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James Murren: Wikis


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Jim Murren is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of MGM MIRAGE, one of the world’s leading and most respected development companies with significant holdings in gaming, hospitality and entertainment, headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the face of monumental challenges and a global financial crisis, he stabilized his company by rallying its 50,000 employees and leading a $3.8 billion-dollar financing effort that pulled MGM MIRAGE back from the brink of financial failure. As a result, when CityCenter opened in December of 2009, it represented the nation's largest single commercial development project of the year, the largest community of new resorts to open at one time and America’s number one generator of new jobs.

Jim Murren


Wall Street Career

Murren's first exposure to the financial markets began when he joined the Wall Street firm of Cyrus J. Lawrence (CJL) as a securities analyst, where he subsequently earned his Chartered Financial Analyst certification in 1991. Through hard work, determination and incredible business acumen, he quickly rose through the ranks and was elected a member of CJL’s Board of Directors, becoming the youngest member of the company's board in its 100+ year history.

He went on to become a leading analyst in the restaurant, hotel and gaming industries, regularly earning accolades in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the Greenwich Associates annual All-Star survey and Institutional Investor magazine, among others. “Jim was known for doing creative and thorough research coupled with a unique ability to evaluate managements and their strategy,” stated Jim Moltz, Vice Chairman of International Strategy and Investment Group. He was an integral part of the initial capitalization and development of the riverboat gaming sector, which helped lift Southern communities like Tunica, Mississippi out of abject poverty.

During his career on Wall Street, Murren emerged as an influential leader in American finance, thanks to his ability to raise billions of dollars in debt and equity capital - including a pivotal recapitalization of MGM Grand in 1996. His status as an innovative thinker and cutting edge analyst was cemented when he served as a Managing Director and the Director of U.S. Equity Research for global banking giant Deutsche Bank.


In 1998, Murren decided to move to the corporate sector, joining MGM Grand as CFO and member of its Board of Directors. With Murren at the financial helm, the company embarked upon an extraordinarily successful decade of growth. Murren assembled an internal M&A team and was the architect of 15 billion dollars of total acquisitions including Primmadonna in 1998, Mirage Resorts in 2000, and Mandalay Bay Resort Group in 2005, which collectively helped transform MGM into the largest gaming company in the world.[1]

In this effort, Murren also achieved several historic milestones in the debt and equity markets, and was repeatedly honored as the gaming and lodging industry’s top CFO by Institutional Investor magazine.

Murren has held many major positions at MGM MIRAGE. In 1999, he added President to his title, and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2007. He became Chairman and CEO in December 2008, during his 10th year at the company.[2]

But it was Jim’s financial acumen in 2008-09 that has had the greatest impact on the fortunes of MGM MIRAGE. As COO, Murren crafted an extensive reorganization of the company, resulting in over $500 million of annual savings, which kept MGM MIRAGE profitable amidst the recession of 2008 and 2009. As CEO, his relentless focus on employee and consumer loyalty as well as corporate efficiency was rewarded by Wall Street, and it enabled the company to emerge from the recession even stronger and more resilient. John J. Mack, Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley believes that “Jim’s background and experience with financial markets, management and operations has enabled him to provide exceptional leadership to MGM during an unprecedented period of turbulence in the economy and capital markets.”

During this tenure, he imagined and inspired the development of CityCenter which is now providing new jobs and careers for 12,000 men and women. Per Senator Harry Reid, “The Las Vegas community may never be able to express its appreciation adequately for all that Jim has done, but his hard work hasn't gone unnoticed. He has earned the deepest respect of his colleagues all across the Las Vegas landscape. His integrity and decency are an inspiration to the entire community. He is a leader of his generation in job creation, green investment and philanthropy."

Honors and awards

Over the years, Jim has balanced a substantial professional life with a profound commitment of service to the community. He has been a pioneer in the area of corporate diversity working very closely with the diversity committee of the Board of Directors. has ranked MGM MIRAGE one of the “Top 50 Companies for Promoting Multicultural Business Opportunities” for the last 4 years, 2006-2009. He was an original founder of the state of Nevada's official cancer research and treatment center, the Nevada Cancer Institute, and is currently a member of its Board of Directors. He is an active supporter of Trinity College, The Johns Hopkins University, and the Smith Center for the Performing Arts as well as many other non-profit organizations. “By leading the state’s largest employer through an exceptionally difficult period and then on to its greatest achievement – CityCenter – as well as being a driving force behind the Nevada Cancer Institute, Jim has been a literal life-saver for Las Vegas. All communities hope to have someone like Jim and we are fortunate he is ours. I’m proud to call him my friend,” says Steve Hill, Chairman of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce.

Murren also sits on the Board of Delta Petroleum (DPTR) [3], a public natural gas company, and is an active participant in a number of civic and non -profit organizations, including serving as a trustee of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV).[4]

Personal life

Jim Murren is married to Heather Murren, co-founder of Nevada Cancer Institute and Commissioner of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.


  1. ^ PR Newswire – Jim Murren appointed CFO
  2. ^ MGM MIRAGE - James J. Murren elected Chairman and CEO of MGM MIRAGE
  3. ^ Delta Petroleum Corporation – Management and Directors
  4. ^ UNLV Foundation – Board of Trustees


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