Tom Barrack

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Thomas J. Barrack, Jr.)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tom Barrack
Born
Thomas Joseph Barrack, Jr.

(1947-04-28) April 28, 1947 (age 75)
EducationUniversity of Southern
California
(BA)
University of San Diego (JD)
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Rachelle Barrack (divorced)
Children6

Thomas Joseph Barrack Jr. (born April 28, 1947)[1] is an American private equity real estate, investor and the founder and executive chairman[2][3] of publicly traded REIT (CLNY) Colony Capital.[4][5][6] Barrack has for decades been a close friend of and fundraiser for former U.S. President Donald Trump, representing him in television news appearances.[7] He was senior adviser to Trump's presidential campaign and served as the chairman of his Inaugural Committee.[15][16] In July 2021, Barrack was briefly jailed under an indictment alleging he worked as an unregistered foreign agent of the United Arab Emirates, obstructed justice and lied to the FBI.[17][18] The indictment was broadened in May 2022 to include alleging Barrack sought hundreds of millions of dollars in investments from the UAE while illegally lobbying the Trump administration on its behalf.

Early life and education[edit]

Barrack's grandparents were Lebanese Christians who immigrated in 1900 to the United States from Zahlé, Lebanon.[19][20] Barrack was raised in Culver City, California, where his father was a grocer and his mother was a secretary.[21]

In 1969, Barrack earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern California (USC), where he participated on their varsity rugby team.[22][23] He then attended the USC Gould School of Law, where he was an editor of the Southern California Law Review, before receiving a Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1972.[22][20][24]

Legal career[edit]

Barrack's first job was at the law firm of Herbert W. Kalmbach, President Richard Nixon's personal lawyer.[11] In 1972, the firm sent him to Saudi Arabia, where he soon became the squash partner of a Saudi prince.[19][21] He then worked in the kingdom for the Fluor Corporation,[11] and worked for Saudi princes. Shortly after, he helped open diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Haiti, then ruled by Jean-Claude Duvalier, at the request of investor Lonnie Dunn.[11]

Reagan Administration[edit]

In 1982, Barrack served as deputy undersecretary of the United States Department of the Interior under James G. Watt in the Reagan administration.[19][10][13] The Secret Service would board its horses at Barrack's ranch when President Reagan was at his nearby Rancho del Cielo.[19] Secretary Watt made his resignation announcement at Barrack's ranch.[19] Barrack says he became disillusioned with government service after he was required to testify before a congressional committee due to a gift Barrack had paid to the purchaser of Edwin Meese's house.[19]

Business career[edit]

In 1987, Barrack was later a principal with the Robert M. Bass Group.[19][10][12][13] In 1985, Barrack first dealt with Donald Trump when he sold Trump a one-fifth stake in the Alexander's department stores.[21] In 1988, Trump agreed to pay Barrack $410 million for total ownership of the Plaza Hotel.[21] He later lost both properties in bankruptcy.[21]

In 1990, Barrack founded Colony Capital, with initial investments by Bass and GE Capital, and later Eli Broad, Merrill Lynch, and Koo Chen-fu.[11] Barrack achieved 50% profits in his first two years by focusing on distressed properties, including the federal Resolution Trust Corporation.[19] He has invested some $200 million in Middle East real estate, $534 million in non-performing German real estate loans, and made a $24 million loan to photographer Annie Leibovitz.[20] He also owns Neverland Ranch which was once the home of mega superstar Michael Jackson.[20] Through Colony Capital, he runs a $25 billion portfolio of assets, from the Fairmont Raffles Hotels International hotel chain in Asia, the Aga Khan's former resort in Sardinia, Resorts International Holdings, One&Only Resorts, Atlantis, etc.[11]

Colony American Homes was criticized for treating tenants poorly during the Great Recession, raising rents, evicting people in large numbers and failing to maintain properties.[25][26]

Barrack has previously negotiated drilling rights with Mana Al Otaiba.[21] In 2009, Barrack negotiated with Otaiba's son, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, the sale of a $41 million stake in the Raffles L'Ermitage hotel to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.[21]

In 2010, Barrack bought $70 million of Jared Kushner's debt on 666 Fifth Avenue.[21] Kushner later avoided bankruptcy when Barrack agreed to reduce his obligations after a request by Trump.[21]

As of September 2011, Barrack was the 833rd richest person in the world, and the 375th richest in the United States, with an estimated wealth of US$1.1. billion.[20] However, he was no longer a billionaire in 2014.[27]

In 2012, Barrack sold the Paris Saint-Germain F.C. to the Qatar Investment Authority.[21][28] Barrack had to pay €22 million to settle tax charges related to the 2012 sale of his resort on Costa Smeralda to the Qatari sovereign wealth fund.

