Kenneth Dart

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Kenneth B. Dart (born 1955) is an American-born businessman and billionaire. Dart’s wealth has been estimated to be about at $6.6 billion (2013).[1] Kenneth Dart is one of the heirs of William F. Dart, who founded the Dart Container Corporation (originally the Dart Manufacturing Company) in Michigan in 1937.[2]


Kenneth Dart graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1976. He joined the family business, the Dart Container Corporation, and became president of the company in 1986.[3] His brother Robert Dart succeeded him in this role in 2001, when Kenneth Dart moved to the Board of Directors.

In the mid-90s Dart, his brother, Robert, and their tax lawyer, renounced their American citizenship, while the American citizenship of their families was not renounced.[4] Kenneth Dart acquired the citizenship of, and a compound in, the Cayman Islands. He owns a number of Cayman-based enterprises, including Dart Enterprises, Dart Realty, and Cayman Shores Development.[5] His Caymanian enterprises are estimated to own about 20-25% of the real estate in the Cayman Islands.[6]

In 1994 Dart also became a citizen of Belize. At that time Dart offered his residence in Sarasota, Florida, to Belize as a consulate with himself as its consul. This would have allowed him to live in the United States full-time as a foreign diplomat avoiding any actions by the Internal Revenue Service; the State Department rejected the arrangement.[7]

The Reed Amendment of 1996, a tightening of U.S. tax laws concerning expatriates, was spurred in part by Dart's renounciation of his US citizenship to avoid paying taxes.[8]

Philanthropic activities[edit]

Kenneth Dart is on the Board of Directors of the Dart Foundation, a private family foundation established in 1984 by William A. and Claire T. Dart. The Dart Foundation’s mission is to advance and encourage youth education, primarily in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).[9] The Dart Foundation and Kenneth Dart individually have supported the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism providing resources to journalists who cover violence, conflict and tragedy worldwide. [10]

Kenneth Dart and Dart Cayman Islands partnered with the Cayman Islands Government to design, build, restore and maintain five district parks and assist with the restoration and development of six additional public community parks in Grand Cayman. [11]

Along with his family, Ken Dart created the Minds Inspired High School Scholarship in 2012 and the Minds Inspired William A. Dart Memorial University Scholarship in 2013. The High School Scholarship aims to increase the quantity and quality of Caymanians pursuing mathematics and science related careers. The University Scholarship is available to eligible students with an interest in pursuing a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited overseas institution. [12]

Controversial investments[edit]

Dart owns Dart Management, “one of the best known of the so-called vulture funds.”[13] The strategy of vulture funds is to buy government debts at sharply reduced prices when weak governments are in crisis, and eventually force these governments to pay the full amount of the debt. Dart employed this strategy in 1994 by acquiring Brazilian debt instruments and eventually generating a profit of about $600m.[14]

In the Greek financial crisis Dart was a winner by forcing the Greek government to pay €436m in 2012, 90% of which went to his fund.[13][14][15]

In the ongoing attempts to resolve the Argentinian financial crisis of 2001 Kenneth Dart (as well as Paul Singer) rejected Argentina's restructuring offer in contrast to most other investors and brought their claim to the US court system.[16] In response to Dart's holdout strategy, the then Argentinian ambassador in the US, Jorge Argüello, rebuked Dart's activities,[17] while in the Argentinian press Dart was named "Enemy Number One of Argentina".[18] In 2012, a New York State judge ruled in favor of the holdout creditors ordering Argentina to pay $1.3 billion and Argentina's appeal of the ruling at the US Supreme Court was rejected in 2014.[19] The US judicial rulings forced Argentina to miss bond payments in July 2014. This in turn caused Argentina to be declared in selective default by Standard & Poor's and in restrictive default by Fitch Ratings, meaning that Argentina failed to meet some of their obligations while meeting others.[20]


  1. ^ Melissa Anders (2013-10-31). "Report lists Michigan’s wealthiest person, but doesn’t tell the full story". mlive. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  2. ^ "Dart - About Us". Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  3. ^ "Ken Dart". Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  4. ^ Elizabeth Lesly (1995-07-09). "The Darts: Fear, Loathing, And Foam Cups". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  5. ^ Dart News. "Dart Cayman". Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  6. ^ Wendy Ledger (2012-05-17). "Doing business with vultures". Cayman News Service. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  7. ^ Kathy M. Kristof (2008-06-15). "The U.S. cracks down on rich tax evaders". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  8. ^ Jack Reed, Senator (June 12, 2013). "Reed Offers Amendment to prevent Ex-Citizen Tax Dodgers from Reentering the U.S.". Jack Reed. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Dart Foundation". Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  10. ^ "Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma". Retrieved 2014-08-04. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b Landon Thomas, Jr. (2012-05-15). "Bet on Greek Bonds Paid Off for ‘Vulture Fund’.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  14. ^ a b Nathalie Savaricas (2012-05-17). "'Vulture funds' circle as Greek fears grow". The Independent. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  15. ^ Nick Dearden (2012-05-17). "Greece:here come the vulture funds". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  16. ^ Drew Benson (January 23, 2012). "Billionaire Hedge Funds Snub 90% Returns". Bloomberg News. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  17. ^ Ambassador Jorge Argüello. "The vulture funds about to flap their wings for the last time.". Embassy of Argentina in Washington, D.C. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  18. ^ Gustavo Sierra (2005-04-24). "Kenneth Dart, el enemigo numero uno de Argentina" [Kenneth Dart, Enemy Number One of Argentina] (in Spanish). Clarín. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  19. ^ Argentina makes debt case in US newspapers AFP wire, June 23, 2014
  20. ^