Andrew M. Murstein
|Andrew M. Murstein|
June 29, 1964 |
Roslyn, New York
|Alma mater||Tufts University, New York University|
|Occupation||President and Board Member, Medallion Financial Corp.|
|Net worth||$600,000,000 +|
Andrew M. Murstein (born June 29, 1964) is the founder, president, board member and largest shareholder of Medallion Financial Corp., publicly traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol TAXI that specializes in financing taxi cab fleets. According to publicly available information, his net worth is in excess of $600,000,000. Taxi and its predecessor companies have invested over $5,000,000,000 in various companies throughout the U.S. Including dividends, TAXI has had an average annual return of 25% per year over the last 10 years. He received a B.A. in economics, cum laude, from Tufts University and an M.B.A. in finance from New York University. He was named among Crain’s New York Business’ “40 Under 40”, and has been featured in numerous business publications. In 2013 he was appointed to the Board of the Javitz Center by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Early life and Career
Andrew Mead Murstein was born in Roslyn, New York to Alvin and Aileen Murstein. His grandfather of German descent, Leon Murstein, came to the United States from Argentina, became a New York cabdriver and purchased one of the first New York taxi medallions, issued in 1937, for $10. The family went on to purchase several hundred medallions for prices as little as $10 each, and which now sell for over $1,200,000 each.
Murstein’s introduction to the taxicab industry came early. His father, employed by his grandfather in his Queens-based taxi business, used to take young Andrew along to the taxi garage, where he was assigned to collect rentals for using the medallion from taxi drivers at the ends of their shifts. Murstein soon learned not to believe the excuses – such as a baby being born in the back of the cab – drivers often used for returning their taxis late.
Andrew’s father and grandfather eventually owned more than 500 medallions. NYC taxi medallions currently sell for in excess of $1.1 million each. When they decided to sell some in the 1970s, no banks would provide the financing so that is when they got into the lending business. Banks would not lend to immigrants because they considered them too risky. They did not understand the character of the immigrant and were not aware of the value and security of a taxi medallion. Medallion has since lent over $3 billion to the taxi industry with zero losses, proving perhaps once again that banks do not know the taxi business.
In 1979, the Mursteins founded a family-owned company called Medallion Funding Corp. to build a taxi medallion lending business. Medallion Funding earned returns on investment over 20 percent per year.
Later life and career
Andrew Murstein, after completing his studies at Tufts University and New York University, spent several years on Wall Street, including a stop at Salomon Brothers, where he learned the power of equity in funding a business. He joined Medallion Funding full-time in 1990 and eventually took the company public.
In 1996, Murstein successfully launched Medallion Financial Corp., established to be the parent company of Medallion Funding, as a public company trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol TAXI. The company, which owns and leases several hundred medallions and has financed the purchase of thousands more in Newark, Cambridge, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston and New York, is an established industry leader. But taxi loans are only a part of the story. The company also established or bought successful businesses that lend to a variety of small businesses such as dry cleaners, convenience stores, manufacturers, distributors, and later public companies.
In 1994, Murstein invested $1-million to create a subsidiary which sold advertising on the tops of taxis. The subsidiary, eventually named Medallion Taxi Media, was enhanced in 1996 with the acquisition of See Level Advertising. Murstein sold Medallion Taxi Media to Clear Channel yielding $35 million in 2004. About this time Medallion Financial Corp. set up its own bank, Medallion Bank, to fund many of the company’s endeavors.
In 2008 Murstein with former baseball star Hank Aaron and former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, both Medallion Financial board members, and former football star and Congressman Jack Kemp, now deceased, formed a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) which raised $230-million to buy a professional sports team. The SPAC reportedly bid for the Chicago Cubs and other sports properties but ended up not making a purchase because none of the properties the company evaluated had the right mix of profit potential and risk avoidance. Later that same year Murstein organized and filed publicly a SPAC focused on the security industry and assembled a board of directors that included, former FBI director Louis Freeh, and initial head of Homeland Security and former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.
In November 2010, Medallion Financial Corp., as part of an investment group which includes Richard Petty and Douglas G. Bergeron, signed and closed sale on racing aseets of one of NASCAR's great names, Richard Petty Motorsports. Medallion is the largest owner of the team. In 2012, along with partners Richard Mack, and NFL legend, Jim Brown, Murstein acquired the Long Island Lizards of Major League Lacrosse, and renamed the team the New York Lizards. The team plays at Hofstra University on Long Island, and also announced it will be playing a few games at Stonybrook University on Long Island.
