|38th United States Secretary of Commerce|
June 26, 2013
|Preceded by||Cameron Kerry (Acting)|
May 2, 1959 |
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Alma mater||Harvard University
Penny Sue Pritzker (born May 2, 1959) is an American business executive, entrepreneur, civic leader, and philanthropist who is currently serving as the 38th United States Secretary of Commerce. She is the founder of PSP Capital Partners and Pritzker Realty Group. She's also co-founder of Artemis Real Estate Partners. She is a member of the Pritzker family.
In 2012, Chicago magazine named her one of the 100 most powerful Chicagoans. In 2011 the Forbes 400 list of America's wealthiest showed her as the 263rd richest person in the U.S., estimated net worth of US $1.8511 billion, and the world's 651st richest person. In 2009 Forbes named Pritzker as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world.
Born to a Jewish family in 1959, the daughter of Sue (née Sandel) and Donald N. Pritzker (1932–1972), one of the co-founders of Hyatt hotels, which grew dramatically under his leadership as President from 1959 until his death in 1972. Pritzker is a member of the Pritzker family of Chicago, an influential business family. She attended Castilleja School until 1977. She earned an A.B. in Economics from Harvard College in 1981 and both a J.D. and an M.B.A. from Stanford University in 1984. She has two brothers: Anthony Pritzker and Jay Robert Pritzker.
- 1987 - founded Classic Residence by Hyatt, now called Vi.
- 1991 - created Pritzker Realty Group
- 1991 - chairman of Superior Bank, until 1994.
- 1998 – co-founded The Parking Spot, the fastest growing company in off-site airport parking management, with CEO Martin Nesbitt.
- 2005 - "Non-Executive" Chairman of the Board of TransUnion, LLC. Served in this position until 2012.
- 2010 - co-founded Artemis Real Estate Partners, a real estate investment management company, with CEO Deborah Harmon
- 2012 - founded PSP Capital Partners
In 1989, Ms. Pritzker's late uncle, Jay Pritzker, purchased a 50% stake in Hinsdale, Illinois-based Superior Bank from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which had taken over the bank when it failed. Penny Pritzker was Superior's chairman from 1991-1994. In 1993, the bank "embarked on a business strategy of significant growth into subprime home mortgages," according to a report by the United States Treasury Department. In 2000, it became clear the bank was faltering. In the months leading up to 2001, the Pritzkers tried to work out a recapitalization plan. In July 2001, FDIC seized the bank after the recapitalization could not be resolved. . Subsequently, the Pritzker family reached an agreement with regulators to pay $460 million.
According to the FDIC, by 2011, the uninsured depositors of Superior had each received 81% of their uninsured monies, in addition to the $100,000 each previously received of their insured amount. Industry experts have criticized the Pritzkers in regard to Superior. Consumer advocates and government investigators asserted Superior "engaged in unsound financial activities and predatory lending practices." Responding to the Wall Street Journal, Pritzker noted she had no ownership in the bank, either direct or indirect, and that the bank's reasons for failure "were complex, including changes in accounting practices, auditing failures, reversals in regulatory positions and general economic conditions." She said the bank complied with "fair lending laws" and ethical business practices. A 2001 Business Week article described the bank's other owner, Alvin Dworman, as the more dominant partner in its operation as a result of agreements made by Jay Pritzker. Quoted in the New York Times, a Pritzker family friend observed Pritzker was trapped in a deal of her uncle's making: "Penny got sucked into this…this was really the legacy of Jay" Jay Pritzker died in 1999.
Breakup of Pritzker business interests
In 2004, siblings Liesel and Matthew Pritzker sued their father and other family members, claiming fraud and sought damages in excess of $6 billion. In 2005, the parties settled. Liesel and Matthew each received roughly $280 million and were given more control over other trusts valued at about $170 million each. "The Pritzkers as a singular unit no longer exists," according to a March 3, 2013 article in the Chicago Tribune. "A 10-year family agreement...wound down in December, 2011...each family member is now free to pursue his or her own interests..."
Government and political involvement
Pritzker is a member of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. She also served on the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
She was national co-chair of Obama for America 2012 and was the national finance chair of President Obama's presidential campaign in 2008. A campaign under her direction reached out to small donors. On November 20, 2008, CNN reported that Pritzker was Barack Obama's top choice for Commerce Secretary, quoting "multiple" unnamed sources. However, it was later reported that Pritzker took herself out of the running. According to the Chicago Tribune, she withdrew her name from consideration "due to obligations to her family, for whom she was still overseeing billions in assets, and the financial crisis, which was putting some of those assets at risk."
Pritzker has contributed to numerous campaigns. Among the recipients have been the presidential campaigns and exploratory committees, including those of George W. Bush, Joe Lieberman, Bill Bradley, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain (2000), Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. On July 2, 2008, Ms. Pritzker and her husband hosted a $28,500 per plate fundraiser for Mr. Obama's campaign in Chicago with Warren Buffett and his wife, and Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett.
Secretary of Commerce nomination
Pritzker was nominated as United States Secretary of Commerce by President Barack Obama on May 2, 2013. After an uneventful confirmation hearing on May 23, 2013, Pritzker was confirmed by the full Senate on June 25, by a vote of 97 to 1. Pritzker was sworn in as Secretary on June 26, 2013.
