Meet Jeffrey Karsh, a partner at private real estate investment firm Typerion Partners in Los Angeles, and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. Jeffrey attended Clairbourn in the early 1990s, from preschool through sixth grade, before his family moved to Beverly Hills.
Jeffrey recalls his time at Clairbourn as still “vivid” in his memory, where he recalls the teachers who inspired him and the friends he enjoyed and loved spending time with.
Emily Coolidge, Class of 2012, interviewed Jeffrey to find out more about his cherished time at Clairbourn and how it helped boost his confidence in third grade as a top tennis player and influenced his further education. She also asked him what advice he has for those interested in a similar career path.
When did you come to Clairbourn? What year did you graduate from Clairbourn? Where did you attend university?
I came to Clairbourn in preschool. I think 1992/93 was my first year. Maybe 1993. I didn’t graduate from Clairbourn – I left after 6th grade because my family moved to Beverly Hills and I began attending Brentwood School where I stayed from grades 7-12 and graduated in 2006. I went to University of Pennsylvania 2006-2010 and graduated with a BA in Political Science.
What do you remember most about your time at Clairbourn? Has Clairbourn stayed within your memory? Why or why not?
For the most part, I simply remember how much I enjoyed myself. Some people say they can’t recall much of their childhood because they didn’t enjoy themselves and they’ve blocked it out of memory. I had the exact opposite experience. My childhood at Clairbourn was ideal and I have vivid memories of my experience. There were many teachers I looked up to and who inspired me. I was also lucky to have many friends who I loved hanging out with. I remember not being the most, um, proper kid in the bunch (got to know Dr. Nafie’s office pretty well), but everybody accepted me for who I was and I never felt out of place, which is definitely saying something since I was one of only a couple other Jews at the Christian Science school singing hymns and reciting scriptures in Chapel every morning. I credit Clairbourn for giving me the confidence to fit in anywhere.
What were some of your favorite academic memories of Clairbourn? Did Clairbourn prepare you for high school and college?
Mr. Holt’s 6th grade science class was like a comedy routine. He brought science to life and made it fun and interesting. Mrs. Sinclair in 2nd grade was such a caring person and really wanted me to succeed – I could tell, even then. Oregon Trail in Mr. Barker’s computer class was epic. Mr. Barner hilariously asking in his unique voice “Are we making right choices?” and giving out pencils with positive messages in return for good grades. I always looked forward to anything Coach Paciorek and Ms. Bunt would put together for us in PE class. Coach Paciorek was always hilarious with his loudspeaker, too. PE was my favorite.
Do you still keep in touch with your classmates from Clairbourn?
Not really, unfortunately. There are a couple people I email or speak with maybe once a year, but moving to Beverly Hills after 6th grade made it difficult to keep in touch with my Clairbourn friends.
What activities at Clairbourn helped influence your career trajectory?
Tennis has always been a differentiator for me. It felt good to be the best at something – or at least really good at something. I remember reveling in being a top player on the tennis team beginning in 3rd grade. Beating kids 5 years older than I was did wonders for my confidence and taught me a valuable lesson: the strong correlation between hard work and success.
What are some interesting projects on which you are currently working? What led you down this path?
Since 2013, I’ve been building a real estate investment business with two partners, called Tryperion Partners. We invest in commercial properties all over the country. It was pretty much luck that led me down this path as one of my first internships while in college was at a real estate investment firm and they gave me a full time offer upon graduating. Been in real estate ever since.
In addition to investing through a more traditional “fund” model (where wealthy individuals, families, and foundations pool their money for us to invest), in 2017 my company introduced a crowdfunded investment vehicle in which ordinary investors can participate for as little as a $1,000 investment. It’s very rewarding because it gives less sophisticated and less well-capitalized investors an institutional-quality real estate investment option.
What is your day-to-day at work like? What are some of the most fulfilling experiences you’ve faced at work? What about challenging experiences?
There are two parts to what I do. There’s the real estate investing part, which means I look for and analyze real estate investments. That requires traveling, speaking with brokers, underwriting, etc.
The other part is that I’m trying to build an investment business. These are similar, but distinct. Identifying and executing good investments – my day to day focus – will hopefully get us to a point where we can build a bigger business built around investing other people’s money.
Identifying and executing real estate investments is what I love to do, and it’s not rocket science thankfully. Convincing people to invest with us is more challenging and is something I’m trying to get better at.
What advice do you have for our Clairbourn students who want to pursue a similar type of path?
Work hard and be nice. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so act accordingly. Find something you’re passionate about and try making a career out of it, but also be practical about financial realities. Keep your head down and put in the work. Be kind to others. Your reputation is everything. Find a life partner you love who brings out the best in you. Work/life balance should be different at different stages – try to identify when to swing the pendulum.
What do you wish you knew at Clairbourn that you know now?
Not everybody is so lucky to have an incredible community like the Clairbourn community. Appreciate it, don’t take it for granted, and make the most of it.