Portrait image for Mark S. Karlan

Mark S. Karlan

Continuing Lecturer in Finance and Real Estate
(310) 825-9193
Areas of Expertise:
  • Mortgage Markets
  • Real Estate Finance and Investments


Mark S. Karlan has taught Real Estate Finance and Investments to over 4,000 students since 2012, and he teaches Real Estate Transactions at the UCLA School of Law. Karlan was a faculty advisor in the Anderson School’s Applied Management Research field study program at UCLA where he advised the 2014/2015 MBA student team that won the Deloitte Consulting Award.

Karlan has 38 years of experience in the commercial real estate finance and investment business. He was an Executive Managing Director of CBRE Global Investors from 2006 through 2011 where he was a member of the firm's global Executive Committee and international Investment Committees, and he was the President and founder of the firm's Strategic Partners Asia II fund, a value-added real estate fund with $1.2 billion of assets under management that was one of the top performing funds of its vintage with offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, and Singapore.

Previously, Karlan was the President and CEO, founder, and a member of the Board of Directors of Imperial Credit Commercial Mortgage Investment Corp., a NASDAQ listed REIT that invested in commercial real estate, commercial mortgage loans, and CMBS in the U.S. and Europe. Imperial Credit Commercial Mortgage was the top performing mortgage REIT from the time of its 1997 initial public offering that raised more than $500 million of equity capital that was 10x oversubscribed through the date of its sale to another public company in 2000.

Karlan began his career at JMB Realty Corp. in Chicago in 1985 where he was a Senior Vice President and partner and led the acquisition of the Cadillac Fairview Company, one of the largest real estate firms in North America. He has acquired and financed more than 1,000 commercial properties and commercial mortgage loans globally with a gross asset value exceeding $10 billion on behalf of institutional and other investors.

Karlan graduated with honors from Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, and Harvard College, 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 has served on the boards of public and private companies and philanthropic organizations. 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. 1980, Harvard College