Last year Socotra Capital was voted one of the Best Places to Work by the Sacramento Business Journal. What are the key ingredients in hiring and retaining your team?
Socotra hired its first employee in 2008. We are now 31 people strong.
We know that for the team to win, we must also help the individual team members succeed. As a company, we work hard to ensure everyone on the team is respected. There is a relentless pursuit of improving the process and systems to give people opportunities.
We embrace the theory of aggregation of marginal gains, where everyone looks for 1% improvements. Everything we do is driven by and measured against our values. And now that things are starting to open up, we are excited about the opportunities that bring us back to the office. We enjoy the camaraderie and the engagement.
What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part is watching people grow and develop. I enjoy challenging our team and seeing them grow and respond. Along the way, we have hired college students as interns. Some have stayed with us after college and have become superstars. I am excited to continue to grow Socotra and provide value to our investors, good loans to our borrowers, and solid careers for our team.
Volunteerism is part of your company’s culture. What community organizations does Socotra support and why?
Since 2009, we have sponsored and organized a summer softball league for commercial realty brokers in Sacramento. The money raised during the season comes from the players who ask sponsors to pledge $20 for each strikeout, hit, or homerun. The league now has several sponsors, raising thousands of dollars each year. Socotra Capital matches the money raised by sponsors and players, and the funds are donated to Los Amigos/Sacramento Children’s Home.
Why the name Socotra? Is there a special meaning behind the name?
Socotra is named after an island off the coast of Yemen in the Arabian Sea. Many residents of mainland Yemen have sought safety from the war on Socotra Island. Socotra’s name stems from the firm’s ability to be an island of refuge for borrowers. The late John Ingoglia, the company’s founding partner, named it as such because he always said the best loans are those made in the ‘depths of uncertainty.’
Socotra’s logo is of a dragon tree, an endangered species that can only be found on the island.