Richard Ziman

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Richard Ziman
Richard Stephen Ziman[1]

(1942-11-05) November 5, 1942 (age 81)
EducationUniversity of Southern California (BA, JD)
real estate investor
Known forco-founder of Arden Realty
Political partyDemocratic

Richard Stephen Ziman (born November 5, 1942) is a prominent real estate investor, philanthropist, and Democratic party donor in Southern California.[2]

Early life[edit]

Richard Ziman was born on November 5, 1942, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the son of Helen and Charlie Ziman.[2] His father, Charles Ziman, was a furniture manufacturer who donated the materials to build a new synagogue in his hometown.[2] Both his parents were Jewish.[3] He has four siblings: brothers, Allan, Curt, Larry, and sister Phyllis.[2] His family moved to Beverly Hills, California in 1958.

Ziman earned a J.D. at USC in 1967.[2]


In 1968, he started a job as an associate with the law firm Loeb & Loeb where he handled real estate including development, syndication and financing.[2] In 1971, he made partner.[2]

In 1980, he left the firm and founded the real estate investment firm, Pacific Financial Group which purchased and redeveloped rundown buildings using non-recourse financing.[2] By 1987, his firm had a portfolio of 5,000,000 square feet and after discovering in 1989 that 2,000,000 square feet of his portfolio contained asbestos, which was just then becoming a concern,[2] he sold off his entire portfolio of Southern California real estate in 19 months[4] reducing his payroll from 90 to 10 employees.[2] The sale was timely as the market crashed in 1990.[4] In 1991, he co-founded with Victor Coleman and Andrew Sobel the Arden Pacific Management Group - named after the street he grew up on in Beverly Hills.[2] Arden began purchasing, at deep discounts, foreclosed commercial buildings from banks eager to exit from the burdens of property management.[2] The firm focused on properties in good locations in Southern California with small tenants (who did not have a lot of negotiating leverage and would not have a significant impact to Arden's cash flows if they moved) and who had owners willing to provide direct financing of up to 90% of the purchase price.[2] By 1996, Arden had a portfolio of 24 office buildings and 4,000,000 square feet.[2] In October 1996, Arden Realty, Inc. went public on the New York Stock Exchange in a $496 million IPO organized by Lehman Brothers.[2] Subsequent share issuances in July 1997 and February 1998 raised an additional $360 million and $710 million respectively.[2] By 2004, Arden had 200 buildings with 19,000,000 square feet.[2]

Ziman is a prominent Democratic Party contributor. In early 2007, he hosted a fundraiser for Joe Biden.[5] In 2008, he raised enough money for Hillary Clinton to earn the Clinton campaign's designation 'Hillraiser'. He contributed $15,000 to a group to help Florida and Michigan seat their Democratic Party primary election delegates.[6]


  1. ^ "Richard Stephen Ziman # 41645 - Attorney Licensee Search".
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Beverly Hills Courier: "Profile of Richard S. Ziman" by John L. Seitz October 4, 2004
  3. ^ Jewish Journal: "Philanthropist Daphna Ziman combines advocacy for foster kids, new career as author" by Naomi Pfefferman August 9, 2011
  4. ^ a b Berry, Kate (January 4, 2005). "Real deals: Richard Ziman's reputation comes from selling at the top of the L.A. property market in 1989 and buying again when things bottomed out". Los Angeles Business Journal.
  5. ^ David M., Halbfinger (February 6, 2007). "Politicians Are Doing Hollywood Star Turns". New York Times. Retrieved April 21, 2008.
  6. ^ Luo, Michael (April 4, 2008). "Facing Obama Fund-Raising Juggernaut, Clinton Seeks New Sources of Cash". New York Times. Retrieved April 21, 2008.