industrial Roundtable (“CFRIR”). The CFRIR provides vital input to the Federal Reserve’s economic Beige Book. Mr. Fowler was a past President and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago (“HBAGC”), the local chapter of the National Homebuilders Association (“NAHB”). Mr. Fowler previously chaired HBAGC’s influential Government Affairs Committee.
Christopher Doherty – Senior Vice President
Christopher Doherty is a Senior Vice President of Connaught Real Estate Finance. His primary responsibilities include originating and underwriting new capital investment opportunities, providing advisory services to third party clients, and managing assets in Connaught’s current portfolio.
Mr. Doherty brings over twelve years of both strategic and financial real estate industry experience to the Investment Manager. Prior to the Investment Manager, he served as Vice President within Mesirow Financial’s Development Services group with a focus on identifying, evaluating, and managing development opportunities, as well as performing strategic consulting for some of the firm’s most high profile projects.
Prior to joining Mesirow, Mr. Doherty provided real estate advisory services for nine years as a manager in the Strategy and Operations Group at Deloitte Consulting. At Deloitte, he undertook real estate consulting for both corporate and investor clients, and specialized in a myriad of disciplines including portfolio strategy, transaction structuring, cost reduction, and in-depth financial analysis. Mr. Doherty began his career at HVS International where he performed market studies, feasibility studies, and appraisals for hospitality industry specific assets including hotels, casinos, spas, and conference centers.
Mr. Doherty received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.
Jamie Dougherty – Senior Vice President
Mr. Dougherty is a Senior Vice President of Connaught Real Estate Finance, LLC. His primary responsibilities include originating and underwriting new capital investment opportunities, providing advisory services to third party clients, and managing assets in Connaught’s current portfolio.
Prior to joining Connaught, Mr. Dougherty worked for Exclusive Resorts in New York City. Exclusive Resorts, owned by Steve Case, Perry Capital and the founders, is the world’s leading luxury residence club with a real estate portfolio valued at over $1 billon.
Mr. Dougherty earned his MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University with a major in Finance and a specialization in Real Estate. A graduate of Ohio University, Mr. Dougherty received a BBA in Finance and was a member of the football team.
Evelyn Vela – Portfolio Accounting Manager