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William Friend Biography – William Friend Wiki
William “Will” Friend was the CEO of Bisnow, an online commercial real estate events and news company. Friend was the CEO of the company since 2015, overseeing its growth to include 650 annual digital and live events in 50 international territories, 11 million news readers and more than 250 employees across the U.S., Canada, the UK and Ireland. During his tenure, Friend transformed the company from a local events business into a multichannel data, events, news and intelligence platform for the multitrillion-dollar commercial real estate market, according to Bisnow Media.
Friend was hired at Bisnow in 2010 fresh out of college, starting first as an intern crashing at the chief operating officer’s apartment before taking on roles in recruiting, events and sales. His work ethic propelled him quickly to the top of the organization, first being named COO in 2013 before taking over as CEO in 2015 when he was 27.
Friend also led the 2016 sale of Bisnow from family ownership to private equity firm Wicks Group, propelling the company to international growth, and he pushed to develop an award-winning newsroom pursuing journalism of the highest standards. He led an organizational pivot to digital events amid a pandemic, retained the company’s core leaders during the Great Resignation and staunchly pushed the commercial real estate industry forward on diversity.
William Alexander Goodwin Friend was born in London, England, on July 9, 1988, to Tony and Antoinette Friend. He attended Garden House School before enrolling at the prestigious Harrow School, an all-boys boarding school that counts Winston Churchill among its famous alumni.
After being born in the UK to English parents and living there until he was 15, when he traveled to the U.S. to visit a friend, he was determined that he was going to live in the States.
“I just fell in love with America,” Friend said in 2019 on The Fort podcast. “I could feel the American dream. It’s hard to truly appreciate what that feels like until you’ve lived somewhere else. Anything is possible in America, and it’s important to never take that for granted.”
He said his parents wouldn’t allow him to move, but he eventually convinced them and worked out a transfer with his English secondary school to St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. It was there that he started his entrepreneurial streak, launching a nonalcoholic party and events company after seeing his classmates’ binge drinking and drunk driving after high school dances.
After graduating from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, he sent a letter to Mark Bisnow’s wife, Margot, asking for a job. Begelman interviewed Friend in Dallas while there attending a Bisnow event, and during the meeting at a local restaurant. Begelman and Friend developed a partnership that took Bisnow to even greater heights, culminating in 2016 when the Wicks Group purchased the business for an estimated $50M.
Friend’s thirst for new experiences led him to pursue a life of adventure outside the office. He loved flying planes and secured his pilot’s license. He was passionate about bikes and motorcycles, especially his Yamaha YZF-R6, and was prone to go on scuba diving trips in Mauritius with his brothers, John and Tom. He competed in two Ironman races, one half-Ironman and ran a marathon.
William Friend Age
William Alexander Goodwin Friend was born in London, England, on July 9, 1988. He passed away on July 3, 2022, at the age of 33.
William Friend Wife – Bevin Prince William Friend
William Friend was married to Bevin Prince, an actress on One Tree Hill and a SoulCycle instructor. William Friend’s wife starred in the CW series One Tree Hill from 2004 to 2012. He married Bevin Prince in May 2016, and the two moved to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, when the pandemic hit to be closer to her family. Will and his wife Bevin launched a local fitness business together in their new town, although Friend was traveling to different Bisnow offices and events as often as he could.
William Friend Death
Bisnow CEO William Friend died unexpectedly on Sunday, July 3, 2022, near his home in Wilmington, North Carolina. He was 33. According to the National Lightning Safety Council, Friend was struck by lightning while he was on a boat near Masonboro Island, close to his home in Wilmington, North Carolina. He was pronounced dead in an ambulance, where the medical team attempted to revive him for 20 minutes, per WECT-TV.
Following Friend’s death, Prince’s best friend, You Again star Odette Annable, shared a tribute via Instagram.
“The unimaginable has happened and we have to say goodbye to another friend, @britwilliam. My best friend @bevinaprince beloved husband,” Annable wrote alongside a series of images featuring Prince, Friend, and their dog Winston, whom Prince introduced to fans in April 2021.
“Will, it feels surreal writing this. Mostly because it feels like you were just getting started. The life and love that you gave to my best friend made it feel okay that we were thousands of miles apart,” she continued.
“As I sit in your beautiful home, looking out onto the ocean, I keep thinking about what a gift you gave to Bevin. What a gift you gave to everyone who knew you to witness the passion that burned in your soul.
“The passion to help people, to build your business, to find happiness like I’d never seen from you living in North Carolina with Bevin. You were perfect for her in every way. You supported her dreams, you made her feel seen, you adored her with every bit of your soul and I will forever be grateful to witness that kind of love. Being here with Bevin, hearing her share stories about you and your love breaks my heart for her, because she lost the love of her life and the world lost a really really good one. I know you will still be with her and your gorgeous brothers and family the Prince family, and we will all feel you spreading your light and beauty through everyone who was fortunate enough to know you. At only 33 years old, you did it, and you went out like no other in a blaze of glory. May you Rest In Peace you charming, witty, beautiful British man who loved the shit out of America. I love you.
“I’ve just asked this of you my friends and family on social media, but here I am asking again. If you feel compelled to help or know Will and want to support, in lieu of flowers, please consider donating to these causes that Will believed in with his heart. One of them being the business @recessbybevinprince that he built alongside his wife and my best friend @bevinaprince. Bevin and the women in her company have worked so hard to keep this dream going and all he would have wanted was to see them continue to succeed.
“Thank you so much for all of your support during this time. I love you all ♥️”
William Friend Cause of Death
William Friend died after being struck by lightning off the coast of North Carolina, according to the National Lightning Safety Council.
William Friend Net Worth
William Friend’s net worth is estimated to be $5 million.
William Friend Nationality
He was of British nationality.
William Friend Instagram
William Friend’s Instagram is @britwilliam.