- 15 Jun, 23
Barry Sternlicht: Famous American Billionaire
In our article titled “Barry Sternlicht 101: Who is the Famous American Billionaire?” on Zatrun.com, we will delve into everything you need to know in detail about the well-known American billionaire Barry Sternlicht that our readers are curious about.
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Who is Barry Sternlicht?
Barry Sternlicht was born in 1960 in New York and grew up in Stamford, Connecticut. His father, Maurycy “Mark” Sternlicht, was a Holocaust survivor from Poland who worked as a plant manager, while his mother, Harriet, was a biology teacher and stockbroker from New York. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1982 and later worked as an arbitrage trader on Wall Street. In 1986, he received a master’s degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
Barry Stuart Sternlicht (born November 27, 1960), together with Bob Faith, is the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, an investment fund with managed assets exceeding $60 billion. He also serves as the chairman of Starwood Property Trust. Sternlicht was the co-founder of Starwood and served as its CEO from 1995 to 2005. As of January 2022, his net worth is estimated to be $4.3 billion.
Sternlicht serves on the boards of Estée Lauder Companies, Baccarat Crystal, Robin Hood Foundation, Dreamland Community Theatre, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation National Leadership Advocacy Program, and the Arts Business Council. He previously served on the boards of the Retirement Real Estate Association and the Real Estate Roundtable and was a former member of the Brown University Board of Fellows. Sternlicht’s style has been described as “intense and thoughtless.”
Barry Sternlicht was married to Mimi (nee Reichert) Sternlicht, whom he met at Brown University, but they divorced in 2016. He has three children, including equestrian Adrienne Sternlicht. In 2016, Sternlicht moved to Florida. According to Forbes, his estimated net worth is $4.4 billion, and he ranks 260th on the Forbes 400 list.
After graduating, he started working at JMB Realty, a Chicago-based real estate investment company. However, at the beginning of the savings and credit crisis and the early 1990s economic downturn, he was laid off in 1989. At the age of 31, he co-founded Starwood Capital Group with Bob Faith to acquire apartment buildings sold by the federal government’s Resolution Trust Corporation to keep and liquidate real estate owned by failed banks.
Sternlicht raised $20 million from the New York-based William Bernard Ziff Jr. and Carter Burden families to finance these purchases. In 1993, Sternlicht transferred his company’s apartment portfolio to Sam Zell’s Equity Residential in exchange for a 20% stake in the company. In 1994, at the age of 36, Sternlicht bought Westin Hotels & Resorts for $561 million in a deal with Goldman Sachs. Among Sternlicht’s innovations were W Hotels and the Westin Heavenly Bed.
The bed was modeled after the bed in Sternlicht’s own home. In January 1995, Sternlicht bought Hotel Investors Trust, an almost bankrupt real estate investment fund, and became its CEO. In 1997, Sternlicht’s company acquired Sheraton Hotels and Resorts for $13.3 billion in a deal that surpassed the offer made by Hilton Worldwide. Barry Sternlicht also makes venture investments through his family office, JAWS Capital. JAWS Capital has also been involved in three separate SPACs.
- In 1998, Sternlicht was awarded the Golden Plate Award by the American Academy of Achievement.
- In 2004, Institutional Investor magazine named him “America’s Best Lodging CEO”.
- In 2005, Sternlicht was inducted into the Interior Design Magazine’s Hall of Fame.
- In 2010, Commercial Property Executive named Sternlicht as both “Executive of the Year” and “Investor of the Year”.
- In 2007, Sternlicht provided a $1 million grant to the Harvard Stem Cell Institute to support research on a treatment for diabetes.
Although historically identified as a Republican, Barry Sternlicht has recently described his political views as independent. While he was a self-described friend and golf partner of Donald Trump, he was disappointed that Trump did not move to the political center as President. In the 2008 presidential election, Sternlicht donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, followed by Barack Obama’s campaign. In 2012, Sternlicht donated $70,800 to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
In 2016, Sternlicht donated $125,000 to Right to Rise, a political action committee created to support Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign. He also donated $1,000 to oppose California Proposition 8, which would have banned same-sex marriage in California. In a 2020 interview, when asked if he identifies as a Republican, Sternlicht replied, “What are you talking about, are you crazy? I’m independent. I’m socially liberal and financially conservative. I think capitalism is the best form of government, but I think it needs to be regulated.”