Gary M. Tenzer

Principal/Co-Founder


Gary M. Tenzer is Co-Founding Principal and Managing Director of George Smith Partners, Inc., (“GSP”). Mr. Tenzer co-founded George Smith Financial Services (GSP’s predecessor company) in 1979. The company was acquired by Grubb & Ellis in 1982 and became their national real estate financing division. After ten years, the firm was re-acquired in 1992 by several of its principals, then establishing George Smith Partners, Inc. Presently, the firm is owned by Mr. Tenzer and four co-principals. 

With strong academic credentials and more than 37 years of experience in originating, structuring, underwriting and placing sophisticated real estate financing transactions, he has been personally involved in the placement of over $8.0 Billion dollars of real estate financing throughout the country. Placements have included: construction loans, permanent debt, mezzanine debt and both preferred and joint venture equity. The properties financed were comprised of: residential, multifamily, retail, office, commercial, industrial, mixed use, congregate care, hospitality, land development, large-scale community development and special purpose properties with debt and equity financing as large as $250 Million in debt and equity. 

Mr. Tenzer is well qualified to provide expert opinions on real estate financing, feasibility, standards and practices and transaction matters. He has provided expert witness testimony in more than 300 real estate litigation matters and has testified in Federal and State court over 100 times. Unlike many other finance experts, he is not an academic, but an experienced practitioner that who testifies from a real-world perspective.  

In 2002, Mr. Tenzer was appointed the real estate financing advisor to The Operating Engineers Pension Trust, $2 Billion Taft Hartley Pension Fund. In 2009, Mr. Tenzer was appointed as the interest rate expert in the General Growth Properties, Inc. (“GGP”), the second largest mall owner in the country, Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The GGP bankruptcy included 158 of its 200-plus U.S. malls.  

Mr. Tenzer was a member of the board of directors of a NYSE listed developer of active-adult communities, nationwide. He was also a director of a federally chartered commercial bank, serving on both the bank’s loan and credit policy committees. He is a frequent guest lecturer in Real Estate and Real Estate Finance at the UCLA Anderson School of Management as well as both the graduate and undergraduate programs at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. For the past three years, he has also served as co-chair of the Crocker Symposium on Real Estate and the Law, jointly sponsored by the LA County Bar and the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate where he is a member of the Advisory Board. 

Mr. Tenzer holds a BA in economics (with emphasis in Urban Land Economics), from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned an MBA in both Finance and Entrepreneurship & Venture Management, as well as an MSBA in Real Estate Finance, from the University of Southern California. 

Current and Former Professional and Academic Affiliations:

– USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, Advisory Board Member
– Urban Land Institute
– UCLA Ziman Center, Advisory Board Member
– City of Hope, Los Angeles Real Estate & Construction Industries Council  and National Industry Leadership Council 

Gary M. Tenzer; (AB, MBA, MSBA) Curriculum Vitae