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[IMGCAP(1)]SOFIA, BULGARIA-Dallas-based Pinnacle Commercial has been renamed to Finley Morrow as it sets sail across the Atlantic Ocean with more than $50 million of capital to invest in Eastern Europe. The plan includes buying a small brokerage firm to solidify its presence.

Finley Morrow isn’t abandoning the US or its Dallas roots, but Eastern Europe has caught the entrepreneurial investors’ eyes because it’s on the cusp of change, says Christopher Morrow, partner of the 9-year-old firm. He tells GlobeSt.com that Finley Morrow’s spotlight is pointed at Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro, although the European headquarters office will be in Sofia’s CBD. Ron Finley Jr. will lead the charge as Morrow takes care of business in the US, which includes the rollout of Eeshee, a cosmetics line from Israel that Finley Morrow bought and has headquartered in Richardson, TX, and an office project in nearby Lewisville.

“We want to go to the countries not in the European Union yet, but are going to get there,” Morrow explains about the strategy. In order to join, he says the nations have to go private, as did Bulgaria, where Finley’s father has spent the past two decades mining the terrain.

“There are excellent opportunities to buy and develop. What we saw in Bulgaria five and seven years ago are the same opportunities we see in these other countries,” Morrow emphasizes. “Bulgaria is stabilized and thriving. What we want to do is take advantage of the countries coming on. That could be four years or seven years, but we want to actively buy there now.”

Finley Morrow plans to buy or build office, retail and hotels and resorts. “We are able to buy properties at discounted rates and the returns are greater than we see over here,” Morrow says, adding they’re sizing up golf course developments, too.

[IMGCAP(2)]Finley’s first move will be to buy a small brokerage firm, according to Morrow. He says his partner’s actively negotiating. “It could be one month or it could be four months” before a deal is done, he says.

Morrow says the investment pool, which is expandable, includes Gene Phillips of Dallas, who the street has long claimed is by far the metroplex’s largest commercial property owner. Finley Morrow is a private company fueled by mid- to large-cap real estate investors, so Morrow says there is no need to break ranks to build an equity fund. “We have enough money right now, but you never know where the road may take you,” he adds. “We’re going into new territory.”

Finley and Morrow started Pinnacle as a tenant rep firm and became a partner in a multi-faceted portfolio with “snapshots of other industries” on both sides of the Atlantic. In recent months, the firm’s head count climbed to 13, with the newcomers being broker Scott Hugley and business development associates George McDaniel, Cody Crossman, Jessica Ladd and Wesley Steinbach.

Morrow says it was time to brand the firm. “We felt it was our names and our reputations on the line. So, we felt since that was the case, that we were going to put our names on the door,” Morrow says. “We had so many ventures that we decided to form one company with our name on it, and let that be the brand.”

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