Civic and philanthropic activities
Pritzker is involved in Chicago's public education system. She was a member of the Chicago Board of Education and is past chair of the Chicago Public Education Fund.
Pritzker is Advisory Board Chair of Skills for America's Future (SAF), a policy initiative of the Aspen Institute.
Pritzker is past chair of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.
- "PSP Capital Partners". Retrieved Oct. 10, 2012.
- "Artemis Real Estate".
- Bailey, Berstein, Burke, Colburn, et al (March, 2012). "100 Most Powerful Chicagoans". Chicago Magazine.
- "The 400 Richest Americans: #263 Penny Pritzker". Forbes. September, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-23. "Net worth: $1.7 billion"
- Sweet, Lynn (2013-05-02) "Obama nominates Chicago exec Penny Pritzker as commerce secretary", Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
- Senate Vote on PN413, 97-1
- Jewish Daily Forward: "Penny Pritzker, Jewish Hotel Heiress, Tapped for Commerce Job - Mike Froman Gets Trade Representative Nod" May 02, 2013
- "Mishap kills Sue Pritzker, widow of Hyatt Hotel founder, at age 49". Chicago Tribune. 1982-05-08.
- "Around Town". Palo Alto Weekly. November 9, 2005. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
- DeBare, Ilana. "Prominent Alumnae of Girls' Schools". Where Girls Come First. Archived from the original on 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2007-11-27.
- Stanford Lawyer. Law.stanford.edu. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
- Staff (2008). "Penny S. Pritzker – Biography". Penny Pritzker – Official website. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
- Prospectus. Sec.gov. Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
- "PSP Capital Partners".
- Emshwiller, John R. (2008-07-21). "A Top Obama Fund-Raiser Had Ties to Failed Bank". The Wall Street Journal. pp. A10. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- Barboza, David; Woellert, Lorraine (2001-08-07). "A Partnership Frays After An S.& L. Fails; In Laying Blame, Trying to Sort Out One Deal Maker's Complicated Legacy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- Allison, Melissa; Neikirk, William (2001-07-27). "Regulators close Chicago-area bank". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- "Judge rules family, others cannot be sued concerning Superior Bank's collapse". Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. 2004-09-28.
- David Mobert, Breaking the Bank, In These Times November 8, 2002
- John W. Courtney et al. v. Neal T. Halleren et al. (485 F.3d 942). Bulk.resource.org. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
- "Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation". Failed Bank Information.
- Pallasch, Abdon M. (2008-04-28). "Obama's subprime pal". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Barboza, David (2001-08-07). "A Partnership Frays After An S.& L. Fails; In Laying Blame, Trying to Sort Out One Deal Maker's Complicated Legacy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- The Economist: "Jay Pritzker, pioneer of the modern hotel chain, died on January 23rd, aged 76" 1999-01-28.
- Shattered Dynasty. Vanity Fair. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
- Lisa Kroll (2007-10-24). "Billionaire Family Feuds". Forbes.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-26. Retrieved 2007-11-05.
- Mark Maremont (2005-01-09). "How a little princess won back her inheritance". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-10-23.
- Anne E. Kornblut and Matthew Mosk (5 April 2008). "Obama's Campaign Takes In $25 Million,He Nearly Matches Clinton, With Twice as Many Donors" (printable). Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-09-24.
- "Sources: Pritzker, Napolitano being vetted for Cabinet". CNN. November 20, 2008. Retrieved November 20, 2008.
- Allen, Mike (20 November 2008). "Pritzker turns down Commerce". Politico. Retrieved 2013-02-12.
- Gloria Borger, Jason Carrol, Ed Henry, Jamie McIntyre, John King, Ed Hornick, Don Lemon, Jessica Yellin (20 November 2008). "Pritzker not a candidate for commerce secretary" (printable). CNN. Retrieved 2013-02-12.
- Knowlton, Brian (2008-11-20). "Pritzker Withdraws From Cabinet Consideration". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
- Penny Pritzker. Nndb.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
- MICHAEL LUO and CHRISTOPHER DREW (3 July 2008). "Obama Picks Up Fund-Raising Pace". Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-02-12.
- Penny S. Pritzker – Biography. Penny-pritzker.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
- Shear, Michael D. (2013-05-02) "Obama Nominates Pritzker for Commerce Post", The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
- Penny Pritzker looks to be on path to confirmation - Tarini Parti. Politico.Com (2013-05-23). Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
- Penny Pritzker confirmed as Commerce secretary - Dan Berman. Politico.Com (2013-06-26). Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
- people "The Aspen Institute". Retrieved October 10, 2012.
- About Secretary Penny Pritzker at the United States Department of Commerce
- Shattered Dynasty, Vanity Fair (magazine)
- Money Maven
- Penny Pritzker at NNDB
- 2002 article on Superior Bank failure, In These Times
- The Forbes 400 – #135 Penny Pritzker 2007 profile
- The Harvard Crimson – Penny Pritzker Madeline W. Lissner, June 5, 2006
- SEC filings
- Personal website
|United States Secretary of Commerce
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
as Secretary of Agriculture
|Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of Commerce
as Secretary of Labor
|United States presidential line of succession|
as Secretary of Agriculture
|9th in line
as Secretary of Commerce
as Secretary of Labor