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KBS Co-Founder Peter Bren Dead At 85

KBS co-founder Peter Bren

Peter Bren, who co-founded KBS Realty Advisors in 1992 and served as its president and chairman for over 25 years, has died.  

KBS has not officially announced Bren's death and it has not been previously reported. His biography page on UCLA's Ziman Center for Real Estate, which he founded, said Bren is deceased, but it was taken down following publication of this story. KBS' website names him as a former chairman and says he served until April.

KBS spokesperson David Savino declined to comment when reached on Friday, but multiple sources confirmed to Bisnow that Bren passed away sometime in late April. A March 31 Securities and Exchange Commission filing from KBS Growth & Income REIT, one of KBS' affiliates, stated Bren was 85.

“As one of the icons of the real estate industry, Peter demonstrates his entrepreneurial flair and accomplishments every day,” Judy Olian said in 2013. Olian was at the time the dean and John E. Anderson Chair of UCLA Anderson School of Management. “He has also been a creative force in driving real estate curricula here at Anderson, as a member of our Board of Visitors, a benefactor, and a mentor to many of our students.”

Bren oversaw all operations for the Newport Beach, California-based company. KBS and its affiliates had $11.5B in assets under management as of March 31 and has executed over $38B of transactions since its founding, according to its website. National Real Estate Investor ranked KBS as the eighth-largest owner of office space in the world with 33.3M SF as of Dec. 31, 2017.

KBS has formed seven non-traded REITs, five sovereign wealth funds and a host of government pension funds. Bren served as president of KBS REIT II, KBS REIT III and KBS Growth & Income REIT. 

The company has a wide range of real estate business lines, including investment management, development, acquisitions, market research, leasing, property management and financing. KBS also maintains offices in New York and D.C. Charles Schreiber Jr., who co-founded KBS with Bren, now leads the company as CEO. 

Bren’s brother is Irvine Co. founder Donald Bren, whom Forbes named as the country’s richest real estate developer with a $16.4B net worth. Prior to founding KBS, Peter Bren served as president of The Bren Cos., which Donald Bren founded.  

Peter Bren also previously worked at Lincoln Property Co., where he served as regional partner and president of its Europe division. He served as a board member of UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and was a founding member of the school’s Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate. He was also a member of the Real Estate Roundtable, a D.C.-based organization that brings together industry leaders to advocate on policies affecting real estate.