Richard Ziman

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Richard Ziman
Born 1942 (age 74–75)
Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Residence Beverly Hills, California
Nationality United States
Education B.A. University of Southern California
J.D. USC Gould School of Law
Occupation attorney
real estate investor
Known for co-founder of Arden Realty
Spouse(s) Daphna Edwards
Children Todd Ziman
Jenna Ziman
Michele Ziman
Ashley Ziman
Parent(s) Helen and Charlie Ziman

Richard Ziman (born 1942)[citation needed] is a prominent real estate investor, philanthropist, and Democratic party donor in Southern California.[1]

Early life[edit]

Robert Ziman was born in 1942 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. the son of Helen and Charlie Ziman.[1] His father, Charles Ziman, was a furniture manufacturer who donated the materials to build a new synagogue in his hometown.[1] Both his parents were Jewish.[2] He has four siblings: brothers, Allan, Curt, Larry, and sister Phyllis..[1] His family moved to Beverly Hills, California in 1958.

Ziman graduated from Beverly Hills High School.[1] Ziman graduated from the University of Southern California and thereafter shortly attended dental school before transferring to USC Gould School of Law, where he graduated with a J.D. in 1967.[1]


In 1968, he accepted a job as an associate with the law firm Loeb & Loeb where he specialized in all aspects of real estate including development, syndication and financing.[1] In 1971, he made partner.[1]

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.[1] 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,[1] he sold off his entire portfolio of Southern California real estate in 19 months[3] reducing his payroll from 90 to 10 employees.[1] The sale was timely as the market crashed in 1990.[3] 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.[1] Arden began purchasing, at deep discounts, foreclosed commercial buildings from banks eager to exit from the burdens of property management.[1] 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.[1] By 1996, Arden had a portfolio of 24 office buildings and 4,000,000 square feet.[1] In October 1996, Arden Realty, Inc. went public on the New York Stock Exchange in a $496 million IPO organized by Lehman Brothers.[1] Subsequent share issuances in July 1997 and February 1998 raised an additional $360 million and $710 million respectively.[1] By 2004, Arden had 200 buildings with 19,000,000 square feet.[1]

Ziman has served on the board of governors for the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and on the Real Estate Roundtable. He served as a California state commissioner on Building California for the 21st Century. He also was a founding member of the council of entrepreneurs at UCLA Anderson School of Management; and served on the advisory boards of The Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the Fisher Center for Real Estate at University of California at Berkeley, the Real Estate Institute at New York University, and on the senior leadership forum at Harvard University.[1]

Philanthropy and awards[edit]

Ziman has been named "Business Person of the Year" by the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce; "Citizen of Honor" by the city of Beverly Hills; received the "Distinguished Achievement" award and "Man of the Year" from the Los Angeles Property Council; was named "Real Estate Investor of the Year" by Los Angeles Business Journal; and received the "Humanitarian" award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews.[1]

In 2001, Ziman endowed a $5 million endowment to the UCLA Anderson School of Management to establish the Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate;[4] and from 1978 -1984 he was chairman of the City of Hope National Medical Center's Beckman Research Institute where he established the Ziman Family Outpatient Oncology Center.[1]

Ziman is very active with Jewish causes having served as the president, director and board chairman of the Guardians for the Jewish Home for the Aging; endowed both the Ziman Family Synagogue and the Goldenberg-Ziman Alzheimer’s Special Care Center; made significant donations to the Jewish Home for the Aged; served as western regional chairman and national board trustee of the American Friends of Hebrew University where he received the “Scopus” award and an honorary doctorate of philosophy; was a founder of the University of Judaism; served on the advisory board of the Jewish Community Foundation and ORT Schools; and served as general co-chair of the State of Israel Bonds.[1]

Personal life[edit]

In 1990, he married Daphna Edwards who is also Jewish; they have four children, Todd, Jenna, Michele and Ashley. Daphna is an independent film producer-director-writer and president of Edwards Entertainment International.[2] They later divorced.[2] He is a prominent Democratic Party contributors. 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]