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Ethan Penner

Founder, Managing Partner
Mosaic Real Estate Investors

Ethan Penner is an innovator and philosopher who has always been drawn to creating businesses that can bring solutions to large voids.  He has been a leader in the US real estate finance industry for more than three decades and is broadly credited with being the primary driver in the creation of the Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities market in the early 1990’s while at Nomura Securities, where he built the largest real estate financier in U.S. history from a standing start in response to that period’s historic dislocation. Ethan has received broad industry recognition, including being named in 2011 by Real Estate Forum, in their 65th anniversary issue, as one of the industry’s 65 living legends.

Ethan has built and led numerous investment and origination businesses. In 2015 he founded Mosaic Real Estate Investors which at its peak had AUM approaching $1B, including a commingled credit fund which he successfully merger with Ready Capital in March 2022, generating timely liquidity for his investors. In 2008, in response to the GFC dislocation, Ethan founded and led CBRE Capital Partners, which invested successfully in debt assets, including securities. Ethan began his career at Drexel Burnham Lambert as a pioneering trader/market-maker in credit-intensive mortgage products and then moved over to Morgan Stanley where he built and led the firm’s mortgage credit trading and mortgage finance efforts.

Ethan is passionate about education and has recently joined the newly created University of Austin where, as their Executive Vice President, he aims to help bring creative energy and reform to the U.S. education system. Ethan has been an adjunct professor for the past decade teaching first at USC’s graduate business school and next at Pepperdine University. He is the author of Greatness is a Choice which was published and released by Wiley in November, 2023.

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