In 2010, Barrack partnered with the Qatar Investment authority to purchase Weinstein film production company Miramax for $660 million.[19] In 2016, Barrack sold Miramax to the Qatari beIN Media Group at a fourfold profit.[21] In October 2017, Barrack's Colony Capital agreed to invest in The Weinstein Company to keep it afloat in light of the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct allegations.[29] The New York Times reported that the preliminary agreement with Weinstein fell apart and the acquisition broke down.[30] Colony Capital later withdrew from the deal after being unable to structure the purchase in a way to avoid enriching Harvey Weinstein.[30]

Colony NorthStar merger[edit]

On June 3, 2016, Barrack's Colony Capital announced an all-stock three-way merger of equals with two NorthStar affiliates combining his firm with NorthStar Realty Finance and NorthStar Asset Management.[31] The new entity, renamed Colony NorthStar, would have managed $58BN in assets, making it the 5th largest real estate manager globally at that time.[32] Management disclosed in regulatory filings that the newly formed Colony NorthStar would have a pro-forma equity market capitalization of $7 billion and total capitalization of $17 billion.[32] On February 28, 2017 management gave full year guidance which estimated that core funds from operations ("FFO") would be between $1.40 – 1.58 per share while targeting dividends payments of $1.08 per share.[33]  

However, regulator FINRA had just passed legislation modifying fee disclosures for REITs.[34] The new legislation forced Colony NorthStar to disclose details regarding the fees it charged clients. The success of the merger relied on fees the company expected to earn from newly raised capital. In particular, retail management fees from Investment Management companies NorthStar/RXR NY Metro Real Estate and NorthStar Real Estate Capital Income Fund, which were raising a combined $5.2 billion, had been discussed throughout management presentations of the merger.[32] The new legislation complicated Colony Capital ability to grow its capital fundraising business as clients balked at fee levels once FINRA/NASD passed the new disclosure rules. 

On March 1, 2018, management delivered 2017 full year financials which were significantly below previous guidance highlighting the difficulty in its fundraising business . Colony NorthStar not only reported core FFO at $1.16 per share, or 22% below previous midpoint management guidance, but also announced that it would cut its dividend by 60% to $0.44 per share and write down the Investment Management by $375 million.[33] Upon announcement, the share price dropped 23% to close at $6.00 per share leaving the company with a market capitalization of approximately $3.2 billion, or a third of its pro-forma capitalization.[32] On March 10, 2020, Colony Capital's share price closed at $3.41 giving the company a market capitalization of approximately $1.7 billion.[35]

Other[edit]

In 2017, Barrack sold a $70 million stake in One California Plaza to the Abu Dhabi crown prince's investment fund.[21] During the first eighteen months of the Trump Administration, Colony NorthStar raised 24% of its $7 billion in investment from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or Saudi Arabia.[21]

Barrack used Cayman Islands entities to invest pension fund money in distressed real estate and send money towards the Colony parent company, according to an organization chart that surfaced in the Paradise Papers documents leaked from the Appleby law firm[36]

Barrack is a trustee at the University of Southern California.[37] He has also served on the board of directors of Accor, Kerzner International, First Republic Bank, Continental Airlines, Korea First Bank, and Megaworld Properties & Holdings.[13][38][39] French president Nicolas Sarkozy awarded him France's Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur.[10]

Political activity[edit]

Barrack endorsed Donald Trump during the 2016 United States presidential election.[40] He was a major fundraiser for Trump's campaign through the "Rebuilding America Now" Super PAC, which raised $23 million.[19][41][42]

Barrack recommended that Trump hire Paul Manafort as his campaign manager. Barrack first met Manafort in the 1970s when they were both working for Saudis and living in Beirut.[21] In 2007, Barrack had loaned Manafort $1.5 million to refinance a home in the Hamptons.[19]

