March 29, 1960 |
Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Residence||New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut|
|Alma mater||Princeton University|
|Occupation||Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.|
|Employer||Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.|
Early life and education
Feinberg was raised in a Jewish family in the Bronx, New York. When aged eight his family moved to Spring Valley, New York, a relatively poor suburb of New York City. His father was a steel salesman. He attended Princeton University in New Jersey, graduating with a degree in politics in 1982. While there, he captained the tennis team and joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps.
In 1992 Feinberg co-founded Cerberus Capital Management with William L. Richter. At the time the firm had $10 million under management; its assets under management has since grown to over $20 billion. The firm hired former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle, who serves as Chairman of Cerberus Global Investments, in 1999. The firm hired former United States Secretary of the Treasury John Snow, who serves as Chairman of Cerberus, in 2006.
In May 2011, Feinberg stated that he believes residential mortgage-backed securities may present "a real opportunity for continued investment for quite a period of time" and that there are opportunities in buying assets from European banks.
Feinberg has been critical about the pay received by private equity executives, stating "In general, I think that all of us are way overpaid in this business. It is almost embarrassing." He has also noted in comments made in 2011 that smaller private equity fund sizes may be better for investor returns: "If your goal is to maximize your return as opposed to assets under management, I think you can be most effective with a big company infrastructure and a little bit smaller fund size."
Feinberg has been described as "secretive" in the New York Times. In 2007, Feinberg told Cerberus shareholders, "If anyone at Cerberus has his picture in the paper and a picture of his apartment, we will do more than fire that person. We will kill him. The jail sentence will be worth it." 
Feinberg is a private person. Despite his considerable personal wealth (Feinberg reportedly made $50 million in 2004), his lifestyle is notably less extravagant than his peers in private equity. He splits time between his homes on Manhattan's Upper East Side and Greenwich, Connecticut with his wife Gisela (née Sanchez) and their three daughters.
- Hareetz: "A shy wunderkind, Stephen Feinberg" By Eytan Avriel November 16, 2005
- Upstart Business Journal: "The Most Dangerous Deal in America" by Daniel Roth August 13, 2007
- "For Private Equity, a Very Public Disaster". The New York Times. August 9, 2009.
- "Is it 2006? Cerberus Loves Mortgage-Backed Securities". The Wall Street Journal: Deal Journal. May 25, 2011.
- "Cerberus' Feinberg says PE executives 'way overpaid'". Reuters. June 7, 2011.
- "Can Private Equity Build a Public Face?". New York Times. December 24, 2006.
- "Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital" by Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, August 29, 2012.
- "While other hedge-fund managers are collecting fine French wines and flying around in private planes, he drives a Ford truck and drinks Budweiser." What's Bigger Than Cisco, quoting Jonathan Gallen, a personal friend of Feinberg
- "A shy wunderkind, Stephen Feinberg", Haaretz, November 16, 2005
- "The Most Dangerous Deal in America", Upstart Business Journal, August 13, 2007
- "For Private Equity, A Very Public Disaster", The New York Times, August 9, 2009
- "Is it 2006? Cerberus Loves Mortgage-Backed Securities", WSJ Deal Journal, May 25, 2011
- "Cerberus' Feinberg says PE executives 'way overpaid'", Reuters, June 7, 2011
- "Can Private Equity Build a Public Face", The New York Times, December 24, 2006
- "Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital" Rolling Stone, August 29, 2012
- "What's Bigger Than Cisco, Coke, Or McDonald's? Steve Feinberg's Cerberus, a vast hedge fund that's snapping up companies – lots of them", BusinessWeek, October 3, 2005