Andrew M. Murstein

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Andrew M. Murstein
Murstein in 2007
Born Andrew Mead Murstein[1]
(1964-06-29) June 29, 1964 (age 52)
Roslyn, New York
Alma mater Tufts University, New York University
Occupation President and Board Member, Medallion Financial Corp.
Net worth $650,000,000[2]
Spouse(s) Barbara Lynn Rudnick[1]
Children Kimberly and Matt Murstein

Andrew Mead Murstein (born June 29, 1964) is founder, president, board member and largest shareholder of Medallion Financial Corp., an investment company publicly traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol MFIN (changed from TAXI on May 11, 2016).[3][4] According to publicly available information, his net worth is in excess of $650,000,000.[2] MFIN and its predecessor companies have invested over $5,000,000,000 in various companies throughout the U.S. Including dividends, MFIN has had an average annual return of -7.99% per year over the last 10 years.[5] He received a B.A. in economics, cum laude, from Tufts University and an M.B.A. in finance from New York University.[6][7] He was named among Crain’s New York Business’ “40 Under 40”, and has been featured in numerous business publications.[8][9] In 2013 he was appointed to the Board of the Javits Center by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Early life and career[edit]

Andrew Mead Murstein was born in Roslyn, New York to Alvin and Aileen Murstein.[9] His grandfather of German descent, Leon Murstein, came to the United States from Argentina,[10] became a New York cabdriver and purchased one of the first New York taxi medallions, issued in 1937, for $10.[11][12][13] The family went on to purchase several hundred medallions for prices as little as $10 each—medallions peaked at over $1,300,000 each and currently sell for around $500,000 each.[14][15][16][17] [18]Murstein reportedly sold the majority of his medallions in 2012 and 2013 before Uber and Lyft affected the taxi medallion values, a claim that has not been independently verified. A subsidiary of Medallion Financial currently owns 159 Chicago medallions it values at $60,000 each, or approximately $9.54 million, but owes more than $22 million on them. The subsidiary is currently being sued in a New York court for failing to repay a loan on the Chicago medallions.[19]

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.[20][21] Today, Murstein does not travel by taxi, instead relying on a private driver paid for by Medallion Financial since 2005.[22]

Andrew’s father and grandfather eventually owned more than 500 medallions. 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.[8][9][12] Medallion has since lent over $3 billion to the taxi industry, but has charged-off at least $27.6 million in medallion loans in 2016 alone.[23][11]According to regulatory filings, regulators required Medallion Bank to "take additional loan loss reserves for the quarter ended September 30, 2016" after a recent examination.[24] After increasing reserves, Medallion Bank was undercapitalized.[25]

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.[21] More recently, Medallion Funding Corp. and its subsidiaries were sued in a New York court for failure to repay $8.8 million borrowed to finance Chicago medallions that are currently underwater.[19] As recently as March 2017, senior notes issued by Medallion Financial traded for just 70% of par value, a level that is indicative of severe financial distress.[26]

Later life and career[edit]

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.[27]

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 MFIN.[11][28] The company has financed the purchase of thousands more in Newark, Cambridge, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston and New York City, is an established industry leader.[9][29] 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.[11][12][16]

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.[27][28][29][30] About this time Medallion Financial Corp. set up its own bank, Medallion Bank, to fund many of the company’s endeavors.[31] Due to aggressive lending and outsize losses, the bank accepted TARP money in 2009. The bank's loan losses in 2008 were worse than 93% of banks in its peer group, according to the FFIEC.[32] In 2011, it accepted an investment from the U.S. Treasury, a security it has yet to repay. The bank currently pays a 9% after-tax dividend on this preferred security.[19]

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.[15][33] 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.

On November 8, 2010, Medallion Financial Corp., as part of an investment group which includes Richard Petty and Douglas G. Bergeron, signed and closed sale on racing assets of one of NASCAR's great names, Richard Petty Motorsports.[34] 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 won the MLL championship for the third time in 2015.[33]The financial success of Richard Petty Motorsports is unknown; the company does not pay cash interest to Medallion Financial, opting to roll interest into the balance due.[19] Murstein publicly stated that Medallion may sell part of its motorsports stake in October 2016, but by December 2016 Richard Petty Motorsports made the decision to downsize to one car from two for the next racing season.[35][36]

Under Murstein’s leadership, Medallion today manages over $1.5 billion of investments.[34] The company has paid out over $250,000,000 in dividends to its shareholders since going public, but suspended dividends in 2017 due to losses from declining taxi medallion values.[3][14] In 2015, Murstein told Barron's that the chances of such a dividend cut were "slim to none."[37] Since the article was published, dividends have been cut twice, the latest cut from $0.05 to per share to zero.


