March 29, 2010 | last updated March 23, 2012 3:56 pm
10 To Watch

A Diplomatic Approach | Christopher Egan, President, Carruth Capital

Photo/Ron Bouley
Christopher Egan brought back an increased appreciation for diplomacy and listening to people's concerns from his stint as an ambassador.

Christopher Egan runs the successful real estate investment firm Carruth Capital in Westborough. He has served as an ambassador, representing the nation at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

But ask him what his greatest achievement is and he says "being married and having four lovely kids."

Egan was born in Boston and lives there again today, but he has deep ties to the MetroWest area. He grew up partly at EMC Corp., the iconic MetroWest high-tech company that his father Richard Egan helped start.

EMC, which started in Newton Lower Falls before moving to Framingham and then Hopkinton, began as a reseller of office furniture. Egan recalls heading from high school to wrestling practice and then to his dad's business, where he cleaned the office. He also assembled and delivered furniture for EMC.

Carruth is a far smaller business than EMC, employing just 22 people, but it manages about 3 million square feet of office space, giving Egan a window into a wide swath of Massachusetts businesses. He says MetroWest is a good home for many of the companies he works with because of its access to highways that can bring people in from all over the state and the region.

Cooperation
"MetroWest, to me, is the geographic and economic center of Massachusetts," he says. "It's a place where a man or woman can start a company and draw from some of the best labor pools in Massachusetts."

Egan says the location is good for his own business too, since Carruth subs out work to many contractors, architects and other specialists. He's always found more than enough talent in the area to satisfy the company's needs.

From October 2007 to January 2009, Egan served as ambassador to the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. There, he took on the daunting task of reducing the U.S. investment in the organization while making sure other countries paid more of the budget.

"I had to convince 29 other countries that they should pay more," he says.
Egan ended up succeeding in that task. He says it was the first time in history that the U.S. contribution to an international organization rose at the same time that the group's budget went up.

Egan says his private-sector experience informed the way he handled his diplomatic role, and he also learned things in that job that he brought back to Carruth.
"What I took away from it was an increased appreciation for diplomacy and listening to people's concerns," he says.

For all his professional achievements, Egan has plenty to keep him occupied at home. His children are ages 7, 6, 3 and 7 months.

And although he obviously enjoys the work he's been able to do over the years, he says the most fun thing he does is playing soccer with his family.

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