TZL 1386 (web)



Seeing farther: Tom Newhof President of Prein&Newhof (Grand Rapids, MI), a 100 percent employee-owned firm that is dedicated to thinking ahead, building lasting relationships, and crafting long-term solutions.


A t the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, Newhof decided it was time to leave his 20-year commercial real estate lending career behind and pursue a different career path – one that would lead him back to the family business. “We have gone against our financial interests to recommend against clients taking on projects that would generate significant fees for us because it was not the best thing for them to do,” Newhof says. “We have a number of clients who have been with us for 40 to 50 years, which speaks to the trust that has been built and maintained.” A CONVERSATION WITH TOM NEWHOF. The Zweig Letter: The firm was co-founded by your father. Please tell me a little about the overall career transition. Tom Newhof: During summers in high school and college,

I worked on survey crews for Prein&Newhof. I went to college leaning toward an engineering degree, but not really sure if that’s what I wanted to do. Sharing a name with the co-founder of Prein&Newhof brought with it the expectation by many that this would be my career path. Eventually, I decided I would rather go in a different direction, one in which I wouldn’t be compared to my successful father. After two years of pre-engineering courses, I switched to the accounting program and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. I then obtained an MBA in finance and pursued the commercial banking industry. I spent 20 years as a commercial real estate lender, a career which blended my background in civil engineering and my interest in financial analysis. I enjoyed commercial real estate lending, however, the economic challenges in Michigan in the mid-2000s made


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