Steve Feinberg

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Steve Feinberg
Chair of the Intelligence Oversight Board
In office
August 16, 2018 – January 20, 2021
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byNeal S. Wolin
Succeeded byVacant
Chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board
In office
May 12, 2018 – January 20, 2021
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byShirley Jackson
Jami Miscik
Succeeded bySandy Winnefeld
Personal details
Born (1960-03-29) March 29, 1960 (age 62)
New York City, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Gisella Sanchez
Children3 daughters
EducationPrinceton University (AB)

Stephen Andrew Feinberg (born March 29, 1960) is an American businessman and investor active in hedge fund management and private equity.[1] He is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cerberus Capital Management. As of March 2019, his net worth is US$1.5 billion.[2] In 2017 Cerberus also owned DynCorp, which is a major national security contractor with the US government, charging billions for overseas military and police training.[3] On May 11, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump named Feinberg to head the President's Intelligence Advisory Board.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Feinberg was born to a Jewish family[5][6] and raised in The Bronx, New York. When aged eight, his family moved to Spring Valley, New York,[7] a suburb of New York City. His father was a steel salesman.[7] He graduated with an A.B. in politics from Princeton University in 1982 after completing a 94-page long senior thesis titled "The Politics of Prostitution and Drug Legalization."[8][9] While a student at Princeton, Feinberg captained the tennis team and joined the Reserve Officers' Training Corps.[7]

Professional career[edit]

After graduating from college, Feinberg worked as a trader at Drexel Burnham in 1982 and later at Gruntal & Co.[10]

In 1992, at the age of 32, Feinberg co-founded Cerberus Capital Management with William L. Richter.[10] At the time the firm had $10 million under management; its assets under management have since grown to over $30 billion in 2016.[11][12] In 1999, the firm hired former vice president Dan Quayle as a chairman of Cerberus Global Investment.[13] In 2006, the firm hired former United States Secretary of the Treasury John Snow, who serves as a chairman of Cerberus.[14]

In May 2011, Feinberg stated that he believed residential mortgage-backed securities may present "a real opportunity for continued investment for quite a period of time"[15] and that there were opportunities in buying assets from European banks.

Feinberg has been critical about the pay received by private equity executives, stating, "In general, I think that all of us are way overpaid in this business. It is almost embarrassing."[16] He has also noted in comments made in 2011 that smaller private equity fund sizes may be better for investor returns: "If your goal is to maximize your return as opposed to assets under management, I think you can be most effective with a big company infrastructure and a little bit smaller fund size."[16]

Feinberg has been described as "secretive" in The New York Times.[17] In 2007, Feinberg told Cerberus shareholders, "If anyone at Cerberus has his picture in the paper and a picture of his apartment, we will do more than fire that person. We will kill him. The jail sentence will be worth it."[18]

Cerberus is the parent company of DynCorp, which is a major national security contractor with the U.S. government.[3] Cerberus owned Freedom Group, the company that owned Remington, the manufacturer of the gun that was used at the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Political involvement[edit]

Feinberg is a major Republican donor.[19] In 2016, he served on the Trump Economic Advisory Council during Donald Trump's presidential campaign, donated nearly $1.5 million to pro-Trump PACs, and co-hosted a $50,000 per person Republican National Committee and Trump fundraising dinner alongside other financiers.[20][21] In February 2017, the New York Times reported that President Trump will assign Feinberg a role in the White House leading a review of the US intelligence agencies.[22]

He is a member of The Business Council in Washington, DC, an association of chief executive officers from a broad range of companies who meet several times a year for high-level policy discussions.[23][24]


Feinberg reportedly made $50 million in 2004. He splits time between his homes on Manhattan's Upper East Side and Greenwich, Connecticut with his wife Gisela (née Sanchez).[7]


  1. ^ Das, Anupreeta; Timiraos, Nick. "Donald Trump's Financial Advisory Team Stocked With Wall Streeters". The Wall Street Journal.
  2. ^ "Stephen Feinberg". Forbes. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Ken Dilanian, Peter Alexander: Trump Asks Billionaire Steve Feinberg To Review Intel Agencies - NBC News, 16 Feb 2017
  4. ^ Epstein, Jennifer (May 11, 2018). "Trump Chooses Cerberus's Stephen Feinberg to Lead Spy Advisory Panel". Bloomberg News.
  5. ^ Times of Israel: "Trump wants Jewish billionaire to vet spy agencies – reportAs ties fray between White House and intelligence services, Bannon-Kushner associate Stephen A. Feinberg said being considered to lead review" by Sue Surkes February 16, 2017
  6. ^ Eytan Avriel, "A shy wunderkind, Stephen Feinberg", Haaretz, 16.11.2005
  7. ^ a b c d Upstart Business Journal: "The Most Dangerous Deal in America" by Daniel Roth August 13, 2007
  8. ^ Feinberg, Stephen Andrew (1982). "The Politics of Prostitution and Drug Legalization". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ "For Private Equity, a Very Public Disaster". The New York Times. August 9, 2009.
  10. ^ a b Roth, Daniel. "The Most Dangerous Deal in America". Upstart Business Journal.
  11. ^ "Cerberus' new Europe property fund may attract over $370 mn from Korean investors". Korean Investors. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  12. ^ Who We Are – Cerberus Capital Management
  13. ^ J. Danforth Quayle - Cerberus Capital Management
  14. ^ John W. Snow - Cerberus Capital Management
  15. ^ "Is it 2006? Cerberus Loves Mortgage-Backed Securities". The Wall Street Journal: Deal Journal. May 25, 2011.
  16. ^ a b "Cerberus' Feinberg says PE executives 'way overpaid'". Reuters. June 7, 2011.
  17. ^ "Can Private Equity Build a Public Face?". New York Times. December 24, 2006.
  18. ^ "Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital" by Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, August 29, 2012.
  19. ^ McDonald, Duff (October 24, 2007). "The Dog That Roared". New York Magazine. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  20. ^ Kirsch, Noah (February 4, 2017). "Meet Stephen Feinberg, The Billionaire Reportedly Slated To Review US Intelligence Agencies". Forbes. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  21. ^ Stevenson, Alexandra (June 16, 2016). "A Who's Who of Financiers Is Expected at Trump's New York Fund-Raiser". New York Times. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  22. ^ Risen, James; Rosenberg, Matthew (February 15, 2017). "White House Plans to Have Trump Ally Review Intelligence Agencies". The New York Times.
  23. ^ "Active Member Directory". The Business Council. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  24. ^ J.D. Harrison. "Amazon's Jeff Bezos appointed chairman of Washington-based Business Council". Washington Post. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
Government offices
Preceded by Chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the Intelligence Oversight Board