Marc Lasry

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Marc Lasry
Born 1960/1961 (age 53–54)[1]
Residence New York, New York
Nationality American
Ethnicity Jewish
Education Clark University
New York Law School
Occupation Private equity investor, Hedge fund manager
Known for Co-founder of Avenue Capital Group
Net worth Increase US $ 1.7 billion
(March 2014)[1]
Spouse(s) Cathy Cohen
Children 5

Marc Lasry is a Moroccan-American billionaire hedge fund manager. He is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Avenue Capital Group and the co-owner of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks (with Wesley Edens).

Early life and education[edit]

Lasry was born in Marrakech, Morocco, to a Moroccan Jewish family.[2] When he was seven, his family immigrated to the U.S.[3] His father, Moise, was a computer programmer and his mother, Elise, was a schoolteacher.[4] At night, his parents worked a second job selling Moroccan clothing to boutique stores.[5] Lasry grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut. He received a B.A. in history from Clark University in 1981 and a J.D. from New York Law School in 1984. His sister is Sonia Gardner; together they founded Amroc Investments and Avenue Capital Group in 1989 and 1995, respectively.[2]


While in law school, Lasry worked as a clerk for the then Chief Bankruptcy Judge of the Southern District of New York Edward Ryan.[6] After law school he worked as an attorney specializing in bankruptcy at the law firm Angel & Frankel.[6] After one year,[6] Lasry accepted a job as the director of the private debt department at the investment firm R.D. Smith (now Smith Vasillou Management). It was there he first got involved in trade claims.[7] After earning $25 million for the firm in his first year and only receiving a $10,000 bonus,[6] he left R.D. Smith and accepted a position as Co-Director of the Bankruptcy and Corporate reorganization Department at Cowen & Company.[7] At Cowen & Company, Lasry recruited his sister Sonia Gardner, also an attorney, to join the firm to assist in the trade claims department.[7] Lasry left Cowen & Company and joined the Robert M. Bass Group after he was approached by Robert Bass to manage a pool of capital focused on distressed investments.

In 1989, Lasry and his sister Sonia Gardner founded the distressed debt investment firm Amroc Investments with a $100 million in seed money from various investors. Amroc purchased both trade claims and bank debt held by vendors and suppliers to bankrupt and/or distressed companies. In 1995, Lasry and Gardner struck out on their own with $7 million of capital to found Avenue Capital Group, which initially focused on distressed debt and special situations primarily in the United States. Lasry and Gardner successfully expanded the firm’s investment focus to Europe and Asia and the siblings went on to build the hedge fund to over $11 billion in assets.[4]

In 2013, Marc Lasry was being considered by Washington to be the next U.S. ambassador to France. However, such a move would have required him to divest his majority stake in Avenue and potentially sell all of his firm’s positions in France. As such, he decided to withdraw from consideration.[8]

In 2014 Forbes listed Marc Lasry as one of the 25 Highest-Earning hedge fund managers in 2013. His 2013 total earnings was $280 millions.[9]

On April 16, 2014, Lasry and together with Wesley Edens purchased the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks from long time owner Herb Kohl for $550 million. The sale was approved by the NBA's board of governors one month later.[10]

Philanthropy and political contributions[edit]

In 2004, Lasry and his wife created a chair at the University of Pennsylvania to support a scholar and teacher in the School of Arts and Sciences. The couple also co-chairs the Penn Parent Leadership Committee, while Cathy sits on the School of Arts and Sciences Board of Overseers as well.[11] In 2005, Lasry and his wife donated $5 million to Clark University to build a new science center. University President John Bassett named the new science center the “Lasry Center for Bioscience”.[12]

Lasry has served as a director of the 92nd Street Y and the Big Apple Circus and as a trustee of the Mount Sinai Medical Center. Lasry is a prominent donor to Democratic Party causes.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Lasry is married to Cathy Cohen who he met while in college.[6] They have five children together,[4][6] two of which had worked with politics: Alexander had a job in the White House under Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, while Samantha was a staffer for Rahm Emanuel during his tenure in the House of Representatives.[14]

Lasry is a competitive athlete, especially in basketball and tennis.[15] He also continues to have a deep interest in comics.[16]


  1. ^ a b Forbes: the World's Billionaires: Mark Lasry March 2014
  2. ^ a b Wee, Gillian (Feb 15, 2012). "Lasry Sees Europe Bankruptcy Bonanza as Bad Debts Obscure Assets". Bloomberg. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Tablet Magazine: "The Next Owner of ‘Newsweek’ Will Be Jewish – A plea against one of the candidates" By Marc Tracy July 30, 2010
  4. ^ a b c Bloomberg: "Lasry Sees Europe Bankruptcy Bonanza as Bad Debts Obscure Assets" February 14, 2012
  5. ^ Ahuja, Maneet. The alpha masters unlocking the genius of the world's top hedge funds. Hoboken, N.J.+: Wiley. p. 79. ISBN 1118167570. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f New York Law School alumni Bulletin: "Spotlight Luncheon: A Conversation with Marc Lasry '84" retrieved June 18, 2013
  7. ^ a b c Ahuja, Maneet. The alpha masters : unlocking the genius of the world's top hedge funds. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. pp. 79–81. ISBN 1118065522. 
  8. ^ Tausche, Kayla (26 April 2013). "Why Lasry Said 'Non Merci". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  9. ^ Vardi, Nathan (Feb 26, 2014), The 25 Highest-Earning Hedge Fund Managers And Traders, Forbes 
  10. ^ NBA owners approve sale of Bucks to Edens, Lasry
  11. ^ Kazan, Dan. "The Lasry Family Professorship in Race Relations". Left Justified. 
  12. ^ "Clark University names new biosciences center". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  13. ^ Spector, Mike (March 27, 2010). "Avenue Capital's Investor in Chief". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 28, 2010. 
  14. ^ MacIntosh, Jeane (April 27, 2013). "Flushed diplo pick tight with Bill & Bam". New York Post. Retrieved May 22, 2014. 
  15. ^ Schwartz, Nelson. "Hedge Fund Places Faith in Euro Zone". The New York Times. 
  16. ^ Wachtel, Katya (15 March 2013). "If fund manager Lasry gets ambassador nod, investors likely to stay". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 20 May 2013.