David Ebrahimzadeh is the President of Corniche Capital. The company takes part in opportunistic investment, creating value while effectively managing risk. The company has two primary activities: real estate investment and private equity.
Ebrahimzadeh has an extensive industry background with a great deal of investment experience. Using his special skills, he is able to leverage investors’ money to create prosperity. He is interested in buildings that have distressed debt, believing that if the financing can be turned around, the investment can be recouped.
David Ebrahimzadeh has a focus on private equity. Corniche Capital holds many later-stage growth investments and middle-market companies in many industries. Some of the industries that he focuses on are mining, manufacturing, distribution, and logistics. Taking the profits from these investments, he is able to put funding back into the businesses and turn them into money-makers.
Ebrahimzadeh has a hands-on approach to managing his investments. He is involved with every step of the decision, and he believes in keeping himself well-informed about the company or property. He has a special focus on international real estate, where he has many holdings.
How did you get started in this business?
I grew up in a real estate family where, from a young age, I was exposed to buildings and construction sites. It was always something that I was interested in and knew I would enjoy. I was inspired to start Corniche Capital after working in real estate finance for one year, right out of college. That served as a good supplement to round out my real estate expertise. After I had been investing in buildings, I started to diversify and began buying companies as well, ones that hold up well in recessionary times as well.
How do you make money?
We make money when our investments increase in value. When we take an equity stake in a company, we receive part of their profits in exchange for investing in them. Unfortunately, that can also mean that we lose money. The balance between risky and solid investments can be tricky. I would say that we choose risky investments about half the time. Risks pay off, but they can sometimes cause us to lose money.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
I am happy to say, that I was profitable from day one. That was easy since I was initially focused on high cash flow properties. As for private equity, I started out with more troubled assets which typically would take at least one year to hit profitability by implementing turnaround initiatives.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I was a little nervous in the beginning, but I knew I had a winning business plan. I have an instinct for what will be a successful investment, and luckily I have been able to make good decisions most of the time.
How did you get your first customer?
We don’t exactly have customers, but the companies who want us to invest in them have generally found us through word of mouth. We have a website, which is where some of our companies find us. For real estate, we have many contacts with brokers and lease agents that helps us find undervalued and financially distressed companies.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
I am particularly pleased with the effect that LinkedIn has had on our business. Companies use it every day, and when they are looking for investors, sometimes they will find us and make a connection. Other than that, we do use referrals. We also have an eye on the local real estate markets in the United States and around the world, looking for properties in which to invest.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
The toughest decision I’ve ever had to make was to decide not to invest in a huge project. While it would have been profitable in the long run, the short term would have costed more than the project was worth. When it comes to investing, understanding the long and short term effects is extremely important to decision making.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I believe that my determination makes me successful. Investors often have to be risk-takers as well. My ability to take measured risks and come out on top is one of the qualities I am proud of.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Opening Corniche Capital was very exciting. Having the ability to maximize my investment potential made me see a whole world of possibilities. I am always excited to get to work in the morning and see what is happening with my properties.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I hope that we will continue to make profitable investments overseas. We are not sure whether the real estate markets will continue to drop, but signs point to a resurgence in the economy soon so it may be a good time to buy.
What business books have inspired you?
I was given an essay book by Warren Buffett some time ago. Buffett is one of the biggest names in my field, and I found it fascinating to see some of the reasons behind his decisions. I would also recommend One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would remind my younger self that not every investment pays off. Sometimes you lose money. The trick is balancing your risks so you make losses that you can live with. It is just like living outside your means: you need to know where your money is coming from and what will happen if you lose it.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
Unfortunately, at the moment I would not be able to, as I would want to be in a position to properly commit and give adequate attention. Perhaps sometime in the near future. I wish you and your readers the best.