About life in the last third

Saif Mansour

Saif Mansour, an amazing man, died suddenly a few days ago. Soon after I left Intel in 1999 and started The Avram Miller Company, I got a letter from Saif (we still got letters in those days). He was just 21 and finishing his last year at Brown. Saif asked me to consider hiring him as an intern. I was not looking for an intern. Having just left Intel, where I was Corporate Vice President of Business Development and co-founder of Intel Capital, I guess I could have had my pick of newly minted MBAs from schools like Harvard and Stanford. But something in Saif’s letter resonated so strongly in me that I was compelled to say yes. A few months later, Saif arrived in San Francisco and started working for me. His role was managing my investments in early-stage companies. He knew nothing about venture capital and early-stage investing, but he learned quickly. I developed a great deal of confidence in his abilities. But what was probably most important was that I trusted him to represent me. He treated everyone with respect and kindness. We grew close. Over time, I began to think of him as a son, and he thought of me as a father. Mentoring Saif was one of the most satisfying experiences of my professional and personal life.  

August 2021-last meeting
Fun memories

A few years later, I decided to reduce my workload and slow down my investments. I no longer wanted to have an office and a staff. Saif chose to return to Los Angeles, where he grew up, and I helped him find a position. He had several jobs over the following years, and we stayed close. In 2009, when Saif came up with the idea of starting a fund using debt to help finance small businesses, he asked for my help. For several years, I advised him and watched his firm, Breakwater Fund, grow. I was very impressed with both the opportunity, strategy, and execution of his small company. Eventually, I decided to invest in it directly and encourage many of my friends to as well. Ultimately, it became and is still my most significant personal investment. Several years ago, I stopped as a formal advisor. Moving to Israel made it difficult to be involved enough to give regular advice. However, Saif would often ask for my advice informally. Periodically, I would meet with him and his partner Eric Beckman (also a wonderful man). Eric joined Saif in 2014. 

Saif was very integrated into my social network and my family. Everyone loved him. He wanted very much to have a family and found a wonderful woman to share his life with. Together they had a son and a daughter. The pain his wife is now feeling must be unbearable.  His children will never know the love of their father, but his wife,  I, and others will do everything we can to make sure they know how wonderful he was.  

Saif will join the others I have lost all too soon in a place in my heart where I feel both joy and sadness, love and grief.

Life is very fragile. So we must give and experience love in the present moment and every possible moment.  

May Saif’s memory be a blessing.

14 thoughts on “Saif Mansour

    • Just got home from Saif’s Celebration of Life……..lots and lots of friends and business associates and a few of us who knew him since he was a little tyke. He and my son were great friends from 6 to 15. Now they both reside at a different level. The celebration pointed out that Saif didn’t miss too many opportunities to work and play. He was a whirlwind.


  1. What sad news. I just saw him a few weeks ago when he came to your hotel in Los Angeles. Saif was the epitome of vitality and joy – showing pictures of his beautiful family and always so generous with his affection. I am sad to hear this, my heartfelt condolences to you and Deb for this unexpected and tragic loss. My heart breaks for his young family and friends.


  2. Oh Avram, sending you and Deb so much love. Your quote is words I will live by today and always. “Life is very fragile. So we must give and experience love in the present moment and every possible moment”. The body blows of grief you have experienced these past few years are well..There are no words. Just know I am sending you my love and prayers as you navigate the loss of Saif.


  3. Avram, I’m Saif’s best friend and roommate from college. Was with him in the Brown computer lab when he wrote you that note and when your reply came back. Nobody else like him, truly one of a kind. What a huge hole in our hearts. Much love, Drew


  4. Sorry for your loss and for his family. Life is fragile for so many who leave us far too soon. Thanks for telling us about him; what a brilliant and vibrant young man.


  5. Saif was an amazing person he worked out of our office in Los Angeles when he moved back.
    Ive seen He and Eric on a possible business deal in the last five years and they were a class act
    Like everyone Im in shock at this loss


  6. I’ve known Saif since he was a young boy, my brother was one of his best friends. Saif was such a loving soul, he always welcomed with open arms. I and others will miss him deeply. He will live forever in our hearts, RIP dear Saif.


  7. So sorry Avram…I have known Saif since 2004 as we met in our office building and struck up an immediate friendship. We lunched, socialized and what struck me was his warmth, authentic nature, and zest for life. Every time I saw him it felt special as he had that ability to make you feel that way. I am so saddened by this huge loss of a great dear soul but heaven is a better place now that Saif is there. He will be missed! He spoke of you often and with such love.


  8. I’m so happy I found this blog and these comments. You have done a great job putting into your words how we felt about Saif. I was without words when I heard news of his passing. He was such a class act. The way that he conducted business, the way he made you feel being around him. He was a source of energy, positivity and happiness in the world. He will be sorely missed.


  9. Pingback: Obituary: Saif Mansour Net Worth - Wife Age & Instagram - Death Cause Explored

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