Our Team

JOHN F. PIPIA

Founder, Principal and Managing Member of Pacific Starr Group LLC.  John applies over forty-seven years of extensive real estate experience to both investment and advisory/consulting assignments.   Under his leadership, Pacific Starr has acquired, added significant value to and disposed of a substantial portfolio of all types of properties throughout California. He has practiced the company’s basic principles to build highly efficient, well trained, professional teams to establish and successfully execute business plans. Pacific Starr has been successful in this, for over two decades, in both good and in challenging economic cycles.

President and Chief Operating Officer of a major opportunity fund.  Key results included helping raise approximately one half billion dollars in equity from over 35 domestic and international investors; closing and managing over $1 billion in various acquisitions; and negotiating and closing over $725 million of secured and unsecured financings.

Chairman, Credit Policy of First American Bank Shares, a corporate turn-around situation.  Stabilized an asset portfolio of approximately $6 billion of a severely distressed multi-bank holding company. As a result, Government takeover was averted and the once severely troubled financial institution was successfully sold to one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S.

Managing Director and Head of Nationwide Corporate Finance of Citibank.  For over 21 years he held senior positions on both regional and national levels. In California he pioneered the formation of the first Citibank commercial real estate business located outside of New York. He was involved in lending, real estate investment banking and major restructures and problem management and resolution. He conceived the formation of Citibank-Asia Real Estate, a comprehensive global real estate operation in all the major countries of Asia and served as an advisor to Citibank Real Estate in Canada. He returned to New York and became responsible for managing and resolving Citibank’s total real estate portfolio and office network across the United States.

U.S. Army included assignments in the 3rd Infantry Division, Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (Provisional), the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Germany and combat assignments as an Infantry Company Commander and a Division General Staff-Intelligence Officer in Vietnam.

Graduate of Fordham University, (B.A. 1959) and Claremont University, Graduate School of Business Advanced Management Program, 1980.

Previously Bank Director of U.S. Subsidiary of an Asian Bank.

 

BETTY W. MA

Co-Founder, Principal and Senior Vice President of Pacific Starr Group LLC.  Betty is closely involved in all activities and has raised substantial private equity capital from both domestic and international sources. She has assisted in underwriting acquisitions, obtaining acquisition financing and leading and closing refinancing. She also assists in asset management and directs the day to day operations of the firm and investor and lender relations. Betty, a Chinese American citizen, immigrated to the U.S. from Hong Kong. She is the first person in her family to receive a formal college education as well as attending graduate school. As a result, she is a strong believer in the value of the entrepreneurial spirit, the American dream, and the power to make things happen with focused intention and practical application. She has more than 33 years of real estate experience.

Director of Marketing for the Charles Dunn Company.  Worked directly with and advised the Chairman in the development of innovative marketing and business strategies, which included a refocus of the Asian Division and brokerage business.

Corporate Real Estate and Private Bank Divisions of Citibank.  Was the West Coast Real Estate Product Specialist/Vice President in the Private Bank, assisting global ultra high net worth clients to direct portions of their capital into the Southern California real estate market. Her clients were from the United States and major countries of Asia Pacific, including Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Taiwan and Philippines. Developed a fee-based institutional product which resulted in successful and noteworthy equity placements for a retail center located in Manhattan Beach, California, and an industrial condominium project located in Orange County, California. This product was also adopted and used as a template by Citibank Investment Group and successfully sold globally to ultra high net worth clients. She also spent many years as a real estate lender and originated and successfully managed clients and a real estate portfolio of approximately $200 million.

Graduated with an MBA from the USC Graduate School of Business Administration majoring in Real Estate Finance, and was a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa undergraduate of UCLA. She remains active in the USC Graduate Business School, and served as a mentor for first year graduate MBA students for ten years.

Holds a California Broker Real Estate License #00175039 & Real Estate Officer License #01209273 for Zeus Asset Management Corporation (an affiliate of Pacific Starr Group, LLC), fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin,  practices Tai Chi daily, and is a Board Member for the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.

 

SHIRLEY YEE

Manager of Pacific Starr Group LLCShirley brings over 14 years of real estate experience to Pacific Starr Group and has assisted in asset management of commercial real estate, tenant representation in all aspects of leasing, and managing day to day operations of the company. She also is involved with the cash management of the company’s funds and maintains excellent relationships with the Company’s depository banks.

Prior to joining Pacific Starr Group, Shirley assisted in property management for PE Group LLC, performing competitive market research to ensure that properties were competitively priced, reviewing cash flow as well as capital expenditures for various multi-unit apartment projects and managing the day to day operations.

Prior to entering real estate, Shirley attended U.C. Berkeley, enjoyed a career in marketing in the high tech industry, and satisfied her entrepreneurial spirit by starting a creative company. She returned to the work force after her two daughters entered school and is able to demonstrate her marketing and entrepreneurial skills in this company.

She holds a California Broker Real Estate License #01925439, is proficient in Taiwanese, and is active as a Board member for Non Profit School, Creative World Art Center, as an Executive Board Member for Arcadia District Council PTA and as President for First Avenue Middle School PTSA in Arcadia, CA.