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Kelly Brannen


Kelly Brannen is Co-Founder and Owner of Tortoise Realty Group. In late 2017, Kelly formed Tortoise Properties along with Jake Geleerd to focus on the commercial and multi-family residential markets in South Florida, now fast becoming the “Wall Street of the South.” He first began as a silent partner providing the commercial and residential real estate family office with equity, and as of January 1, 2022 became an active member of the company. Since its inception, Tortoise Properties has invested $70 million, purchasing commercial office buildings that are now fully leased and is currently developing a high-end apartment building in West Palm Beach.

Prior to co-founding Tortoise Realty Group and Tortoise Properties, Brannen had a 35-year long career at Niacet corporation, a business specializing in food, animal feed and pharma intermediates. He along with family members grew the business into a market leader in all areas in which it participated. Starting with only one factory based in Niagara Falls, the company grew by acquiring several other factories in both the Netherlands and Columbia to establish an international footprint and achieve the best producer economics for their products in the world. The company had a global sales force selling in almost every market in the world.

In 2017 the family sold the business to SK Capital, a private equity group based in New York City. All family members exited the business except for Brannen. He stayed on but reduced his ownership. During this time, he and his leadership team grew the business five-fold in four-and-a-half years. Then in 2021, both SK Capital and Brannen sold their interests to Kerry Group out of Ireland for $1.015 billion.

With the initial sale to SK Capital in 2017, Brannen took a portion of the proceeds to found and operate Tortoise Properties along with Jake Geleerd. In 2022, with his retirement from Niacet, Brannen has dedicated his time and additional capital to focus on growing Tortoise Properties to the preeminent real estate developer in the South Florida market.

In addition to his business activities, Brannen has always been committed to the communities in which he lived. Spending his free time supporting charity and business groups, he chaired or served in leadership roles in various industry groups, including The Niagara Business Alliance (Chairman), The Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce (Chairman), The American Chemistry Council (Leadership Committee), Multiple Sclerosis Dinner In NYC (Co-Chair), Country Club of Buffalo Board of Governors (Secretary), Power for Economic Prosperity (Chairman), and Hydropower Relicensing Consensus Committee (Chairman of Low-Cost Power subcommittee).

He and his family live in Palm Beach County where Tortoise Properties is headquartered.

Brannen earned a B.A. in Chemistry St. Anselm College (1986) and an MBA in Finance from the University of Rochester, Simon School of Business (1995).

He and his family live in Palm Beach County where Tortoise Realty Group and Tortoise Properties is headquartered.

Kelly Brannen
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