Mark S. Karlan

Continuing Lecturer in Finance
(310) 825-1449
Areas of Expertise:
  • Mortgage Markets
  • Real Estate Finance and Investments




Mark S. Karlan teaches real estate finance and investments at UCLA and is a faculty advisor in the Applied Management Research field study program, where he advised the 2014–15 AMR team that won the Deloitte award. He has 30 years of experience in the commercial real estate investment business. From 2006 through 2011 he was an executive managing director of CBRE Global Investors, where he was a member of the firm's global executive committee and various investment committees. Karlan was the president and founder of the firm's Strategic Partners Asia fund, a value-added real estate fund with $1.2 billion of AUM that was one of the top performing funds of its vintage, and he led the fund's dedicated investment team with offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo and Singapore.

Previously, Karlan was the president, CEO, founder and a member of the board of directors of Imperial Credit Commercial Mortgage Investment Corp., a publicly traded REIT that invested in both commercial real estate and commercial property loans in the U.S. and Europe. Imperial Credit Commercial was the top performing mortgage REIT from the time of its 1997 initial public offering, which raised more than $500 million of equity through the date of its sale to another public company in 2000. 

Karlan began his career at JMB Realty Corp. in Chicago in 1985. He was a senior vice presiident and partner and led the acquisition of the Cadillac Fairview Company, one of the largest real estate firms in North America. He has acquired more than 100 commercial properties and portfolios of commercial mortgages globally, with a gross asset value exceeding $10 billion on behalf of institutional and other investors.

Karlan graduated with honors from Harvard College, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School, received a John Harvard Scholarship for academic achievement of the highest distinction and was a winner of the Williston contract negotiation competition. Karlan is a featured speaker at institutional and private equity conferences and at UCLA Anderson's Wilbur Woo Greater China Business Conference. He is a member of the California State Bar and is a California licensed real estate broker.



MBA 1984, Harvard Business School

J.D. 1984, Harvard Law School

A.B. Economics, Magna Cum Laude 1980, Harvard College