Investor, philanthropist, and hedge fund manager Israel Englander has been able to garner much attention in one way or another throughout his life, whether he wanted it or not. His financial brainchild, Millennium Management, was started with partner Ron Shear with $35 million, and to date it has grown to an empire worth nearly $40 billion in assets under management. It’s obvious that this man knows what he is doing when it comes to dollar signs, and that, in turn, has succeeded in making him one of the most sought after and successful investors in the world. So, what makes this man tick? Has his life always been so golden, or is his fortune something that he acquired by a fluke, by simply being in the right place at the right time? Well, we believe that the former is true, so in an effort to show you that, while no one’s life is perfect, it can be one that is indeed blessed, here is a bit more information on Israel Englander that will assist you in getting to know the man a bit better. We have compiled 20 pretty much unknown facts about the man and his life that should familiarize you with who and what he is just a little better.
1. His Status and Net Worth
Englander is currently ranked as being the 272nd richest person in the United States, and he is 5th on the list of successful hedge fund managers. His net worth was last reported as being approximately $6.6 billion earlier this year. Taking these three points into consideration, we would have to say that the man has found success in his chosen field, no questions asked.
2. Even the Super-Rich Can Have Nicknames
True, and that would include Israel Englander, otherwise known as ‘Izzy’ to friends and family. While that may seem a bit inappropriate to us, the fact is, as we all know, that the rich are people too, and sometimes a nickname is much more fitting to who we are than the monikers we are given at birth.
3. He May Not Look It, But…
Believe it or not, Englander’s appearance is highly deceiving. He is seventy-one (yes, 71) years of age this year, and even though he was born in 1948, it seems to us that he is maintaining very, very well. We don’t know if it’s the money or some dark secret from another world, but whatever it is, it’s working. We think he looks great.
4. Early Family Life
Englander’s parents were Polish immigrants; he is Polish and Jewish ethnically. His parents actually immigrated in 1947 after being deported to a Soviet labor camp subsequent to World War II, and he has two sisters, older than he, who were both born during their time there. Sadly, Englander’s father’s whole family was murdered during the Holocaust, so this is a man who comes from a line that is familiar with pain and grief.
5. He Always Had An Interest In the Stock Market
The truth is, Israel began trading stocks while he was still a high school student. Then, while attending college, he managed to get himself an internship at Oppenheimer & Company, which honed his skills quite a bit, no doubt. Coincidentally, his future brother-in-law, Jack Nash, would become chairman and president of that same company in the future.
6. Current Family Life
While his parents are deceased, of course, Englander has continued to be a family man. He has been married to his wife, Caryl (Schnechter) Englander for some time. He has three children with wife Caryl; Laura Englander Levin is the only one whose name is given publically, but the pair have two more. Caryl is a busy woman herself, acting as Chairman of the Board of the International Center of Photography, and she is also the director at Mount Sinai Childrens’ Center Groundwork.
7. The True Izzy
Israel comes off as being somewhat shy and mild mannered, according to those who know him, but the truth is that he is extremely quick-witted, and his trading skills shine through all of it brightly. He is said to be friendly, outgoing when in familiar company, and had a brilliant knack for all things financial, which brings out his personality when he is in such a discussion.
8. His Philosophy
Englander has a solid, and incredible, reputation among his associates and colleagues since co-founding Millennium Management. He says that his success is based on the fact that he has followed a few simple rules throughout his career: Maintain severe risk control, be committed to non-directional strategies, and be disciplined enough to constantly observe those two principles. I believe that these things can apply to any aspect of our lives, and applied diligently.
9. Millions to live in a…duplex?
According to Celebrity Family Englander spent a total of $71.3 million on a duplex/co-op on Park in 2014. This purchase managed to demolish the record for money spent on a co-op in Manhattan. The man also keeps a separate apartment in the same building, only it’s on the 14th floor. Amazing.
10. Raised With Religion
Brought up in the Crown Heights part of Brooklyn, Englander was raised in a Jewish household, even attending Yeshiva. This fact compels us to ponder how much of his success is based on the fact that he has a religious background, due to the discipline that comes with such training. With his parent teaching him in this manner, there is no doubt that this had some level of impact on his life and the success, both personal and financial, that he enjoys today.
11. Millennium Management Is Not His First Company
The fact is that after Englander bought a seat on the stock exchange, he opened what is now known as his first. I.A. Englander & Company was started in 1977. The brokerage house is still active today, serving those who purchase and sell stocks and bonds. Izzy still owns an interest in the company, though his portion of the interest is passive, or really has no motivating control or decision making power that is substantial.
