Brett Lipman, managing partner at Benchmark Holdings and Preylock Real Estate Holdings, came to speak to our interns Wednesday. He shared his journey from hedge fund analyst to investment banker to real estate investment to becoming an entrepreneur.
Brett received his Bachelor’s of Science in Finance from Yeshiva University, located in New York City. He then worked as an analyst at Highbridge Hedge Fund until the financial crisis. During the crisis, he went to Fordham University School of Law. While he did not want to be a lawyer, he decided to “hide out in the law library” and wait out the storm.
After law school, Brett returned to finance and worked as a consultant for Ernst & Young. He then went on as an investment banker for JP Morgan, where he worked for several years in both Global Assets and Real Estate Acquisitions. He left JP Morgan for a smaller firm, RMA, in hopes of becoming a partner. Eventually, he realized he wanted to work for himself and started Benchmark Holdings and Preylock Real Estate Holdings.
A Learning Experience
Brett views his years of experience as his MBA education. Rather than going to business school, he worked his way up various fields in finance. Whenever he got bored and felt like he wasn’t learning anything new in the job, he would move to a new position. This gave Brett plenty of experience when starting his own company as his previous positions explored many areas necessary for a Real Estate Holding firm such as property acquisition, finance raising, and investment banking.
While his experience is vast, he is still constantly learning with his own company. He has had to learn about accounting, website maintenance, and he does everything himself as he does not currently have employees. A large part of his day pertains to operations. Instead of doing only the parts he enjoys, Brett does everything. This allows him to constantly learn and better himself.