The DI Wire’s Q&A With CNL CEO Tom Sittema
Editor’s Note: The DI Wire had a chance to speak with Tom Sittema, the chief executive officer of CNL Financial Group, a private investment firm that provides global real estate and alternative investments. Tom also serves as the current chairman of the board at the Investment Program Association, a trade organization representing the direct investment industry.
Can you share a bit about your background and history within the direct investment space?
Before joining CNL, I was with Bank of America and Bank of America Merrill Lynch for almost 27 years. During my time there, I served as the U.S. sector head of REITs and lodging, with the responsibility for M&A advisory, equity, and debt capital raising assignments for my clients. That gave me a broad exposure of the direct investment industry including sponsors and products. My time at CNL has allowed me to be very involved with the space and gain an even deeper perspective.Go Back
I have been in the financial services industry for 20 years and our firm provides an education platform that gets clients to “think differently” about their financial picture. For many years we have communicated to clients the need to diversify their portfolios using alternative asset classes and more specifically, private non-traded investments. Due diligence on these types of financial vehicles is essential and when I learned about Blue Vault in 2010, our firm immediately began using their material as a tool to build confidence in the minds of our advisors on which alternatives to recommend to clients. I am impressed with the way Blue Vault continues to add value to their subscribers and I view their publication as a tremendous resource in today’s complex world.