On April 26, 2016, Barrack began an email correspondence with one of his business partners, UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, reassuring him that Trump had investments in the UAE. “The emails were the beginning of Mr. Trump’s improbable transformation from a candidate who campaigned against Muslims to a president celebrated in the royal courts of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi,” according to New York Times writer David D. Kirkpatrick, who characterized this as a testament to Barrack's "unique place in the Trump world".[21] On May 26, Barrack wrote to Otaiba to introduce Jared Kushner, and the two met later that month.[21] On July 13, Barrack conveyed to Otaiba that Trump had removed from the Republican Party platform the plank calling for the release of the 28 pages of redacted information from the 9/11 report.[21] On July 21, Barrack spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention.[43] In September 2016, Barrack helped set up a meeting between Trump and the Emir of Qatar in Trump Tower, although, as Kilpatrick noted, none of the investments brought in from the gulf by Mr. Barrack's firm in the two years following that meeting came from Qatar.[21] After Trump became president, Barrack continued to act as a middleman between him and Arab princes.[21]

Barrack served as chairman of the committee overseeing the 2017 Trump inauguration, for which he raised over $100 million, doubling the previous record.[19] Barrack hired Rick Gates, first to help run the inauguration and, following that, as a consultant for his company. Gates was fired from the latter position in October 2017, the day he was indicted.[21]

In a 2017 Washington Post article, Barrack commented on Trump's inflammatory rhetoric and proposals to ban immigrants from certain Muslim countries and put up a border wall with Mexico. "He's better than this," he said.[19] He denies a quote attributed to him in the 2018 book Fire and Fury, that Trump was "not only crazy" but "stupid".[44]

Barrack was interviewed during the Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, in particular regarding Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Konstantin Kilimnik, Cambridge Analytica, the Trump campaign, the Trump transition team, and the financing of the Trump inauguration.[45][46]

In May 2019, it was reported that the Eastern District of New York had "raised questions" about inaugural committee donations, including committee chairman Barrack's ties to the Middle East.[47]

Throughout the election campaign, transition period and inauguration process, Barrack is said to have had been in touch with people having ties in the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates, including Rashid al-Malik, a friend and business associate of Barrack and Yousef al-Otaiba UAE's ambassador to the US. According to a New York Times report published in July 2019, Barrack also exchanged emails with Malik, sharing with him a draft of Trump's energy policy speech to seek approval on the 'pro-gulf region language'. Malik, as per the emails, "circulated the draft among Emirati and Saudi officials" to seek further approval, followed by Mr. Barrack incorporating the language suggested by Malik in the draft sent to Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign chairman at the time.[48]

In 2021, Barrack denied involvement in Trump's pardon of Robert Zangrillo, a developer and investor who was charged in the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal for his alleged role in getting his daughter accepted into USC. The White House had listed Barrack as a supporter of the pardon.[49][50]

Indictments for foreign lobbying[edit]

On July 20, 2021, Barrack was indicted as an agent working at the direction of a foreign power, obstructing justice, and making false statements to law enforcement.[51][52][53] He was jailed for two days before being released on $250 million bond secured by $5 million in cash.[54] The indictment was broadened in May 2022 to include alleging Barrack sought hundreds of millions of dollars in investments from the United Arab Emirates while illegally lobbying the Trump administration on its behalf.[55]

Personal life[edit]

Barrack and his most recent wife divorced in 2016. He has six children.[56] His family is based in Los Angeles, California.[27] He also owns a 1,200-acre mountain ranch near Santa Barbara, California,[11][20] as well as Happy Canyon Vineyards in the Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA, and a tasting room in downtown Santa Barbara.[57] He is Roman Catholic.[21][58]

In 2014, Barrack bought a house in Santa Monica for $21 million, which he later sold for $35 million, the highest price for a residence in that area.[59][60] In 2017, he purchased a $15.5 million home in Aspen, Colorado.[61]

Barrack was reportedly a friend of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.[62][63] In his 2018 book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, journalist Michael Wolff referenced Barrack, together with Donald Trump, as a "set of nightlife musketeers" with Epstein throughout the 1980s and 1990s.[64]

