David Rifkind, co-founding principal of Century City real estate investment banking firm George Smith Partners, died Tuesday morning. He was 51.
He died of a rare, rapidly degenerative neurological disease, a company spokesperson told Bisnow.
Rifkind grew up in Encino. He attended USC in 1987 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history and international relations. He was chairman of the board of Jews for Judaism and a board member of the Ziegler School at the American Jewish University.
He started early in the business, purchasing his first building at 22 then moving into owning and managing multiple properties. In 1992, he launched George Smith Partners with four other real estate professionals. The company has since arranged more than $45 billion in financing for properties across the country.
Steve Bram, principal at George Smith Partners, described Rifkind as a strategic thinker, always looking forward at where the firm should go.
Rifkind was also for being generous, optimistic and serving as a mentor to young members at the firm.
He is survived by his wife Helen of 25 years, two sons, a daughter and sister. [Bisnow] — Subrina Hudson