Mike Kaufman knows that a people-first approach is essential for success in the real estate industry.
“I’ve witnessed situations where people don’t treat their customers with respect after the deal is done, but you can never take them for granted,” Mike says. “You have to respect the capital, and KDC has a client-service mentality that aligns with my own.”
Mike tries to approach people thoughtfully and problems analytically. “Everything is customer service at its essence,” he points out.
With an educational foundation in accounting, he has more than 20 years of experience with asset management, fund management, and investor relations, as well as forecasting and budgeting. As KDC’s CFO, he is responsible for a variety of tasks ranging from managing bank relationships to overseeing the financial aspects of the company’s various projects.
“The challenge with my job is that it encompasses a wide range of things,” Mike says. “That’s also what makes it exciting. It’s different every day.”
Prior to joining KDC, Mike spent more than a decade with Goldman Sachs. As a member of the merchant banking group, he helped launch and manage the firm’s infrastructure funds including a $6.5 billion fund and two $4 billion funds.
“Infrastructure is an offshoot of real estate, and a lot of people who worked on the infrastructure funds had a real estate background,” Mike notes.
Mike grew up in Champaign, Ill., but came to Dallas in the early 1990s to attend Southern Methodist University (SMU) to study accounting. It was there that he met his wife, Jennifer. They have two children, a son and a daughter. Both are attending college in Texas.
Mike is a devoted fan of SMU sports, particularly football and basketball. “KDC is my dream job,” he says. “I’ve worked for a variety of different companies, and this one is an ideal fit. But if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing, I’d love to coach high school basketball.”