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Our founders

A whale of a story

For us, investing in real estate has always been a no brainer: It’s lucrative, consistent, and safer than the stock market. But in multiple conversations with our friends and family, we quickly realized many of them perceived real estate investing as something out of reach. It was either too complicated, too expensive, or too much of a hassle.

This got us thinking:

What if we could make it easy for anyone to invest in real estate?

What if we could eliminate all the hard parts—large amounts of capital, heavy time commitment, lack of access—and make real estate investing as easy as joining a club?

We started imagining a community of investors, where we could educate financial newbies on the big, wide world of real estate markets and help more seasoned investors diversify their money in smarter ways, too.

As we continued to brainstorm, we realized it wasn’t enough to simply build an online community, we wanted to feel good about the financial choices we were making as well. We decided to invest in properties that we could be proud of and developments that would transform their neighborhoods for the better.

Our mission suddenly became clear: We wanted to create profits with a purpose.

And so we launched the School of Whales, an easy-to-use and even easier-to-join real estate fund that allows anyone with as little as $500 to invest in a roster of properties that leave a lasting and positive impact on their communities.

Join our School of Whales and let us help you reel in a prosperous financial future.

—Daniel, Andrea, and JJ

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You are in good hands

60 years in the Industry We have been in the real estate industry for over 60 years
2M SQ in Developments Over 2,000,000 square feet of construction and development
1K+ Hotel Rooms Participated in the development and financing of 1000+ hotel rooms
3K+ Residential Units Construction, development and/or financing of over 3000 residential units
Financial Experience 60 years financial management and analysis experience
$21M Closed Deals per year Avg. $21M on successful real estate transactions closed per year
60 years in the Industry We have been in the real estate industry for over 60 years
2M SQ in Developments Over 2,000,000 square feet of construction and development
1K+ Hotel Rooms Participated in the development and financing of 1000+ hotel rooms
3K+ Residential Units Construction, development and/or financing of over 3000 residential units
Financial Experience 60 years financial management and analysis experience
$21M Closed Deals per year Avg. $21M on successful real estate transactions closed per year

The people behind the whales

Andrea Petersen

Co-Founder and CEO

Andrea Petersen is a financial whale with a seasoned portfolio of experience ranging from commercial real estate to renewable energy, hospitality, banking and just about everything in between.

After an initial career in banking, Andrea moved on to client relations, real estate credit analysis, and eventually treasury, where she managed substantial investment portfolios with mortgage-backed securities.

In addition to her role as Co-Founder and CEO of School of Whales, Andrea is the Chief Financial Officer of The Cooper Precision Companies, a multi-faceted organization with focuses on renewable energy, real estate, and hospitality. She is now also the Managing Partner of a creative restaurant licensing and operations company known as King Goose, which operates the Miami-staple Pubbelly Sushi.

Daniel Pena-Giraldi

Co-Founder and COO

Daniel Pena Giraldi is a whale in commercial real estate development and general construction. The Harvard Business School alum is known as the mastermind behind some of Miami’s most iconic historic revitalizations, including The Langford Hotel and the recently announced Julia and Henry’s in Downtown Miami.

Since 2000, Daniel has been a Principal of Stambul LLC, a real estate company focused on development, sales, leasing, project management, and finance. In this role, he manages a team of 350 employees and is responsible for overseeing the management of Stambul Construction, leading the Stambul real estate development team, and co-managing all operations of Miami’s famous Pubbelly Sushi and all King Goose-related brands.

In addition to his position as Co-Founder and COO at School of Whales and Stambul, Daniel is a licensed general contractor in the state of Florida, a member of the New York State Bar, Treasurer of Downtown Miami Partnership (DMP), and on the Board of Directors of Downtown Miami’s Business Improvement District, where he oversees the re-development of Miami’s Central Business District (CBD).

Juan Jose “JJ” Pena-Giraldi

Co-Founder and CFO

Juan Jose “JJ” Giraldi has had a 25-year career in international finance, tailoring his focus to companies in the oil, gas, manufacturing, and consumer goods sector. In 2007, he became Controller of Packers Plus Energy Services, Inc., and in 2010 was promoted to Chief Financial Officer. Still in that role today, “JJ” is credited with shaping the overall strategic vision, growth management, and globalization of the company.

JJ has a wealth of experience managing multi-disciplinary teams as well as effectively managing business growth. He brings to School of Whales extensive know how on cash management, investing programs, financing, risk mitigation and yield maximization.

Why the name
School of Whales?

For those who dozed off during biology class, a group of whales is called a school.In the investment world, heavy hitters and high rollers are called “whales.”

Join our School of Whales and become a real estate mini mogul with as little as $500. It’s that easy.