Arthur Becker – Managing Member of Madison Partners

Strategy needs to be reflective of the business vertical. In a broad context, talent is the key to success: identifying the talent, persuading talented people to your vision or that of the business and then getting out of the way.

Arthur is the Managing Member of Madison Partners, LLC, an investment firm focused on real estate and early stage Bio Tech ventures. Becker was formerly the Chairman & CEO of Zinio, LLC,(2012-2015) the world’s largest digital newsstand. Prior to joining Zinio, Mr. Becker was the CEO of NaviSite, a NASDAQ quoted company that provided internet technology services, hosting and colocation to businesses in the US and UK from 2002-2010. With offices in the US, UK and India, NaviSite provided data center hosting and cloud-based application management to the enterprise market. Arthur was a senior advisor to the Vera Wang fashion company for 7 years and has been a private investor in technology and real estate since NaviSite was sold to Time Warner in 2011.

Where did the idea for Madison Partners LLC come from?

During my tenure at NaviSite and then ZINIO, I became very engaged in both technology and real estate. Having sold NaviSite in 2011, I chose to expand my real estate interests by investing in condomium development in New York City and Miami, Florida. I have also become exposed to a number of early stage bio tech companies and became fascinated by the evolving paradigms in the bio technology and the combination of substantial economic opportunities and the potential to make a significant impact on people’s lives

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My days are quite flexible as I no longer have an operating business with scheduled conference calls and meetings. I am currently in the final stages of the completion of a number of Town Houses on Sullivan St. in New York City and preparing to build a small luxury residential condominium development in Tribeca.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I find that I am most effective when I work with people that I respect—in real estate or in technology. Real estate is fascinating as the various stages of a development are so different—from the entitlements, design and financing stage to the actual construction and marketing. Organizing and coordinating the work of experts and other talent is when I am most effective.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I am very intrigued by a number of trends in bio tech—particularly in the field of cancer treatment. Although I do not have medical training, I have been exposed sufficiently to have an active interest in a number of different approaches.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

For my entrepreneurial outings, I have found that the biggest challenge has been to balance the passionate and drive with critical thinking. The challenges posed within a startup is the fascinating mix of clarity of vision, unrelenting drive, passion to engage and lead your colleagues but also, the critical thinking to judge how to adjust the vision, the strategy and sometimes, the people.

I have tried many different business over the years. I have failed numerous times and hopefully have learned how to avoid similar failures going forward. In those companies that have been successful, the chemistry between the management has always been critical to the success of an operating business. Although I feel like I have a reasonable ability to grasp the basic elements required for success in businesses in different verticals, I have found that my ability to evaluate and assist in the development of the management talent has been a critical factor in any success that I have enjoyed.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I worked in the Parks Department of a small town when I was sixteen. The young kids were all given the more difficult jobs of mowing steep, rock-filled roadsides during the hot summer at $1.60 per hour. Motivated me to think that I had better find better work and something that I could find both interesting and more lucrative.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I am not really one to think about do-overs, however—I think that I could have significantly benefitted from the completion of the second year of my graduate school in business. I had a construction company dis-assembling and moving 18th century houses and chose to focuss on that business rather than complete graduate school. The immediate satisfaction was rewarding but I think I might have enjoyed the training of an early career in investment banking possibly even more.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I don’t have a silver bullet but would say that informed and intelligent tenacity; listening to your colleagues and the market; and staying flexible in the strategy.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Strategy needs to be reflective of the business vertical. In a broad context, talent is the key to success: identifying the talent, persuading talented people to your vision or that of the business and then getting out of the way.


Arthur Becker on LinkedIn: