Sam Zell is a global, opportunistic, often contrarian, investor. He specializes in identifying market anomalies and emerging trends, and has a long track record in turning around troubled companies and assets, leading industry consolidations, and bringing companies to the public markets. The majority of his investment portfolio is in energy, logistics, transportation, manufacturing, communications and healthcare, but he is often best known for his pioneering role and stewardship in creating the modern commercial real estate industry. Sam is the Chairman of Equity Group Investments, the private investment firm he founded 50 years ago. He also chairs five companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange, including three real estate investment trusts (REITs), Equity Residential, Equity LifeStyle Properties, and Equity Commonwealth; an international energy-from waste company, Covanta Holding Corporation; and a communications and security distribution company, Anixter International Inc. Sam also founded and chaired Equity Office Properties Trust, the largest office REIT until its $39 billion sales in 2007. In addition, he introduced the first Brazilian and Mexican real estate companies, respectively, to the New York Stock Exchange through Equity International, a second private investment firm he founded to focus on real estate-related businesses in emerging markets. Sam is an active philanthropist with a focus on entrepreneurial education. Through the Zell Family Foundation, he has led the sponsorship of several leading entrepreneurship programs, including: the Zell/Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business; the Zell Fellows Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management; the Samuel Zell/Robert Lurie Real Estate Center at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Real Estate Center; and the Zell Entrepreneurship Center at the Reichman University. The Zell Global Entrepreneur Network (ZGEN) unites the students and alumni of these programs and actively provides them with connections, opportunities, mentorship and support. Sam holds a JD degree and a BA from the University of Michigan. Sam was recognized in 2017 by Forbes as one of the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds. He also represents the REIT industry on the New York Stock Exchange’s “Wall of Innovators.” Sam book, Am I Being Too Subtle? (Penguin Random House), shares fundamentals and philosophies that made him a self-made billionaire.
“I am very proud to be associated with Reichman University and this entrepreneurial program. The goal is to identify the entrepreneurial talents that people innately have and attempt to hone them to produce an optimum result. History has shown that truly successful entrepreneurs combine creativity and execution, and hopefully, the entrepreneurial experience at Reichman University will provide this pace for their future."
Sam Zell | Founder, Chairman
Equity Group Investments