Christopher Mahowald

Lecturer, Finance

Christopher Mahowald

Lecturer in Management

Academic Area:

Teaching Statement

Chris is actively involved in the real estate investment business. His real estate private equity firm invests across product types throughout the U.S. and Europe. During his career, he has focused on value investing with deep experience in distressed mortgage debt. In the Real Estate Investment course he co-teaches with Doug Abbey, he works with Stanford Graduate School of Business students to evaluate career opportunities in real estate and to expose them to research and educational opportunities in the field. While the focus of the course is real estate investment, students are introduced to broader issues of how land use decisions are created through a combination of market forces, demographics, and regulation, and how resulting land use patterns impact housing affordability and integration or isolation of households by income level. In the Housing and the Mortgage Market course he co-teaches with Greg Buchak, students are exposed to how political gamesmanship, financial crises, and financial innovation come hand-in-hand with real estate finance, which has played a central role in the rise and fall of economies, financial institutions, and the lives of ordinary Americans.


Chris is the managing partner of RSF Partners, a series of real estate private equity funds totaling over $1.5 billion in equity. Prior to forming RSF in 1997, Mr. Mahowald was a partner with the Robert M. Bass Group where he was a founding principal in several real estate-related private equity funds, including Lone Star and Colony Capital. Prior to joining the Bass Group, he was a principal for the Trammell Crow Company. Mr. Mahowald serves, or has served, on the Board of Directors for a number of private and public companies including American Security Products, Capstead Mortgage (NYSE: CMO), IMPAC Commercial Holdings (NYSE: ICH) and Omega Healthcare (NYSE: OHI). He serves, or has served, on several non-profit boards, including Stanford University’s DAPER Investment Fund, Stanford Professionals in Real Estate (SPIRE) and Teach for America (Dallas/Fort Worth region). He received a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from Santa Clara University and an MBA from Stanford GSB. He is a lecturer in finance at Stanford GSB where he co-teaches the Real Estate Investment and Housing and the Mortgage Market courses.

Academic Degrees

  • MBA, Stanford GSB, 1989
  • BA in Mathematics, Santa Clara University, 1983

Academic Appointments

  • Lecturer, Stanford GSB, 2015–present

Professional Experience

  • Founder & Managing Partner, RSF Partners, 1997–present
  • Partner, Robert M. Bass Group, 1991–97
  • Principal, Trammell Crow Company 1989–91

Stanford Case Studies

Chris Mahowald, Daniel Shane
Douglas Abbey, Chris Mahowald, Sara Gaviser, Whitney Birdwell
Chris Mahowald, Bradley Mitchell
Chris Mahowald, Hanna X. Tian, Melinda Ellis Evers
Chris Mahowald, Cody Evans, Brian Patterson

Stanford University Affiliations

  • Member Stanford Real Estate Council

School News

October 06, 2015
New faculty and lecturers offer unique perspectives and experience to augment program offerings.