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Sam Zell Biography (Samuel Zell): Equity Group Investments
Famous for : Founding the "Equity Group Investments" company, being one of the richest people in the United States, for owning the Tribune Corporation (publisher of Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times), and for having the nickname of "the grave dancer" which was given because of his ability to buy businesses that others thought were dead.
Zell details : Born - September, 1941 Chicago, USA / Lives - United States of America

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Sam Zell Bio

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Sam Zell is best known as a real estate entrepreneur in the United States. He is the co-founder and Chairman of the Equity Group Investments firm, a private investment company that has managed to bring four internationally based real estate developers into public offerings. In 2008 Sam Zell had an estimated worth of $6 billion.

Sam Zell was born in September of 1941 to Polish immigrants. His parents were Jewish and they fled their native land to come to America just prior to the Nazi invasion of Poland. Zell attended the University of Michigan and graduated with a BA in 1963. During college he managed apartment buildings in Michigan and it started his real estate career. While he was at the university, Zell was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity where he met and befriended Robert Lurie.

Five years after graduating, Sam Zell and Lurie created Equity Group Investments through which they began purchasing cheap real estate from motivated, often distressed, sellers. As the market changed and prices rose and fell, the men continued to purchase real estate at cheap prices at low times and profited as prices soared. Equity Group Investments then created three separate companies to manage owned real estate: Equity Office Properties, Equity Residential, and Manufactured Home Communities. Equity Office Properties is the largest office owner in the country while Equity Residential maintains its status as the largest apartment owner in America. In February of 2007, Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, purchased Equity Office Properties Trust for $39 billion.

Sam Zell also created SZ Investments LLC and is the Chairman of Capital Trust Inc. and Anixter International. He first invested in Anixter International, a communications and specialty wiring company, in 1987 when it was worth only $600 million. Although it makes a variety of goods, Anixter manufactures the largest number of Ethernet and computer cables sold on the market. The company was worth approximately $4.6 billion athe the beginning of 2008.

In mid 2007, Zell bought the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, two major regional newspapers, as well as other media hubs from the Tribune Company. Samuel Zell has since received generous offers to purchase the newspapers.

In addition to real estate purchases and other major acquisitions and holdings, Sam Zell actively supports education through philanthropy. He helped fund the Real Estate Department and the Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and created the Zell-Lurie Institute at his alma mater, the University of Michigan to which he as also given generous donations. He also funded the Zell Center for Risk Research at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

Sam Zell's involvement in academics does not end with his donations, however. He is on the President's Advisory Board at the University of Michigan as well as the Visitor's Committee at the University's Law School. Zell continues to serve on the JPMorgan National Advisory Board and the Eurohypo International Advisory Board.

Zell refers to himself as a "professional opportunist" and has made a living making smart, but risky investments. Others have given the savvy investor the nickname of "grave dancer" because of his ability to buy businesses that other thought were dead.

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Sam Zell Quotes Sam Zell Quotes

In my case, if one out of five opportunities is interesting enough to work on, maybe one in five of those ends up being worth doing. That might be a function of risk. That might be a function of price. There are all the variables. But you have to be constantly sorting and choosing and prioritizing.
Sam Zell - Decisions - Opportunity - Interested - Risk - Buying

Interest rates are going to go up because employment is going to go up. If employment goes up, then our apartments get filled. And if employment goes up, our office buildings get filled. The reality is that increased economic activity combined with increased interest rates is basically bullish for real estate.
Sam Zell - Real Estate - Economy - Employee - Bullish

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