John William Simonse attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. John graduated from the academy in 1980 with highest honors and a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering. John played rugby and was one of only 3 graduates selected to participate in the prestigious American President Lines (APL) officer management training program. After college John worked for the Department of Defense. After training in Switzerland, John had a top secret security clearance and worked for 5 years in and around the Mediterranean and Bay of Bengal for the Military Sea Lift Command. After working with the Navy for a total of 14 years, John received an honorable discharge. John continued to work at sea and on land, sailing to over 65 different countries on various types of vessels, as well as special assignments at APL’s corporate headquarters. By age 30, John earned his chief engineers license, issued by the U.S. Coast Guard, for steam, diesel & gas turbine engines of unlimited horse power.
John was always interested in real estate and purchased his first property at the age of 20. During the 1990’s John decided to turn his focus to business/entrepreneurship activities and obtained a CA, real estate broker’s license. John also developed and operated a fine food restaurant, bar and night club called Johnny Angels Tapa Café in Walnut Creek CA, for about 10 years, selling the business in 1998.
In 1999 John combined his interest in real estate and investing by writing the first PPM for the Magnate Funds LLC, a private money loan and real estate development entity. John raised the first round of capital for the Fund and under his management he grew the Magnate Funds to over 50M in investments. During the last decade, John successfully guided the Magnate Funds through the great recession and helped create the Lodgepole Fund and a few other investment funds. John currently manages loan, real estate development and investment portfolios valued at over 200M. To date, John has funded over 1B in real estate loans and investments. John was also on the board of directors of Medea Inc., a technology company, for a number of years.
John resides in Danville, CA with his wife Annie and their brood of 6 children.