Ralph Serrano is the co-founder and managing director of Miami-based Safe Harbor Equity, a private equity firm specializing in performing and non-performing asset-backed real estate debt investments.
Ralph Serrano and Safe Harbor Equity
Ralph Serrano has overseen the execution of hundreds of individual transactions since founding Safe Harbor Equity in 2005. Safe Harbor specializes in a variety of asset and transaction types in the residential and commercial sectors, including performing and non-performing loans, defaulted debt instruments, and distressed real estate assets. The company focuses on the South Florida real estate market, notably Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, but routinely seeks appropriate investment opportunities elsewhere in the continental United States.
With more than 50 years of combined experience, Serrano and his team employ proprietary analytical techniques to evaluate distressed assets and pursue opportunities that are likely to maximize investor returns in a variety of economic environments.
Serrano targets real estate assets and instruments with expected IRRs of 20 percent or higher. Safe Harbor typically seeks first position loans backed by a variety of collateral types, with LTVs ranging from 50 to 70 percent. Depending on the circumstances, Ralph Serrano pursues both single-note and loan pool acquisitions.
Serrano’s clientele consists of sophisticated U.S. investors. Safe Harbor acts both as principal and intermediary for partnerships, participations, joint ventures, and managed accounts. Since founding Safe Harbor Equity, Serrano has overseen millions in debt and real estate transactions. The company’s proprietary deal flow relies on a robust network of personal and professional relationships in the South Florida real estate and finance spheres, and its in-house servicing platform facilitates high-touch client support.
Ralph Serrano: Education and Philanthropy
Ralph Serrano was raised in the Miami area and attended Florida International University. He became interested in real estate investing soon after graduating, even as he pursued other professional interests. Serrano founded MTU, Inc., a Miami-based commercial vehicle fleet maintenance and service provider, in 1992, and led the company for seven years. Subsequently, he was a national corporate account manager for WorldCom, Inc. After his WorldCom tenure ended in 2001, Serrano served as a strategic and business management consultant for British Aerospace Systems’ (BAE Systems) South American portfolio.
Today, Ralph Serrano is a frequent panelist and speaker at real estate investment conferences throughout North America, where he represents the interests of Safe Harbor Equity. In a personal capacity, Serrano regularly attends technology conferences and meetups, including blockchain and fintech gatherings focused on next-generation solutions for financial services providers.
Serrano is an active member of South Florida’s philanthropic community. His favored charities include Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, a leading cancer diagnosis and care facility in Miami; Best Buddies International, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that develops friendship, employment, and leadership opportunities for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities; and the Ganley Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about depression and other mental health issues.
Ralph Serrano and his family live in Miami.