Under Murstein’s leadership, Medallion today manages over $1.25 billion of investments and pays a dividend yield of 7%. The company has paid out over $200,000,000 in dividends to its shareholders since going public.
Murstein is married to Barbara Rudnick; they have two children, Kimberly and Matthew, and live in New York City. Murstein, an avid sports fan, can frequently be seen in the front row at Madison Square Garden and the New York Yankees, often with other bold faced names.
- Forbes magazine online profile posted online 2008, retrieved Feb. 24, 2010 (http://people.forbes.com/profile/andrew-m-murstein/52215)
- “Andrew Murstein, President” Medallion Financial Corp. website, retrieved Feb. 24, 2010 (www.medallion.com/about_senior_mgmt_murstein.htm)
- Andrew Murstein et al., The Business of Funding, New York, Aspatore Inc., 2006, p.37
- “Andrew Murstein, 29,” by Peter Grant “40 under 40,” Crain’s New York Business, Jan. 31, 1994/Feb. 6, 1994, p. 11
- Medallion Financial Corp.Retrieved Oct. 7, 2010 (www.medallion.com)
- “Andrew Murstein Weds Miss Rudnick,” The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/1990/11/04/style/andrew-murstein-weds-miss-rudnick.html)
- “NYC taxi medallions worth hailing,” by Taylor McGraw, USA Today, Aug. 6, 2009, p. 3B
- “So you want to go public,” by Stan Luxenberg, Family Business magazine, Winter, 2003 Issue
- “Hailing New Customers,” by Tania Padgett, Newsday, Nov. 3, 2003, p. A31
- “A Lender Hopes to Profit From the New Taxi Math,” by Tim Gray, The New York Times, Jan. 25, 2004 (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/25/business/investing-a-lender-hopes-to-profit-from-the-new-taxi-math.html?emc=rss&pagewanted=all)
- “Medallion Financial Corp. Reports 2009 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results,” press release issued March 5, 2010, posted on Business Wire (www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100305005660/en), Yahoo, Dow Jones, businessweek.com, marketwatch.com, and Medallion’s website
- “Medallion Financial Corp. Reports 2010 Second Quarter and Full Year Results,” press release issued August 4, 2010, posted on Business Wire (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100804005928/en/Medallion-Financial-Corp.-Reports-2010-Quarter-Results), Yahoo, Dow Jones, Reuters, businessweek.com, marketwatch.com, and Medallion’s website
- “Industry Information,” New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission website (http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/misc/avg_med_price.shtml), retrieved Oct. 7, 2010
- “So you want to go public,” by Stan Luxenberg, Family Business magazine, Winter, 2003 Issue
- “Greasing the wheels,” by Joshua M. Bernstein, New York Daily News, Oct. 24, 2006, p. 32
- “Andrew Murstein, 29,” by Peter Grant, “40 under 40,” Crain’s New York Business, Jan. 31, 1994/Feb. 6, 1994, p. 11
- Medallion Financial Corp. website (www.medallion.com), retrieved Oct. 7, 2010
- “New York cabs try to become ideal vehicle for advertisers,” by Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, Financial Times, April 8, 1999
- Medallion Financial Corp. annual report, 2009, p. 4, and 2004 and 2005, both p. 2
- “The Media Business: Advertising – Addenda; Two Developments in Ads on Taxicabs,” by Stuart Elliott, The New York Times, July 31, 1996
- “You Bankin’ With Me?” by David Dent, Business 2.0 magazine, April 2005, p. 62
- "Medallion Financial Corp." Yahoo Finance, April 8, 2010 (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=TAXI&ql=0)
- "Taxi tycoon Andrew Murstein is revved to build race track in New York, bring sport to fans." NY Daily News, December 14, 2010 (http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2010/12/14/2010-12-14_taxi_tycoon_andrew_murstein_is_revved_to_build_race_track_in_new_york_bring_spor.html)
- “Andrew Murstein, President” (www.medallion.com/about_senior_mgmt_murstein.htm) Medallion Financial Corp. website, retrieved Feb. 24, 2010
- “He’s Got the Best Seats in the House,” by Jeff Johnson, Page Six magazine, New York Post, June 8, 2008, pp. 24-26