Murstein is married to Barbara Lynn Rudnick;[21] they have two children, Kimberly and Matthew, and live in New York City.[38] Murstein, an avid sports fan, can frequently be seen at his table at the very exclusive Rao's Restaurant, where he frequently dines with Academy Award winner Leonardo DiCaprio and Hank Aaron, or in the front row at Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium, often with other bold faced names[39][40] Murstein also reportedly threw his son an epic bar mitzvah reception in 2015 with guests that included Governor Andrew Cuomo, Hank Aaron, and a special hour-long performance by Nicki Minaj.[41][42]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b Forbes magazine online profile posted online 2008, retrieved Feb. 24, 2010 (
  3. ^ a b Medallion Financial Corp. Reports 2016, First Quarter Results And Announces Ticker Symbol Changes To MFIN and MFINL, Medallion Financial Corp. (Website), May 10, 2016
  4. ^ Andrew Murstein Salary and Stock Options for Medallion Financial Corporation., May 23, 2016 (
  5. ^ "Stock Dividends". Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  6. ^ “Andrew Murstein, President” Medallion Financial Corp. website, retrieved May 23, 2016
  7. ^ Andrew Murstein et al., The Business of Funding, New York, Aspatore Inc., 2006, p.37
  8. ^ a b “Andrew Murstein, 29,” by Peter Grant “40 under 40,” Crain’s New York Business, Jan. 31, 1994/Feb. 6, 1994, p. 11
  9. ^ a b c d Medallion Financial Corp. Retrieved Oct. 7, 2010 (Website) (
  10. ^ “NYC taxi medallions worth hailing,” by Taylor McGraw, USA Today, Aug. 6, 2009, p. 3B
  11. ^ a b c d “So you want to go public,” by Stan Luxenberg, Family Business magazine, Winter, 2003 Issue (Magazine)
  12. ^ a b c “Hailing New Customers,” by Tania Padgett, Newsday, Nov. 3, 2003, p.A31 (Magazine)
  13. ^ “A Lender Hopes to Profit From the New Taxi Math,” by Tim Gray, The New York Times, Jan. 25, 2004 ( e-new-taxi-math.html?emc=rss&pagewanted=all)
  14. ^ a b “Medallion Financial Corp. Reports 2009 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results,” press release issued March 5, 2010, posted on Business Wire (, Yahoo, Dow Jones,,, and Medallion’s website
  15. ^ a b “Medallion Financial Corp. Reports 2010 Second Quarter and Full Year Results,” press release issued August 4, 2010, posted on Business Wire ( .-Reports-2010-Quarter-Results), Yahoo, Dow Jones, Reuters,,, and Medallion’s website
  16. ^ a b “Industry Information,” New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission website (, retrieved Oct. 7, 2010
  17. ^ Time to Hail Medallion Financial Shares, Barron’s, September 18, 2015 (
  18. ^ "Form 10-K". Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  19. ^ a b c d "Form 10-K". Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  20. ^ “Greasing the wheels,” by Joshua M. Bernstein, New York Daily News, Oct. 24, 2006, p. 32 (Print edition)
  21. ^ a b c “Andrew Murstein, 29,” by Peter Grant, “40 under 40,” Crain’s New YorkBusiness, Jan. 31, 1994/Feb. 6, 1994, p. 11 (
  22. ^ "Definitive Proxy Statement". Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  23. ^ "Form 10-K". Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  24. ^ "Form 10-K". Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  25. ^ "Form 10-K". Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  26. ^ "Medallion Financial Corp. 9.000% Notes due 2021 (MFINL)". Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  27. ^ a b Medallion Financial Corp. website (, retrieved May 26, 2016
  28. ^ a b “New York cabs try to become ideal vehicle for advertisers,” by Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, Financial Times, April 8, 1999
  29. ^ a b Medallion Financial Corp. annual report, 2009, p. 4, and 2004 and 2005, both p. 2 (
  30. ^ “The Media Business: Advertising – Addenda; Two Developments in Ads on Taxicabs,” by Stuart Elliott, The New York Times, July 31, 1996 ( two-developments-in-ads-on-taxicabs.html)
  31. ^ “You Bankin’ With Me?” by David Dent, Business 2.0 magazine, April 2005, p. 62
  32. ^ "Select Uniform Bank Performance Report Format - FFIEC Central Data Repository's Public Data Distribution". Retrieved 2017-03-16. 
  33. ^ a b Rob Pannell’s Four Goals Help Lizards Rally To Claim MLL Championship, Newsday, August 9, 2015. ( laim-mll-championship-1.10721898)
  34. ^ a b "Medallion Financial Corp." Yahoo Finance, April 8, 2010 (
  35. ^ "Actual value of NASCAR charters still a mystery - SportsBusiness Daily | SportsBusiness Journal | SportsBusiness Daily Global". Retrieved 2017-03-16.  line feed character in |title= at position 48 (help)
  36. ^ "RPM downsizing to 1 car for 2017 Cup season". Retrieved 2017-03-16. 
  37. ^ Willoughby, Jack. "Time to Hail Medallion Financial Shares". Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  38. ^ "Taxi tycoon Andrew Murstein is revved to build race track in New York, bring sport to fans." NY Daily News, December 14, 2010 ([permanent dead link] ein_is_revved_to_build_race_track_in_new_york_bring_spor.html)
  39. ^ “Andrew Murstein, President” ( Medallion Financial Corp. website, retrieved May 26, 2016.
  40. ^ “He’s Got the Best Seats in the House,” by Jeff Johnson, Page Six magazine, New York Post, June 8, 2008, pp. 24-26
  41. ^ "How to Get Nicki Minaj to Perform at Your Kid's Bar Mitzvah: A Guide" by Zach Schonfeld, Newsweek, May 13, 2015. ( 331080.html)
  42. ^ "Multimillionaire NY taxi tycoon hires Nicki Minaj for his son's bar mitzvah and puts down a red carpet for all his friends (and Governor Cuomo) inside one of New York's priciest hotels" by Anneta Konstantinides and Ross Mcdonagh,, April 27, 2015. ( oldpalInstagramputtingprivatebarmitzvahperformancefriends.html)

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