The Inventor: Studley Legend's Knack for Tinkering Transfers to Game-Changers
August 2, 2010
By: Jotham Sederstrom

"My personal life is more interesting than my professional life," said Ira Schuman, half-joking, late last week.

Until, that is, you consider the Studley broker's 33-year knack for executing the kind of game-changing real estate transactions that routinely impact the city. From a deal in 1988 for Cravath Swaine & Moore that validated the far West Side for dozens of law firms that followed in its footsteps, to another last year that will breath new life into Hunter College, Mr. Schuman has handled complex office deals and not-for-profit transactions with aplomb. ...

... It was Mr. Schuman's work on behalf of the Lois and Samuel Silberman Fund that ultimately resulted in both the largest gift ever given to the City University of New York-approximately $30 million-and the Real Estate Board of New York's Most Ingenious Deal of the Year award. ...

...But Mondays, they do return, which isn't to suggest that Mr. Schuman's energetic weekend persona trickles away. On the contrary, as Studley's longest-serving broker in New York, he's become a guru of sorts to the firm's younger recruits. Indeed, his office is regularly bombarded with questions from inquisitive brokers.

"After 30 years, you see a lot of stuff," said Mr. Schuman, replacing his nifty inventor's cap with the well-earned fez of a grand poobah. "I've seen irrational exuberance and seen recession. ... And, I'll say, I prefer irrational exuberance."

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