2018 HW Vanguard: John Warren


John Warren is the founder and chairman of Lima One Capital in Greenville, SC.

Warren spent four years and 300 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan as an infantry officer with the United States Marine Corps. While deployed, he was Vanguard logodecorated for “valor” and “heroic achievement” as he “led a counter attack against insurgents attacking Observation Post Virginia.”

John WarrenUpon his return, he founded Lima One Capital and has grown the company to one of the largest real estate investor lenders in the United States.

He built a company that has been ranked consistently as South Carolina’s Most Ethical Company. In 2014, Lima One was recognized as the Fastest Growing Company in South Carolina and Best Places to Work in the state. The company raised more than $1 billion in capital from institutional investors.

When it comes to his staff, Warren likes to think outside the box: “The key to building a great company is hiring great and diverse people who share the company’s vision based on their core values, work ethic, and core strengths – not because of their industry experience.

In 2018, Warren saw a need to share his personal ideas and message of leadership and progress with the citizens of South Carolina by running for the Republican nomination for governor. After a hard-fought political campaign and taking the incumbent governor to a hotly contested runoff, he came up just shy of winning the nomination but left South Carolina with a stronger spirit and expectation for leadership in their next governor.

What has been your secret to success?

“In every employee I’ve hired, I have prioritized core values and competencies over pure industry sector experience. I can teach you the market, core values are intangible.”

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