Capital Markets Senior Director manifests success with JLL
Jillian Mariutti's analytical and interpersonal skills led her to commercial real estate finance
Jillian Mariutti believes in the power of positive thinking and manifestation. As a senior director in JLL Capital Markets' New York City office, a positive mindset has been essential to finding her way into a career where her relationship-building and mathematical skills are utilized to their fullest potential.
Jillian grew up in a close-knit Italian American family in South Philadelphia, where currently, her parents, sister and brother and their families all live on the same block. She often joins her siblings, nieces, and nephews around her parent’s table for lively Sunday pasta and gravy dinners. While growing up, family values meant hard work; for her dad, it was in construction around Philadelphia; for her mom, it was being a business manager at a local school. Jillian’s mother, Diane, was number one out of 800 students in high school in mathematics, but her parents could only afford to send her brother to college. Diane passed her math skills on to her daughter, Jillian, who she says is doing it for the both of them.
Key to those family values was supporting each other's gifts and talents. Her parents placed a premium on education. Seeing Jillian’s academic gifts, they wanted her to have an opportunity to reach her full potential. She enrolled in a private collegiate prep school. The family skipped extra expenses, like renting a house for summer vacations in Margate City to afford it. Instead, they would wake up early and drive back and forth on the weekends. As an adult, rewarding their sacrifices by writing them a check to rent a summer house was one of the most favorite things Jillian has done.
Her parents' investment in her future helped Jillian be accepted to and attend the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics. From the beginning, she envisioned herself graduating with this highest accolade, and her positive attitude and strong self-belief helped her to achieve this goal. However, Jillian underscores not to mistake mindset with wishful thinking; hard work and action are essential to achieving the vision.
As graduation neared, Jillian knew she wanted a career in a field where her love of numbers and deep analytical skills would shine, and she would get to interact with people. Through on-campus recruiting interviews, she secured an offer from Wachovia to work on the interest rate derivatives trading desk.
Jillian and husband, David, at their daughter, Juliana’s baptism in 2022.
This role required she tap into her strong quantitative and people skills. She particularly enjoyed it because she interacted directly with her clients on the derivatives desk and worked on a trading floor, arms' length away from her colleagues. The large corporates desk connected her with health care, media, telecommunications, and other industries.
Jillian worked on the derivatives desk through the economic recession and through Wachovia's merger with Wells Fargo. During these turbulent times, she was assigned to a managing director that happened to cover commercial real estate.
She loved the work and, over the next eight years, worked closely with owners and developers and covered the hospitality, multi-housing, REITs, and gaming sectors, all from an interest-rate risk-management perspective.
"The worlds of commercial real estate and Wall Street were completely foreign to me, but I refused to settle on a career," Jillian said. "I set my mind on finding the career pathway that enabled me to use both my quantitative and interpersonal skills, not one or the other."
The longer she worked within commercial real estate, the more curious she became about what it was her clients were doing. Jillian started investing in real estate herself.
"I had this pull to really understand the real estate fundamentals, not just being a product partner," Jillian said. "I leveraged the relationships I had built over the decade to explore chapter two of my career."
She grabbed coffee with people in her network to learn about different real estate opportunities and to see what sparked her interest, and through her contacts, was introduced to capital markets firm HFF. Right away, it felt like the right fit and checked the boxes of her ideal career: highly quantitative yet very reliant on collaboration and networking with others. The idea of becoming a commercial real estate financial expert excited her.
Jillian Mariutti welcomed daughter, Juliana Sky Nieder, into the world in March 2022.
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At the time she was interviewing, JLL was acquiring HFF. She felt confident the existing team of people combined with the new resources would set everyone up for success. Her official start was one month before the merger.
"It was actually an optimal time to join the new platform," Jillian said of the onboarding and transition. "Everyone was experiencing something new and making adjustments. It was seamless."
Moving into capital markets put Jillian in charge of her career for the first time. "The biggest change was moving from a salary-bonus to an 'eat what you kill' structure," said Jillian. "That's a considerable risk for some people, but I believed I could do it, especially with the backing of countless resources at JLL."
Jillian points to JLL's deep range of business lines and experts. One client she'd been nurturing for years needed a large student housing refinance, a niche Jillian didn't know as much about. She was able to leverage JLL's dedicated student housing debt team to win the business.
"Without a doubt, looping in my colleagues helped us win the business. It was a specific niche and our team had specialized expertise as a resource. They knew exactly how to speak to the market," Jillian said.
Jillian Mariutti and husband, David Nieder, got married in 2021.
The team's knowledge is its power. Jillian points out that JLL's U.S. Capital Markets team executed nearly $100 billion debt financing last year and has experience in every type of deal.
"Deals are going to fall apart," said Jillian. "The key is not to let that impact you too much. It might take a thousand tries before you hit that home run. You must keep problem-solving and envisioning your success. That feeling when you do crush it for your clients–it's a rush."
Jillian would like more women to consider commercial real estate financing as a career. "Don't be afraid to take the sciences, math, and business courses," she said. "This is a great career for solving problems. Your clients are relying on you to find the best solution. If you believe in yourself and work extremely hard, your goals will be achievable."
Jillian continues to use the power of manifestation in her professional and personal life. She set a goal in 2018 to meet the love of her life, even writing it in a letter to Santa. Eleven days later, she met David Nieder. The couple married in 2021 and welcomed their daughter, Juliana Sky Nieder, in March of 2022. Jillian is excited to share the power of positivity and having a strong mindset with their daughter as she grows up.