Awards and honors[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Thomas Joseph Barrack, Jr Profile | Los Angeles, CA Lawyer | Martindale.com". www.martindale.com. Retrieved 2021-07-20.
  2. ^ www.bloomberg.com https://www.bloomberg.com/markets/stocks?cic_redirect=fallback. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "About Us". www.clny.com.
  4. ^ "Colony Capital, Inc. (CLNY) Stock Price, Quote, History & News". finance.yahoo.com.
  5. ^ "Colony Capital, Inc. Announces Second Quarter 2018 Earnings Release And Conference Call Date". TheStreet. July 9, 2018.
  6. ^ "Colony NorthStar, Inc. Announces Name Change to Colony Capital, Inc". Colony NorthStar Inc. – via www.prnewswire.com.
  7. ^ Lippman, Daniel. "Trump cuts off one of his closest friends". POLITICO.
  8. ^ Finnegan, Michael (January 9, 2017). "Who are Trump's friends? One is Thomas Barrack, a Californian who could shape his views on the Middle East". LA Times.
  9. ^ "Colony Capital, Inc - Contact". www.colonyinc.com. Archived from the original on April 7, 2015. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d "Colony Capital biography". Colonyinc.com. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Tully, Shawn (October 31, 2005). "I'm Tom Barrack* and I'm getting out". Fortune.
  12. ^ a b "CNBC Global Players". Globalplayers.tv. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  13. ^ a b c d "Arab Bankers Association of North America". Arabbankers.org. November 20, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  14. ^ Benjamin Wallace, 'Monetizing the Celebrity Meltdown', in New York Magazine, November 28, 2010
  15. ^ [8][9][10][11][12][13][14]
  16. ^ "The Weinstein Company's Bailout Deal Has Reportedly Been Canceled". Town and Country Magazine. October 26, 2017.
  17. ^ Erica Orden. "Trump ally Tom Barrack jailed on charges of acting as an agent of a foreign government". CNN.
  18. ^ "Former Advisor to Presidential Candidate Among Three Defendants Charged with Acting as Agents of a Foreign Government". www.justice.gov. July 20, 2021.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Kranish, Michael (October 11, 2017). "'He's better than this,' says Thomas Barrack, Trump's loyal whisperer". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  20. ^ a b c d e f "Forbes profile". Forbes.com. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Kirkpatrick, David D. (June 13, 2018). "Who Is Behind Trump's Links to Arab Princes? A Billionaire Friend". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Colony Capital, Inc - Management". www.colonyinc.com. Archived from the original on January 2, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  23. ^ "1969 USC MEN'S RUGBY YEARBOOK". usctrojanrugby.org. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  24. ^ "California Bar". Members.calbar.ca.gov. December 14, 1972. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  25. ^ Glantz, Aaron (June 8, 2017). "This Slumlord Is Donald Trump's Good Pal". The Nation. The Nation Company, L.P. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  26. ^ Lane, Ben (July 19, 2017). "Colony Starwood Homes rebranding as Starwood Waypoint Homes". Housing Wire. HW Media, LLC. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  27. ^ a b "Thomas Barrack: 2014 Billionaires List: Dropoff". Forbes. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  28. ^ Hughes, Rob (August 7, 2012). "Paris Saint-Germain Is in a Spending League of Its Own". The New York Times. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  29. ^ "A property billionaire rescues Harvey Weinstein's studio". The Economist. October 19, 2017.
  30. ^ a b Barnes, Brooks (November 7, 2017). "Thomas Barrack's Colony Capital Ends Bid for Weinstein Studio". The New York Times. p. B4. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  31. ^ "NorthStar Asset Management Group, Colony Capital, and NorthStar Realty Finance Announce Merger to Create Colony NorthStar, a World-Class Diversified Real Estate and Investment Management Platform". www.businesswire.com. June 3, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  32. ^ a b c d "EX-99.1". www.sec.gov. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  33. ^ a b "Stanford Law School" (PDF). Stanford Law School. August 17, 2018.
  34. ^ "Regulatory Notice 15-02 | FINRA.org". www.finra.org. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  35. ^ "google finance colony capital - Google Search". www.google.com. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  36. ^ "The Offshore Story of Thomas J. Barrack". ICIJ.
