As the old wisdom goes, those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it. But while this philosophy might seem more applicable to politicians and diplomats, real estate investment professional Coe Juracek believes it’s an important concept for everyone working in the interconnected climate of this modern age.
Coe Juracek spends about half his working life traveling around the globe, meeting people and talking about investments and real estate.
Juracek, who graduated with a history degree from Duke University and an MBA in finance from Southern Methodist University, is the senior managing director of the investor coverage group of Crow Holdings Capital and his job takes him all over. He leads capital formation, business development, and strategic initiatives for the firm on a global basis. One day he could be in Singapore, the next in Seoul, South Korea. The following week might be London, followed by Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Manama, Bahrain. And while he readily admits the myriad airports and time zone changes can be demanding, he absolutely loves what he does.
“No. 1 is, I enjoy it. I really, really enjoy the stimulation of meeting people around the world and interacting with what are truly different cultures,” says Juracek. “We’re all the same as humans, but we are not the same in that our cultures impact how we interact with each other. Success has at least partially been learning what that means when I’m sitting in a meeting with a Korean, versus an Emirati, versus a Chilean. They’re all people, but they do expect different interactions. And trying to learn those things and make connections is super fun. I mean, it is really stimulating, challenging and rewarding.”
Juracek readily admits that there isn’t an obvious direct line from being a history major to serving in a senior role in investment management.
“It really was not by design at all, but it ended up being rather perfect,” says Juracek.
The theme of his life that brought him to where he is, he shares, started with a desire that’s stuck with him since he was an undergrad: a fascination with the world, its cultures, and how things work.
That’s because real estate and global investments aren’t just about the assets themselves. They’re about connecting with people and understanding them — their needs, their motivations, and the way they think. And for Juracek, the study of history is invaluable to such ends.
For Coe Juracek, It’s a Fascinating World Out There
When choosing his major, Juracek landed on history because it gave him the opportunity to understand the world.
“It’s fascinating to me,” he says.
And while other students focused on European or ancient history, Coe Juracek sought out classes that would give him a more holistic view.
“You were supposed to pick European history or something, and I made up my own area of concentration, and nobody ever called me on it,” Juracek recalls. “Mine was just, ‘I want to take classes that are studying the intersection of the West and other cultures throughout the colonial period of history.’ So whether that’s Japan or China or North America, or South and Latin America. All these intersections were fascinating to me.”
As he entered the workforce and began traveling to many of the places he’d studied in college, Juracek found that his natural fascination with different parts of the planet and their cultures served him well.
“It’s really funny and my colleagues give me a hard time,” says Juracek of his natural inclination to want to learn about the places he visits or share obscure facts he learned in school. “I’ll go to a meeting in Oman and know something [about the country]. And people are surprised that an American walked into the room and was talking about their history.”
As a result, thinks Juracek, he’s able to make a bigger impression and a deeper connection with the people he meets in his business life, no matter where around they’re from.
Coe Juracek Finds Lessons Everywhere
Coe Juracek displays a natural intrigue for different cultures and countries, and it drives him to keep learning and keep making connections.
He recently returned from a family vacation in Europe and the experience further solidified his belief that travel isn’t only good for the mind and the soul, but good for professional life as well.
“We went to continental Europe with my family. Took the kids on a big trip, and we went to Austria and the Czech Republic and Hungary,” shares Juracek. “So, I dusted off my German, and then we tried, as a family, to learn a little bit of Czech and Hungarian. But that is mission impossible. Holy cow. Those are hard languages.”
Juracek’s children had never been to Europe before. The family had planned to start taking them just as the COVID pandemic hit. Then all of a sudden, years had passed.
“So, for a couple of Texas kids who grew up in Dallas, to see these different parts of the world,” marvels Juracek. “Taking a train around instead of hopping in a car. Walking everywhere, and to be in these cities that are older than our country.”
For Juracek, the experience was rewarding because he could see afresh the importance of exposing yourself to different cultures and different ways of life — and making connections you didn’t realize you could make.
Part of the Juracek family’s heritage is Czech (his surname is Czech).
When the family was in the Czech Republic, they would walk into restaurants, and the greeter would ask for the reservation name.
“We’d tell them our name was Juracek, and instantly, you’d get this embrace from the locals,” says Juracek. “They were like, ‘You’re Czech!’ And we’re like, ‘Well, we’re from America — but we’re back!’ It was really fun.”
Being a global traveler and a student of history means Juracek implicitly understands the importance of understanding different cultures.
And he encourages others to do the same. To find a way to connect with the people they do business with on a more profound level.
It’s not just good for the soul, thinks Juracek. It’s good for business too.
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