30 in Their Thirties: Adam Jahnke // 33

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Adam Jahnke // 33

Principal // Vault Equity Partners, Bloomfield Hills // Employees: 2 // Assets: $31M

University of Southern California

Adam Jahnke sat at his desk at Honigman Miller, a large law firm in downtown Detroit, and pondered his position in life. He’d already made partner in his early 30s. Things were going well. But something was missing. He didn’t feel passionate about coming to work every day. “I called up my wife and said I felt I needed to move on to something else,” Jahnke recalls. That’s when he reconnected with a friend, Geoff Linden, who had been head of acquisitions at a Real Estate Investment Trust and, like Jahnke, had an inclination to try something different. “I had known (Jeff) for a while, both personally and professionally,” Jahnke says. “He called me up the second he made his decision (to take on a new venture).” From there, the pair launched Vault Equity Partners in Bloomfield Hills, which acquires and operates single-tenant retail properties, 17 of which have long-term leases. In order to make the business model work, Jahnke says he and Linden are very particular about the types of properties and tenants they work with, preferring “e-commerce resistant” businesses like dialysis clinics that can’t be eliminated by virtual competition. Some of the company’s current properties include two Fresenius Dialysis Clinics (one in Florida and one in New Mexico) and the University of Texas Pediatric Urgent Care Clinic in Galveston. Jahnke and Linden also prefer single-tenant buildings, because — among other reasons — the tenants are usually responsible for property management. “Not that it’s not doable, but building management is outside our field of expertise, and the more you stray outside your field of expertise, the more risk (you incur),” Jahnke says. Linden’s job is to market the properties, while Jahnke makes sure the transactions are handled correctly. “We thought we could do it in a way that was a little leaner and better,” Jahnke says. “We’re not reinventing the wheel; we’re just making it run better and smoother. We’re able to operate in a way that has limited overhead, and we have skills that complement each other so we can run a real efficient company.”

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