Barry Sternlicht

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Barry Sternlicht
Barry sternlicht.jpg
Sternlicht in 2016
Born (1960-11-27) November 27, 1960 (age 56)
New York City
Education B.A. Brown University
M.B.A. Harvard Business School
Occupation real estate developer
Known for --founder of Starwood Capital Group
--founder of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide
--founder of W Hotels
Spouse(s) Mimi Reichert Sternlicht
Parent(s) Harriet Sternlicht
Maurycy Sternlicht

Barry Stuart Sternlicht (born November 27, 1960)[1] is the founder, chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, the private investment firm focused on global real estate, energy, infrastructure and securities trading. He is also chairman of Starwood Property Trust, now the largest commercial mortgage REIT in the United States traded on the NYSE and Chairman of SWAY.[2][3] He previously formed Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and served as its CEO from 1995 to 2005.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Sternlicht was born in New York City in 1960[5] and grew up in Connecticut, the son of a Holocaust survivor from Poland,[6] Maurycy Sternlicht.[7] His father worked as a plant manager; his mother, Harriet, was from New York and worked as a biology teacher and stockbroker.[7] In 1982, he graduated magna cum laude, with honors, from Brown University. In 1986, he received his MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.[2] After graduation, he went to work for JMB Realty, a real estate investment company, in Chicago where he learned the real estate business. In 1989, after the real estate market collapsed, he was laid off and went into business on his own.[8]


Sternlicht was able to raise $20 million from the wealthy Ziff (see William Bernard Ziff, Jr.) and Burden families of New York which he used to purchase loans from the Resolution Trust Corporation, created by the federal government to hold the real estate assets left over from the savings-and-loan crisis.[8] In 1991, Sternlicht launched Starwood Capital Group. His goal was to buy up multi-family apartment buildings that were being auctioned off in the government’s bailout of the savings and loan crisis.[9]

In 1993, Sternlicht sold the portfolio to real estate magnate Sam Zell for more than 20 percent of Zell’s Equity Residential Properties Trust. When Zell took the company public that year, Starwood saw more than a 100 percent return. Sternlicht later began to purchase hotel sites, focusing on combining his passions of architecture and real estate finance.

Under Sternlicht’s leadership, Starwood Capital Group today ranks as one of the largest and most successful investment firms focused on real estate. For the past twenty years, it has structured investment transactions with an asset value exceeding $47 billion.[4] Starwood's funds have invested in more than 70,000 apartment units, more than 2200 hotels, over 44 million square feet of office properties, 39 million square feet of retail and over 46,000 acres of land in residential subdivisions.[10][11] Today the firm manages approximately $33 billion of investor capital on behalf of its high-net-worth and institutional partners and public shareholders.[12]

From 1995 through early 2005, Sternlicht was Chairman and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., a company he founded in 1995. Sternlicht has been credited as a dynamic and innovative hotel leader, creating new products and programs with immediate global appeal. He has been named the King of Hotels,[13] creating W Hotels, perhaps the world’s most successful “boutique” brand. Some of his other innovations include the creation of Westin’s “Heavenly Bed,” “Heavenly Bath,” “Westin Workout,” and Starwood Preferred Guest, the world’s first frequent traveler program with “no blackouts.” [2]


In 2004, he was named America’s Best Lodging CEO by Institutional Investor magazine.[14] Sternlicht was inducted into the Interior Design Magazine Hall of Fame.[15]

In 2010, Sternlicht was named Executive of the Year and Investor of the Year by Commercial Property Executive.[16] Global peer-voting polls sponsored by Private Equity Real Estate magazine named Sternlicht as the Global Industry Figure of the Year and as North American Industry Figure of the Year in 2010, his second consecutive year in this category.[17]

Board positions[edit]

Sternlicht is a trustee of his alma mater, Brown University. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Estée Lauder Companies,[18] Restoration Hardware,[19] TriPointe Homes,[20] Baccarat,[21] Mammoth Mountain,[22] and Advisory Board of Zelnick Media.[23] He serves as Chairman of the Board of Robin Hood Foundation[24] and is on the boards of the Real Estate Roundtable,[25] Pension Real Estate Association (PREA),[26] the Dreamland Community Theatre,[27] the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s National Leadership Advocacy Program[22] and the Business Committee for the Arts.[28]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Mimi (née Reichert) Sternlicht.[7][29]


  1. ^ Leadership Directories, Inc; Monitor Publishing Company (2008). Corporate Yellow Book: Who's who at the Leading Listed U.S. Companies. Monitor Publishing Company. 
  2. ^ a b c :: Starwood Capital Group ::. Retrieved on October 24, 2013.
  3. ^ "Officers & Trustees". Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b David Welch (February 18, 2014). "Starwood Capital's Sternlicht Said to Prepare Share Sale". Bloomberg. 
  5. ^ Starwood Capital Executive Committee profile for Barry S. Sternlicht retrieved December 25, 2012
  6. ^ McDowell, Edwin (September 7, 1997) "Hiltons They Aren't: 2 Guys In a Hurry". New York Times
  7. ^ a b c Upstart Business Journals: "Revenge of the Hotel King" by Daniel Roth September 17, 2007
  8. ^ a b Leonard, Devin(May 29, 2010) "Barry Sternlicht, the Real Estate Bargain Hunter". New York Times
  9. ^ :: Starwood Capital Group ::. Retrieved on October 24, 2013.
  10. ^ "Speaker Profile of Barry S. Sternlicht". The Soho Loft. Retrieved April 5, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Barry S. Sternlicht". Robin Hood Investors Conference. November 21, 2013. [permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Starwood Capital Buys U.K. Operator of Hotels, Conference Centers". Dow Jones. March 11, 2014. 
  13. ^ Warner, Melanie. (December 8, 1997) HOW BARRY STERNLICHT BECAME THE KING OF HOTELS - December 8, 1997. Retrieved on October 24, 2013.
  14. ^ The best CEOs in America. Institutional Investor (January 16, 2004). Retrieved on October 24, 2013.
  15. ^ Barry Sternlicht Archived April 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Interior Design (June 13, 2013). Retrieved on October 24, 2013.
  16. ^ Sternlicht Named CPE Executive of the Year | Commercial Property Executive. Retrieved on October 24, 2013.
  17. ^ Starwood flies high with awards hat-trick - Latest Global Private Real Estate Fund & Investor News | PERE. (March 1, 2011). Retrieved on October 24, 2013.
  18. ^ "Board of Directors". Estée Lauder Companies. Retrieved April 7, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Board of Directors". Restoration Hardware. Retrieved April 7, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Corporate Governance - Board of Directors". TriPointe Homes. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Company Profile - Baccarat". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  22. ^ a b "Barry Sternlicht". Milken Institute. April 28, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Shareholder Group Claims Starwood Property Trust Board Lacks Independent Directors". Build Up NYC. March 2, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Robin Hood Board of Directors". Robin Hood Foundation. Retrieved April 7, 2014. 
  25. ^ "FY2014 Board of Directors". Real Estate Roundtable. July 1, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Board of Directors". Pension Real Estate Association. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Dreamland Theater on Nantucket Prepares to Open". Nantucket Dreamland Foundation. June 5, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Business Committee for the Arts Executive Board". Business Committee for the Arts. Retrieved April 7, 2014. 
  29. ^ Harvard Stem Cell Institute: "HSCI grant programs support early-stage research - Sternlicht Director’s Fund awards given to graduate students in diabetes stem cell research" FALL 2007 (V.2, NO.3)

See also[edit]