Posts Tagged ‘Secretary of Commerce’

Today’s Dream Team Scouting Report: @WilburRoss, #SecretaryOfCommerce #TrumpPresidente

January 6, 2017

 

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Born Wilbur Louis Ross, Jr.
November 28, 1937 in Weehawken, New Jersey, U.S.
Political party Republican
Democratic (Formerly)
Spouse(s) Judith Nodine (1961–1995)
Betsy McCaughey (1995–2000)
Hilary Geary (2004–present)
Children 2 daughters (with Nodine)
Alma mater Yale University (BA)
Harvard University (MBA)
Net worth US$2.5 billion (December 2016)

Wilbur Louis Ross, Jr. is an American investor, and former banker, known for restructuring failed companies in industries such as steel, coal, telecommunications, foreign investment and textiles. He specializes in leveraged buyouts and distressed businesses. As of August 2014, Forbes magazine lists Ross as one of the world’s billionaires with a net worth of $2.9 billion.

Ross grew up in an affluent family in suburban New Jersey. His father, Wilbur Louis Ross, Sr., was a lawyer who later became a judge, and his mother, Agnes (O’Neill), was a school teacher.

Ross drove 2 hours a day from NJ to attend the elite Catholic college preparatory Xavier High School in Manhattan. He ran track and was captain of the rifle team. He earned a BA degree from Yale College, which was also his father’s alma mater. At Yale, he edited a literary magazine and worked at the radio station. Initially, he wanted to be a writer, but after his experience in a fiction class requiring 500 words daily, he concluded that he had “run out of material.” His faculty adviser helped him get his first summer job on Wall Street. He earned his MBA degree at Harvard Business School.

Career

Rothschild Investments 

  • In the late 70’s, Ross began 24 years at the New York office of Rothschild Inc., where he ran the bankruptcy-restructuring advisory practice.
  • In the 80’s, after quickly expanding the reach of Resorts International to Atlantic City, Donald Trump found himself in financial trouble as the real estate market in NYC bottomed out. His three casinos in Atlantic City were under threat from lenders. It was with the assistance and assurance of Ross, then senior managing director of Rothschild Inc., that Trump was allowed to keep the casinos and rebuild his businesses.
  • In the late 90’s, Ross started a $200 million fund at Rothschild to invest in distressed assets. As the U.S. bubble began to burst, he decided he wanted to invest more and advise less. On April Fools’ Day 2000, the 62-year-old banker raised $450 million to plunge into fallen companies.

WL Ross & Co.

  • In 2000, Ross bought out his equity fund and opened WL Ross & Co. in New York with $440 million in investor money and a staff that included four top managers who, along with Ross, make up the firm’s investment committee: David H. Storper, who runs trading; David L. Wax, a longtime workout specialist; Stephen J. Toy, an Asia expert; and Pamela K. Wilson, a J.P. Morgan & Co. veteran.WL Ross & Co. was acquired by Amvescap (now Invesco) in 2006.

International Steel Group

  • Wilbur Ross at first had support of the local Steelworkers Union, negotiating a deal with them to “save” Pennsylvania’s steel industry.
  • Ross sold the Richfield, Ohio-based International Steel Group to Mittal Steel Company for $4.5 billion April 2005. As of 10 months later, Ross had not sold any of his Mittal shares.

International Textile Group (ITG)

  • Ross combined Burlington Industries and Cone Mills in 2004 to form International Textile Group. ITG operates 5 businesses, all of which operate under separate brand names: Cone Denim, Burlington Apparel Fabrics, Home Furnishings, Carlisle Finishing and Nano-Tex. The company entered into a 5-year, $150 million credit facility led by Bank of America. Other lenders in the bank group included GE Capital and CIT Group.

International Automotive Components Group (IAC) 

  • Ross, Chairman of International Automotive Components Group (“IAC”), announced on Oct 16, 2006 the completion the acquisition of Lear Corporation’s European Interiors Systems Division on a debt-free basis in exchange for 34% of the stock in IAC. The transaction will expand IAC’s presence in Europe to 20 facilities in 9 countries with approximately $1.2 billion in annual revenues. In early 2007, Lear completed the transfer of substantially all of its former North American Interior Systems Division to International Automotive Components Group North America. The deal involved 26 manufacturing plants and 2 Chinese joint ventures. Lear also contributed $27 million in cash for a 25% interest in IAC North America and warrants for an additional 7%.

Collins & Aikman Europe 

  • On November 28, 2005 the joint venture by Ross, Franklin Mutual Advisers, and Lear Corporation, announced an agreement to acquire from Collins & Aikman Europe (“C&A”) its $600 million operations in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom serving Ford, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Porsche, Saab, Volkswagen, Volvo and other original equipment manufacturers. The exchange is subject to approval of the local insolvency authority and the Austrian Court.
  • The Joint Venture has also bought the subsidiary of C&A in Brazil.

Safety Components International

  • On December, 2005, Zapata Corp. Chairman, Avie Glazer, announced the sale of 4,162,394 shares, 77.3%, of Safety Components International to Ross for $51.2 million. Safety Components, an independent manufacturer of air bag fabrics and cushions, is headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, USA and has plants in North America, Europe, China and South Africa.

Oxford Automotive 

  • Ross owns 25% of Oxford Automotive, a French company, which is in talks to be taken over by Wagon.

International Coal Group

  • Ross founded the International Coal Group, which has now gone public. The United Mine Workers of America protested the bankruptcy regulations that had allowed him to set up the International Coal Group free of labor unions, health care and pensions.

Political activities 

  • Ross served under U.S. President Bill Clinton on the board of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund
  • Served under NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani as the Mayor’s privatization advisor.
  • In January 1998 he put $2.25 million in seed money into McCaughey Ross’s campaign. Although he was an early supporter of Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign, Ross in earlier years was a registered Democrat, served as an officer of the New York State Democratic Party and held fundraisers for Democratic candidates at his apartment in NYC.
  • Since at least 2011, Ross began donating to Republican candidates and organizations, and became a registered Republican in 2016.

Organizational memberships and directorships 

  • Ross is a member and past director of the Turnaround Management Association and the American Bankruptcy Institute and a member of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation.
  • As of January 2012, Ross was the leader (or “Grand Swipe”) of the secret Wall Street fraternity, Kappa Beta Phi.
  • He serves on the board of trustees of the Brookings Institution and the board of advisors of Yale School of Management. He donated $10 million for the construction of Evans Hall at the Yale School of Management.
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