  37. ^ "Board of Trustees". University of Southern California. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  38. ^ "Accor Board of Directors". Accor.com. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  39. ^ "First Republic Bank Board of Directors". Firstrepublic.com. January 1, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  40. ^ Ensign, Rachel Louise; Karmin, Craig; Benoit, David (March 5, 2016). "Donald Trump's Three Friends in Finance". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  41. ^ Swan, Jonathan (May 15, 2016). "Where Republican donors stand on Donald Trump". The Hill. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  42. ^ Beckel, Michael (July 19, 2016). "Trump's new super PAC attack dog". Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  43. ^ Tim Tebow: Speaking slot at Trump convention 'a rumor', Associated Press (July 14, 2016).
  44. ^ Lusher, Adam (January 4, 2018). "Did Donald Trump really have sex with his friends' wives?". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Archived from the original on 2022-06-21. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  45. ^ "Mueller team questions Trump friend Tom Barrack in Russia probe". Chicago Tribune.
  46. ^ Garrett M. Graff (December 17, 2018). "A Complete Guide to All 17 (Known) Trump and Russia Investigations". Wired. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  47. ^ Larry Buchanan and Karen Yourish (May 20, 2019). "Tracking 29 Investigations Related to Trump". The New York Times. Retrieved August 27, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  48. ^ "Trump Adviser Said to Have Pursued Saudi Nuclear Deal as He Sought Administration Role". The New York Times. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  49. ^ Hamilton, Matt (January 21, 2021). "Finger-pointing and outrage follow Trump's pardon for USC father in college admission scandal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  50. ^ Taylor, Kate (January 20, 2021). "Trump Pardons Miami Investor Charged in College Admissions Scandal". The New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  51. ^ Dawsey, Josh [@jdawsey1] (July 20, 2021). "Trump friend and inauguration chairman Tom Barrack has been arrested on foreign lobbying charges and obstructing justice and making false statements, per DOJ release. He was arrested this morning in LA. Charges in NY. Story to come" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  52. ^ "USA vs RASHID SULTAN RASHID AL MALIK ALSHAHHI, THOMAS JOSEPH BARRACK, and MATTHEW GRIMES". July 20, 2021.
  53. ^ "Trump ally Barrack arrested on foreign lobbying charges -U.S. Justice Department". Reuters. 2021-07-20. Retrieved 2021-07-20.
  54. ^ Breuninger, Dan Mangan,Steve Kopack,Kevin (July 23, 2021). "Trump friend Tom Barrack ordered released on $250 million bond, his SPAC pulls SEC registration, IPO plan". CNBC.
  55. ^ Anna Schecter; Andrew Blankstein (May 18, 2022). "Trump friend sought millions in UAE investments while lobbying on UAE's behalf, prosecutors say". NBC News.
  56. ^ "Thomas Barrack Facts - 10 Things to Know About Trump's Friend Bailing Out the Weinstein Company". Town and Country Magazine.
  57. ^ Schatzker, Erik (July 5, 2016). "How Colony Capital CEO Tom Barrack Became a Bordeaux-Style Winemaker". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  58. ^ "New Parishioners" (PDF). St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  59. ^ "Billionaire investor Thomas Barrack sells his Santa Monica mansion for $34 million". Los Angeles Times. September 19, 2017.
  60. ^ McClain, James (October 31, 2017). "Yolanda's Little Black Book: Entrepreneur Kirk Lazarus shocks with a $31 million Santa Monica mansion purchase". yolandaslittleblackbook.com.
  61. ^ Block, Fang. "Billionaire Investor Thomas Barrack Jr. Buys $15.5M Aspen Ski Resort Home". www.mansionglobal.com.
  62. ^ GmbH, finanzen net. "A Trump ally with links to Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, and Michael Jackson was just called out by an activist investor". markets.businessinsider.com. Retrieved 2022-01-18.
  63. ^ ""He Was Like Boo Radley": The Mysteries of Jeffrey Epstein's Black Book". Vanity Fair. 2019-07-24. Retrieved 2022-01-18.
  64. ^ "Who Was Jeffrey Epstein Calling?" Intelligencer, July 22. 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  65. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement.
  66. ^ "Entrepreneurs of the Year". USC Marshall.