The Observer met Mr. Reuveni at an Upper West Side Italian place for lunch before our tour of the Laureate. When we arrived, he was already sitting at the bar waiting, checking email on his BlackBerry. Sharing his biography over a chicken paillard, Mr. Reuveni chose his words carefully, peering through his transition lenses without blinking for long periods of time as he spoke.
Originally from Tel Aviv, Mr. Reuveni immigrated to the U.S. at 15 and attended high school in Queens. In his youth, Mr. Reuveni was a vigorous athlete. “I used to do gymnastics in high school. I fenced as well. I was always very athletic,” he said.
And what of his love of karate?
“I normally don’t talk about that,” Mr. Reuveni said, almost imperceptibly caught off-guard, his discomfort belied by a sole blink. Mr. Reuveni momentarily forgot he had casually mentioned his passion for karate on an earlier occasion, and was surprised when asked about it anew. Instantly regaining his characteristic sang-froid, he began to explain his interest in the sport.
When he was 26, Mr. Reuveni sat mesmerized as a martial artist demonstrated a series of moves. “There’s a very high level of perfectionism with the sport,” he said “which I always liked. It was an outlet for me, both mental and physical, and I think it definitely did help me in my professional life. I think that discipline, that sense of order, that sense of purpose … the structure of how to get results,” he said.
Initially finding his stride in international relocations, Mr. Reuveni handpicked luxe lofts for globe-trotting executives, often working with large banks and law firms. He developed his understanding of nouveau riche corporate buyers, all the while spinning a web of connections among developers and brokers throughout the city.