May 14, 2012

Peter Bren Gives $1.25 Million to Launch Next Generation of Real Estate Entrepreneurs

Gift will create advanced MBA course and Bren Fellows program

LOS ANGELES - Peter Bren, a nationally recognized leader in the real estate and investment advisory industries, has pledged a gift of $1.25 million to the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate, a joint center of UCLA Anderson School of Management and UCLA School of Law.  The gift will be used to establish the Peter Bren Initiative for Real Estate Entrepreneurial Studies at UCLA.  The Initiative will create an advanced case studies course focused on entrepreneurial real estate as a capstone to the MBA real estate concentration and the prestigious Bren Fellows program.

Reflecting Bren's unique entrepreneurial path, the gift will also establish the Bren Fellows program, providing financial support and specialized mentorship for the top graduate students in real estate across all disciplines at UCLA.

"Peter, through his many accomplishments, has always been a role model to the real estate world," said Judy Olian, Dean and John E. Anderson Chair of UCLA Anderson School of Management.  "He is now creating a legacy that will benefit young entrepreneurs as they launch their careers and have the opportunity to learn first-hand from trail-blazing leaders."

"In multiple ways, Peter's gift is a real game-changer for the Ziman Center," said Stuart Gabriel, Director of the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate.  "It provides a unique learning opportunity for some of the nation's brightest and most promising MBA students, it introduces them to very successful real estate entrepreneurs, and it helps solidify UCLA's position among the top university-based real estate programs in the world."

"I have been a Founding Board Member of the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate for five years," Bren said.  "During that time, I have had numerous conversations with students about their aspirations for a career in real estate.  Almost all have said they want to be an entrepreneur - they want to build, develop, acquire, etc.  It takes a very unique person to embark on an entrepreneurial career path - it is in your DNA or it's not.  Any athletic coach will state that you can't teach speed, but you can coach it to a higher level - speed is in their DNA or it's not.  The purpose of this initiative is for prospective entrepreneurs to be coached by the real estate visionaries who have 'changed the game,' who will open their companies to our students to develop case studies, and who will then conduct master classes at Anderson."

The advanced case studies course will include actual leaders involved in each case who will teach the strategic dilemmas they have encountered.  Vanguards of the industry representing some of the most high-profile real estate projects worldwide, these entrepreneurs will spend time in the classroom going over their careers, deals, and business philosophies.  There they will offer valuable insights into complex transactions, corporate dynamics, and leadership within entrepreneurial real estate.  Award-winning UCLA Anderson professor Eric Sussman will lead the course. 

The first two real estate CEOs, who will participate in the "case study/master class" program, are:

  • Rick Caruso, Caruso Affiliated (retail) - with focus on The Grove and Americana at Brand.
  • Sam Zell, Equity Group Investments, LLC (multifamily) - with focus on Equity Residential REIT (EQR)

Bren has been a long-term supporter of the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate.  He is a founding member of the Ziman Center Board and an active mentor to students who have launched a private, small-scale, real estate investment fund.  

Bren is the co-founder and serves as chairman of the board and president of KBS Realty Advisors and its affiliate, KBS Capital Advisors, both nationally recognized real estate investment advisory firms with transactional volume greater than $23 billion.  KBS operates numerous institutional and sovereign wealth funds, as well as five non-traded REITs.  Mr. Bren oversees all KBS operations including the acquisition and management of individual investments and portfolios of income-producing real estate assets.  Prior to his current position as chairman and president of KBS Realty Advisors, he was a former senior partner of Lincoln Property Company and president of Lincoln Property Company, Europe.  In addition to the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate Founding Board, Mr. Bren is also a member of the Real Estate Roundtable, Washington, DC, which deals with key national policy issues affecting real estate and the overall economy.

About the Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA
The mission of the Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate, a joint center of UCLA Anderson School of Management and UCLA School of Law, is to advance thought leadership in the field of real estate by generating influential research, educating the next generation of leaders, and providing meaningful forums for industry professionals and policymakers.  Through its various activities and programs, the Center employs an interdisciplinary and global approach to addressing the most critical real estate challenges facing our society today and in the future.  For more information about the Center, visit

About UCLA Anderson School of Management
UCLA Anderson School of Management is among the leading business schools in the world.  UCLA Anderson faculty members are globally renowned for their teaching excellence and research in advancing management thinking.  UCLA Anderson provides a distinctive approach to management education to more than 1,800 students enrolled in its MBA, Fully-Employed MBA, Executive MBA, Global Executive MBA for Asia Pacific, Global Executive MBA for the Americas, Master of Financial Engineering, doctoral and executive education programs.  Combining selective admissions, varied and innovative learning programs, and a world-wide network of 37,000 alumni, UCLA Anderson develops and prepares global leaders.  Follow UCLA Anderson on Twitter at, or Facebook at

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