A Discussion With David Ebrahimzadeh About Starting A Successful Family Business

With a family background in real estate, David Ebrahimzadeh wanted to start something different. He built a successful real estate investment firm from the ground up, and is now giving back to the community via scholarships.

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David Ebrahimzadeh is the founder and owner of Corniche Capital, a company that is involved both with real estate investment and private equity financing. In real estate, the company focuses on multifamily and office properties, picking up projects that may be financially distressed and turning the investment around.

The private equity side of the business focuses on middle-market firms and later-stage growth investments as well as projects with distressed debt. Corniche Capital has picked up investments in industries ranging from logistics and manufacturing to mining.

Ebrahimzadeh grew up in a family heavily involved in real estate. Beginning when he was young, he frequented construction sites and learned about the business from his relatives. His strong family background in real estate has given him an instinct for spotting a great deal and whether a new investment will be profitable.

His first job out of college was in a real estate finance firm. He learned a great deal more about the industry from this job and decided that he wanted to personally become involved in real estate investment.

At first, he bought buildings that he felt could be rehabilitated either physically or in terms of their financing. By buying and selling these properties, he acquired profits which he then began to put into private equity.

Today, David Ebrahimzadeh is both a successful investor and a philanthropist. His scholarship is focused on supporting students who are interested in going into real estate. He is a valuable member of the real estate and private equity communities.

Why did you decide to create your own business?

I decided to create my own business because I felt that I had the background and skills needed to make a successful future on my own. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be involved in real estate since I was exposed to my family’s field of work. As I became more successful, I knew that the only way I could truly take control of my destiny was to start my own company.

What do you love most about the industry you are in?

It is exciting to take part in an industry that helps to transform the world around us. My company funds distressed properties and helps to improve them, raising property values and creating quality workspaces for companies that employ many people. I have always enjoyed watching a building grow from architectural drawings to a full-size project. I find it personally satisfying.

On the private equity side, I enjoy using my skills to turn companies around. I have become adept at helping companies of all kinds become profitable, with the help of my excellent staff. Helping to manage these companies is exciting.

Who has been a role model to you and why?

Warren Buffett has been a role model throughout my career. His prowess in investing in companies that need help and turning them into business superstars is something that I would like to emulate. He is also one of the world’s largest real estate entrepreneurs. I have a copy of his essays, and they have been inspiring to me in difficult times.

How do you maintain a solid work life balance?

I like to exercise. It helps me to burn off stress and keeps my body strong as well as calming my mind. I also spend as much time with friends and family as I can manage with my busy schedule. I think it’s sad when successful businesspeople lose touch with their families and lose sight of what should be their priorities in life.

What traits do you possess that make a successful leader?

I have a true passion for my work. Without that spark, it’s difficult to really give your job 100 percent of your effort. I also believe that I am a fair supervisor and that I know how to run a functional company with few problems.

What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?

Learn everything you can about the industry before you become involved. Before you put any of your own money into real estate, work for a firm that invests in the industry. This will give you the real-world experience that you need without endangering your personal future.

What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?

Starting the private equity part of my business was difficult. Private equity is inherently more risky than real estate, and we had a few losing investments before we hit on the formula to help a struggling company succeed.

Outside of work, what defines you as a person?

My dedication to my family defines me. In addition to my family ties, I am also defined by my intellectual curiosity. I love to read, and I am always educating myself about topics that do and do not pertain to real estate and private equity.

What trends in your industry excite you?

In private equity, there has been a great opportunity in hotel investments. This is due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. These investments will rebound, but it is challenging to time the market and discover exactly when these businesses may be able to operate normally. Private equity funds will be ready to rescue these companies.

Explain the proudest day of your professional life. The moment in my professional life that has been the proudest so far is when I sold my first company for significantly more than I paid for it. It was the culmination of months’ worth of work and struggle, both on my part and on the part of the company. There were many celebrations that day.

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