Executive Team

  • Shang Dai
  • Christopher Sameth
  • Steven Ruggiero
  • Jenny Chen

Shang Dai is Chief Executive Officer and managing member of Kuafu Properties. Mr. Dai is responsible for the strategic direction of the company, overall management of the firm, the pursuit of new development opportunities and corporate acquisitions and financing activities across all business platforms.

Mr. Dai has extensive experience in real estate acquisition, development and project financing. He has successfully built a bridge between Chinese capital and U.S. investment opportunities by having excellent professional teams in the local real estate market and positioning Kuafu well to help Chinese investors avoid pitfalls and seize great opportunities.  Because of his connection with local major players, his legal knowledge and experience, and great access to Chinese capital, Kuafu is able to navigate and compete in the very competitive real estate market in the United States.  With his leadership and operation, Kuafu has established long term relationship with many Chinese institutional investors, state-owned companies, developers and high net worth individuals, working together to seek investment opportunities in the U.S. real estate market. Vision, value and execution are the driving power and company culture Mr. Dai has always been advocating.

Mr. Dai received his LL.B. from Nankai University and LL.M. from William & Mary Law School.

Christopher Sameth is the Head of Acquisition of Kuafu Properties.  With a well-rounded background in commercial real estate, Mr. Sameth is responsible for the Company’s capital markets activities, including sourcing new development opportunities and the capitalization of Kuafu’s various projects.

Previously, Mr. Sameth spent eight years with Investcorp, a global investment firm with offices in New York, London and Bahrain, where he was Principal and oversaw various aspects of Investcorp’s real estate equity business. Mr. Sameth invested in a wide range of commercial real estate assets in multiple markets during his previous tenure with Investcorp; he was also responsible for investing a series of commercial real estate debt funds, which from 2008-2012 were one of the more active market participants acquiring commercial real estate debt and originating subordinate debt on various commercial assets across the United States with a particular focus in New York City. Prior to Investcorp, Mr. Sameth worked for The Gale Company, a major commercial real estate investment and development firm where he focused on the firm’s development and capital markets activities; he helped to grow the company’s investment business through partnerships with many of the real estate industry’s leading institutional capital partners.

Mr. Sameth attended NYU’s Shack Real Estate Institute for his master’s studies and is a regular guest lecturer at NYU’s Stern School of Business. Mr. Sameth also carries memberships to many prestigious real estate and financial trade organizations.

Steven Ruggiero is Executive Vice President and Head of Construction for Kuafu Properties, responsible to lead all aspects of pre-construction and construction operations. Prior to Kuafu Properties , Mr. Ruggiero has managed a variety of large hotel and residential buildings, major alterations, fast track high end interior fit out projects, restoration of historical and landmark structures, as well as commercial construction for some of the largest developers in New York City including Extell, Vornado, Brodsky, Millennium Partners, Silverstein Properties, Ian Schrager Hotels, and Thor Equities.

 

Mr. Ruggiero was a Senior Vice President of Construction for Tishman Construction for several years, an AECOM company. During his time at Tishman, Mr. Ruggiero was responsible to oversee a 1 billion dollars of work; including 99 Church Street and Four Seasons Hotel , 40 Riverside, 520 5th Avenue , and 160 Leroy Street. Mr Ruggiero was also a Senior Vice President at Lend Lease Corporation, based in New York for 29 years. Some key projects included JFK Terminal 4, 15 William Street condominium,  Chelsea Enclave condominium, 2 Columbus Avenue condominium, The Brearley / St. Bernard School expansions, Ritz Carlton Hotel and Residences, 731 Lexington Ave/ Beacon Court residences, Lowell Hotel, Lowes Summit Hotel, The Hudson Hotel,  American Stock Exchange Expansion,  Nomura Securities headquarters, ICBC Headquarters, Kirkland and Ellis,  and the Ellis Island Restoration.  Innovative, striving for excellence, while remaining on time and under budget.

 

Mr. Ruggiero received a BS degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology in Construction Management and Engineering. He has also served his community, elected by his home town mayor, as planning board member in the City of Glen Cove for several years.

Jenny Chen oversees accounting, financial reporting, cash management, and human resources for Kuafu Properties. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Chen worked as Quality Control Director and Audit Partner at both national and regional public accounting firms. She has an extensive background in US GAAP, IFRS and auditing standards of the AICPA and the PCAOB, as well as business valuation. She is a Certified Public Accountant, a Chartered Global Management Accountant, an Internal Revenue Service Enrolled Agent, and a Certified Valuation Analyst. Ms. Chen is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts, Institute of Chartered Financial Analyst and New York Society of Security Analysts.

Ms. Chen earned an MBA with Honors from Oklahoma City University and continued her postgraduate studies at Harvard University.