Meet Daniel Fechner, Assistant Vice President and new HLC team member!
Daniel Fechner joined Holt Lunsford Commercial in 2022 and serves as an Assistant Vice President of Holt Lunsford Commercial Investments (HLCI). He is responsible for the oversight of investment partnership accounting, banking and treasury management relations, and supporting the team in capital markets initiatives, including debt and equity execution and compliance.
Daniel’s career started at Comerica Bank where he underwrote financing transactions totaling more than $1B in lending commitments. After he realized he wanted to be on the client side of transactions, Daniel was a Senior Associate at Riveron Consulting where he assisted CFOs and their teams with acquisition- and capital markets-driven accounting and financial reporting needs.
Daniel is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of Texas. He received his BBA in Finance from The University of Texas at Austin, where he met many of his closest friends, and his Master of Science in Accounting from Southern Methodist University. Daniel is from Plano, Texas and lives in Dallas, as does the rest of his family. He is an active member of Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas with his wife, Skylar, and son, Evans.
What brought you to HLC?
I came to Holt Lunsford Commercial because I have been interested in Real Estate as a landing spot. My time in professional services was great, and I learned a ton, but I knew I didn’t want to bill hourly for the rest of my life. Over the last year, I’ve been trying to think about where a good place would be to apply what I’ve learned and really use my skillset. I have a lot of friends and family that work in the real estate industry. I had lunch with a guy who had interned here, at HLC, and his wife is my wife’s best friend. I respect them a lot and they both speak extremely highly of the HLC team and the Lunsford family. He ended up connecting me to Bryce Orr, who works for Holt, and Bryce told me about this opportunity. Ironically, when Bryce emailed me about this position, he cc’d Doug Lueders, who is now my boss, but happened to be my baseball coach from the fourth grade! Jon Lueders, Doug’s son, and I had gone to school together, so I was familiar with the Lueders family, with that, plus the Lunsfords having a great reputation, I just knew this would be a great place to be with trustworthy people.
How do you hope to grow at HLC?
The biggest thing is learning the real estate industry. I have a lot of the technical skills that I need to do my job but the way that Doug pitched it in the interview process was that I was going to get my Ph.D. in real estate, so I have a lot of development to do there. I’m also excited to learn how to run a business from Doug and Hutton. Professional services are a different mindset and here, at HLCI, we are more responsible for the whole thing. Learning how to run a successful business is an exciting part of being here.
What about your role at HLC most excites or interests you?
I think I’m really gifted in Finance and Accounting but there are a lot of challenges that can happen in this business. With changing prices, the cost of concrete goes up and all of a sudden, our project costs more than it should. This being said, my desire is that the finance and accounting is something that is not a worry for the rest of the team. I hope that I can provide the information that they need to work with, that our capital is in place, and that we have a plan of how to deploy and allocate it. That way everyone else can focus on the execution of development, leasing, and acquisitions and dispositions.
Which HLC value resonates the most with you and why?
We serve. Growing up, I volunteered a lot with my family, and my dad modeled service and putting others before yourself. Also, I was a football player, an offensive lineman. When you’re a lineman, no one is calling out your name, but you work for the success of the team. I think that what I learned from my dad and from playing football growing up stuck with me my whole life. Christ also modeled it for us, to serve for the benefit of others, and I think you’re a lot happier that way. If we’re concerned about ourselves and our own interests, there’s always a lot more that we can attain, but if we’re focused on others and bettering them then I think that brings a lot of joy.
What three words would you use to describe the HLC culture?
Integrity, passionate, friendly.
What are three interesting things about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume?
I was a football player and I used to be about one and a half times the size I am now. Also, I lived in Amman, Jordan for about 7 months and learned Arabic while I was there. I wanted to do microfinance, basically lending in developing countries, but I didn’t know any foreign languages. There was an opportunity to go with a ministry and learn Arabic, and do some other stuff, but the ultimate goal was to do microfinance. Finally, most people think my younger brother and I look like identical twins. If you see someone around town that looks like me but about two inches shorter, that’s my brother Jonathan.
How do you define success?
Success is discovering what you’re passionate about and what your purpose is, and using the talents and resources that you’ve been given to pursue those fully and with excellence, knowing that each day you have lived up to your calling and put it all out there.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Well, I am the father of a five-week-old, and he’s our first, so lately I’m spending a lot of time with Evans and just trying to help my wife. I like to play golf at the Stevens Park Golf Course and we’re very involved in our church, Park Cities Presbyterian Church, so we spend a lot of time with our friends from there and my siblings who all live in Dallas. I’m a huge Longhorn football fan so I’m excited that fall is here and I’m looking forward to football season!
If you were the CEO of a company name one thing you would make mandatory in the office and one thing you would ban.
Mandatory would be companywide lunches where you’re forced to sit at a table with people who are not in your own department which would create collaboration and let people get to know each other. The more everyone can learn about the business outside of their group, the better everyone is. I would ban microwaving seafood.
Where is the furthest you’ve traveled?
I obviously lived in Amman Jordan, but I’ve traveled to Fiji for my honeymoon.
“All gas, no brakes.” – Steve Sarkisian
What can you teach me to do in five minutes?
Read a financial statement to know what you’re looking for and what you can learn from it.
Favorite ice cream flavor?
Right now it’s salted caramel but anything from Jeni’s Ice Cream is excellent!
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want to have with you?
A tent, sunscreen, and a guitar.
What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it?
Silicon Valley. I’m not sure if they’re still releasing new shows, but my wife now works for a startup based in San Francisco, so it’s funny watching it with her since it’s more relatable. Plus, we like the humor in it.
What was the last gift you gave someone?
A bottle of tequila. It’s something that I enjoy and for people that are interested, I like introducing them to tequila that tastes great without vanilla additives.
If you could steal credit for any great piece of art, song, film or book, which one would you claim?
Gladiator, probably the best movie ever. It’s got the elements of justice, sacrifice, and love for family that I think people can relate to.
Which animal would make the best type of president if the animal kingdom ever rose up and took over?
Not in line with my favorite quote, but I think a sloth would be helpful for society. Sometimes we need to work with what we have and optimize rather than always switching to the new program, technology, etc.
If you had to choose, what would your last meal be? No limits.
Chocolate sheet cake with vanilla ice cream but the sheet cake has to be hot!
Welcome to HLC, Daniel, we are glad you are here!