Christopher Mahowald

Christopher Mahowald
Lecturer, Finance
Contact Info
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Teaching Statement

Christopher is actively involved in the real estate investment business. His real estate private equity firm invests across product types throughout the U.S. During his career, he has focused on value investing with deep experience in distressed mortgage debt. In the class he co-teaches with Doug Abbey, he works with GSB 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.


Chris Mahowald is the managing partner of RSF Partners, a series of real estate private equity funds totaling over $1 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 the Brazos Fund, the Lone Star Opportunity Fund 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 on several non-profit boards, including Stanford University’s DAPER Investment Fund 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 the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  He is a lecturer in finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he co-teaches the Real Estate Investment course.

Academic Degrees

  • MBA, Stanford GSB, 1989
  • BA, 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 - 1997
  • Principal, Trammell Crow Company 1989 – 1991


Degree Courses


The major objective of this course is to provide the student with an understanding of the fundamentals of real estate investment. The course covers land economics, market analysis, finance, taxation, investment analysis, investment vehicles, real...


This course teaches the fundamentals of real estate investing. The course begins by introducing the financial analysis tools that investors use to make decisions and structure deals. Topics will include cap rates, debt and equity financing, DCF...

Stanford Case Studies

Emery Tech: Clif Jumping | RE141
Chris Mahowald, Hanna X. Tian, Melinda Ellis Evers2018
White Square: A Perfect Storm in Moscow | RE140
Chris Mahowald, Cody Evans, Brian Patterson2018

Stanford University Affiliations

Greater Stanford University

School News

October 6, 2015
New faculty and lecturers offer unique perspectives and experience to augment program offerings.