Complex exchange transactions attracted Rob when he began studying law in 1970 and through his graduation from the University of Miami School of Law with a master’s in taxation, first in his class, in 1974. He continues to be among a handful of the highest-level specialists in America, illustrated by his service as the only expert witness representing the Qualified Intermediary (QI) industry in the largest class-action lawsuits against perpetrators of major theft of exchange funds. He also served as the expert witness in the class-action lawsuit against a major national title company forced to declare bankruptcy while entrusted with exchange funds it could not protect.
A visionary, Rob realized early in his career that every major title company would ultimately have its own inhouse intermediary company. He formed the first national QI for First American Title when exchanges were little known. Rob needed to familiarize the country about exchanges by doing presentations at every First American office.
At this point Judy left her teaching career to coordinate over 160 exchange seminars in the mid-1980s. The lectures were attended by sophisticated real property attorneys, CPAs, title officers, commercial escrow officers and real estate investors from Manhattan to San Francisco.
Judy’s initial career began when she founded Sunrise Montessori School in 1976 after receiving primary, secondary and teacher-training credentials from the St. Nicholas Center for Montessori Education. She was motivated to provide a vibrant social and educational environment for her and Rob’s son who was thought to have special needs at the time. Sunrise offered the Santa Barbara community broad opportunities for Montessori education, well-trained Montessori teachers and parent education courses. The detail-oriented teaching of the Montessori discovery method (child-guided individualized learning) and small business management experience facilitated Judy’s transition to becoming a QI after she coordinated Rob’s 2-year speaking tour.
Amherst Exchange Corporation was co-founded by Judy and Rob in 1988, with Judy at its helm as CEO. Rob maintains his private real property specialty legal practice with The Egenolf Group and serves as chief legal advisor to Amherst. Over the years, Amherst has served as QI in thousands of exchange transactions nationwide, entrusted with proceeds in the hundreds of millions of dollars.