D. Ross Pemmerl, 34
Vice President of Underwriting, UC Funds

Article from Commerical Observer

If you run into D. Ross Pemmerl in an airport looking just a tad unstuck in spacetime, you’ll have to forgive him. The originator, a vice president of underwriting at UC Funds, keeps up one of the most demanding travel schedules that Commercial Observer has heard of.

“On Wednesday I was in Savannah [Ga.], yesterday I was in Miami and today I’m back in Chicago,” Pemmerl said one Friday last month, describing another week in the life. “One of the benefits of the job is that you’ll often go to cities and places that you otherwise wouldn’t have gone out to see. It can be a little bit tiring, but I’m still young.”

Indeed he is, hence the 34-year-old’s well-earned spot on the dais this year. It’s yet another milestone on the road Pemmerl has traveled since his childhood in the rural town of Rehoboth, Mass., just east of the Rhode Island state line, where he grew up aspiring for a career like the one his mother (a real estate banker) enjoyed.

“I did and still do idolize her, so the fact that she was in this industry was pretty cool to me,” Pemmerl said.

Eager to jump into the fray, Pemmerl interned at CBRE’s Hartford, Conn., office while still a student at Wesleyan University, arranging his senior-year classes around a two-day-a-week work schedule. Then it was off to Citizens Bank — at the time controlled by the Royal Bank of Scotland — before Pemmerl landed at UC Funds eight years ago.

Among the highlights of his career is a deal Pemmerl pulled off earlier this year, lending $36 million against Detroit’s Fisher Building, a stately Art Deco landmark in the city more than 90 years old. Part of the debt will go to renovations aimed at attracting new tenants when leases roll over.—M.G.