David is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Century Partners, where he combines commitment to community, legacy, and purpose with a dedication to building a culture of sustainable excellence.
David grew up in South Jamaica, in the Queens borough of New York, an avid reader and a high-achieving scholarship kid eager to make a mark on the world. With teachers scrambling to keep enough books in the classroom for him to devour his way through, he assumed he would one day become an English professor or a lawyer. But years later, while a freshman at Columbia University, a conversation with a mentor about intention, community and legacy changed his path.
On the heels of the global financial meltdown, at an unprecedented time in modern history, David headed to Wall Street to work for some of the world’s largest investment banks as they fought to make sense of the collapse they were coming out of and rebuild. Bearing witness to the inner workings and structures of financial markets, he learned precious lessons in the potential fickleness of corporations, the calamitous consequences of misjudging an asset’s true value and the importance of laying down steady, sustainable foundations.
During his eight years spread across Lehman Brothers, Barclays Capital and Credit Suisse, David facilitated over $100BN in financing for mid-size to Fortune 500 companies, including tens of billions of dollars of financing for the Big 3 US auto companies (Ford, GM and Chrysler). Promoted as one of the youngest Vice Presidents in his class, David rose rapidly through the ranks, but as he did, he remembered the promise he had made to himself as a kid that he would lead a life that would leave a meaningful impact.
In the summer of 2014, he visited Detroit and fell in love with the energy and charisma of its people and the beauty of its historic homes. Recognizing a mass undervaluing of the city, he began to invest in its neighborhoods, all the while building relationships with residents. David also recognized in Detroit an unfair reality he had become all too familiar with as a child as he navigated the two drastically different worlds of the Queens neighborhood he was from and the elite Manhattan environment he was going to school in: the only gap that existed between the two was not an inherent ability gap but quite simply an opportunity one. Here in Detroit was the chance to take part in the redressing of this inequity.
The following year, defying naysayers, he moved to Detroit permanently, and co-founded Century Partners with his long-time friend and college mentor Andrew. Together, living in the very neighborhoods they were investing in, they laid down the groundwork for a different kind of real estate development company that thought about revitalization and return on investment in partnership with people and place.
As Century Partners grows and establishes itself as one of the region’s most exciting Black-led businesses, David is focused on building a company with a reputation for excellence, transparency and sustainability, and processes that are both durable and adaptive.
When he is not leading a team meeting at the company’s headquarters in Detroit’s Eastern Market, you can find David cheering courtside at a Piston’s game, FaceTiming with his younger sisters, helping to teach children to read in the North West, or – when the weather allows – riding his bike to Belle Isle.