12. Yet Another Company Followed…
In 1985 he partnered up with a man named John Mulheren, Jr, who had previously traded for Ivan Boesky. Together, with an investment of $75 million from Canada’s Belzberg family, the pair began Jamie Securities Company. Coincidentally, Ivan Boesky wound up being convicted of insider trading , which led to him testifying against John Mulheren, Jr. in exchange for a reduced sentence. Mulheren ended up with a conviction for helping Boesky put together illegal trading in stock. Jamie Securities went out of business in 1988, closing its doors after only three years in operation, but the failure only came about because of the bad publicity that came from the Mulheren/Boesky scandal. Englander was neither implicated in the affair nor charged with any crime.
13. The Birth Of Millennium Management
It seems that nothing could stop him, even a scandal such as the one above. After the closing of Jamie Securities in 1988, Englander proceeded to open up Millennium Management in 1989. This venture was done with co-founder Ronald Shear, whom he met during his tenure at the American Stock Exchange. With $5 million of his own, and an additional $2 million from the Belzbergs, It wasn’t smooth sailing though…at least not in the beginning. After a bit of a bumpy road, Shear left the company after only a year, but that didn’t stop Israel. He went on to grow Millennium Management to a company worth more than $20 billion, though he did so through the process of management.
14. Some of His Trading Techniques
So, you may be asking how he did it…get the company to the point of such value. Well, for those familiar with trading and hedge funds, he used strategies such as convertible and merger arbitrage, statistical arbitrage, and fundamental long/short pairing. What does all this mean for those not in the loop? Well, to touch base on the really confusing points, statistical arbitrage is basically quantitative analysis. Merger arbitrage means taking advantage of differences in price what the price of a company’s stock is and the bid price. Convertible arbitrage is taking advantage of the difference between the company stock price and stock warrant or convertible bond price. Using these techniques, and a few more, Englander brought Millennium to the peak of success.
15. Charitable Causes
Israel not only began the Englander Foundation, but he is also actively involved in the Weill Cornell Medical College and the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, both of which he serves on the board. In 2006 he and wife Caryl $20 million through the Englander Foundation, which was given to Jewish schools and organizations. It’s obvious that he cares enough to share the wealth he has been blessed with.
16. His Hedge Fund’s Operation
Millennium Management operates by use of a multi-manager platform, meaning that if a trader is doing well, the company pays him more. However, if a trader is doing poorly, they are basically let go. This eliminates the occurrence of poor performers making more money than they deserve to be making, and in the process clears out more room for those who are doing well. This method of operation is working quite well for Millennium Management, and it shows.
17. His Forbes’ List Status
Making one of Forbes’ famous lists pretty much means you’ve arrived. Well, we know that Englander has arrived, and making a Forbes’ list isn’t what told us that. However, he currently ranks #7 on Forbes’ list for the Highest Earning Hedge Fund Managers for 2019 as well as #91 on Forbes’ 400 for 2019. In addition, he ranks #252 on Forbes’ Billionaires list for 2019. As you are probably aware, this is no small feat, by any means. It looks as if Englander has had one heck of a year!
18. Into Art
Israel and wife Caryl are one of Art News’ 200 Collectors. According to the website, the pair collect contemporary photography and art, as well as postwar and modern art. The Englanders made the Top 200 Collectors list every year from 2012 through 2018.
19. Being Heisted
According to the same website, the couple were one of the victims in a series of jewel heists that took place in 2013. It seems that Caryl was the one robbed, and the item that was taken from her was a $7,500 Vacheron Constantine gold watch. While it never specifies if her watch was found and returned, we can imagine that the entire situation was a bit traumatic for the family.
20. Special Perks
Those doing business with Englander’s Millennium Management find they get two special perks: First, they are charged no fees for the services rendered by the hedge fund. In other words, they teams work for the people without charging them simply for coming to them for financial help and gain. Second, he has 150 teams working for the hedge fund, so he is able to handle an extraordinary amount of clientele. This makes it much easier to both take on new clients and to give the clients they have the attention they deserve. When those things are joined together with the high level of risk management being put to use, it all spells one thing: Success.
Israel Englander has put himself at the top with his own smarts and determination. From his childhood in Brooklyn all the way to his college days, his stints in business, and his enormous success now, he has shown the integrity and perseverance required to reach the heights he aimed for. Millennium Managements continues to be one of the best hedge funds on the map, and it appears that things will continue along those lines thanks to Englander and his proven methods, along with his desire to do right by those who trust in him and his company. He is definitely one of the top billionaires in the US, and for many more reasons than just his money.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee