Sears chairman Eddie Lampert has a net worth of $1 billion — from a $130 million yacht to a home on ‘billionaire bunker’ island, here’s how he spends his fortune

Sears chairman Eddie Lampert.

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Sears chairman Eddie Lampert.
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REUTERS/Peter Morgan PM

  • Eddie Lampert, the chairman and former CEO of Sears, has an estimated net worth of $1 billion.
  • Lampert owns three homes, including one on the “billionaire bunker” island in Florida, and a $130 million yacht.
  • Lampert is a member of the ultraexclusive Skull and Bones society at Yale University.
  • In 2003, he was kidnapped and held at gunpoint – and negotiated his way free.

Eddie Lampert, the chairman and former CEO of Sears, has had an eventful career.

With an estimated net worth of $1 billion, Lampert was once hailed as a genius hedge-fund manager and the next Warren Buffett. He’s a member of Yale’s ultraexclusive Skull and Bones secret society, along with three former presidents, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was his college roommate.

He also managed to save Kmart from bankruptcy in the early 2000s, but not before he was kidnapped and held at gunpoint for 30 hours in a Connecticut hotel. He reportedly talked his captors into releasing him, then capped off the Kmart deal a week later.

Now, after Lampert merged Kmart with Sears, the department store is on the brink of liquidation.

Lampert has been criticized for his management of Sears, which he reportedly runs from his sprawling $38 million estate in a wealthy Florida community known as “billionaire bunker.” The executive also owns houses in Connecticut and Colorado – not to mention a $130 million yacht.

Read on to see how Sears’ embattled chairman made – and spends – his $1 billion fortune.


Eddie Lampert, 56, is the chairman of Sears Holdings, the company that owns Sears and Kmart.

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Reuters

Source: Forbes


Lampert’s net worth is an estimated $1 billion, and he hasn’t been shy about spending: He owns three sprawling homes and a $130 million yacht.

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Bing Maps

Source: Business Insider


But Lampert wasn’t always this wealthy. Although he grew up in an affluent family in Roslyn, New York, his life changed at age 14 when his father, a successful attorney, died of a heart attack. Lampert helped his family make ends meet by taking jobs at warehouses stocking shelves and packing boxes.

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Flickr Creative Commons/John Feinberg

Source: CNN


Lampert attended Yale University with the help of financial aid and student loans. His roommate was Steven Mnuchin, who would eventually work for Lampert’s hedge fund and go on to become secretary of the Treasury.

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Steven Mnuchin
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Alex Wong/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


While at Yale, Lampert was inducted into the ultraexclusive Skull and Bones, a secret society whose short list of members includes business magnates, political elites, and three former presidents.

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Wikimedia Commons

Sources: Business Insider, CNN


After school, Lampert interned for Goldman Sachs and then founded a hedge fund, ESL Investments. One of his biggest moments as an investor came when he began purchasing AutoZone shares in 1998. After driving up the price of the shares, he sold them in 2012 for about $1.5 billion.

Source: MarketWatch, Vanity Fair


Lampert’s “unnatural patience” and investing style led financial media to dub him the next Warren Buffett. Time magazine called him part of the “new breed” of hedge-fund managers and one of the “brightest minds on Wall Street.”

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Business Week

Source: Time


In 2003, he bought Kmart out of bankruptcy and took control of the company, enacting several cost-cutting measures that kept the company alive.

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Getty Images

Source: Vanity Fair


But a week before the deal was made official, Lampert was abducted from the garage of his Connecticut office building. His four kidnappers held him in a hotel for two days and told him they had been offered $3 million to kill him.

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Wikimedia Commons/ Jan Tik

Source: Vanity Fair


Law-enforcement officials said Lampert may have saved his own life by negotiating to pay his captors $5 million. They dropped him off along a highway, and he walked to nearby police station. Police traced the kidnappers through transactions made with a stolen credit-card.

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Facebook/Greenwich Police

Source: Hartford Courant


Lampert sealed the Kmart deal the next week. The Wall Street Journal called his abduction “one of the most unexpected events ever to factor into a major corporate restructuring.”

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Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Source: Wall Street Journal


A year later, Lampert merged Kmart with Sears. Since the merger, Sears has seen a steep decline and is now on the verge of liquidation.

Source: Business Insider


Lampert now stays out of the spotlight and has been described as “reclusive.” He rarely visits Sears headquarters in Chicago and opts to run the company from his Florida home. He and his wife, Kinga Lampert, have 3 children.

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Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Source: Vanity Fair


That home, located in the wealthy Indian Creek community off Miami’s coast, is a sprawling estate worth $38 million.

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Wall Street Journal

Source: Vanity Fair


The 86 residents of Indian Creek include Enrique Iglesias, Adriana Lima, Don Shula, and Carl Icahn. The island has been called “billionaire bunker” because of its private police force.

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Shutterstock/Richard Cavalleri

Source: Business Insider, Forbes


Lampert also owns a $26 million property in Connecticut, a $14.5 million home in Colorado, and a 288-foot yacht called Fountainhead.

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Instagram/busterbark

Source: Business Insider


Lampert’s wealth stands in stark contrast to the state of Sears stores, some of which are plagued by empty shelves and damaged interiors.

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Business Insider

Source: Business Insider


Lampert now appears to have one last chance to save the department store, with a judge set to assess his $4.4 billion takeover bid on Monday.

Source: Business Insider