The Full Wiki

Richard C. Blum: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Blum at UC Berkeley

Richard C. Blum is an investment banker and the husband of United States Senator from California Dianne Feinstein. He is the Chairman and President of Blum Capital, an equity investment management firm that acts as general partner for various investment partnerships and provides investment advisory services. Blum is also chair of the University of California Board of Regents and a Director of several companies, including CB Richard Ellis.

Blum founded Blum Capital in 1975 and pioneered the firm’s hybrid Strategic Block/Private Equity investment strategy. Mr. Blum currently serves as Chairman of the board of directors of CB Richard Ellis and is a director on the boards of directors of three other portfolio companies: Fairmont Raffles Holdings International Ltd., Current Media, L.L.C. and Myer Pty Ltd. in Australia. Mr. Blum co-founded Newbridge Capital in the early 1990s and is Co-Chairman of TPG Asia V, L.P. (the successor fund to the Newbridge franchise that has been incorporated into Texas Pacific Group). In the past, Mr. Blum has served on the boards of many prominent companies, including Northwest Airlines Corporation, Glenborough Realty Trust, Inc., Korea First Bank, URS Corporation and National Education Corporation. In addition, Mr. Blum is active in numerous non-profit organizations. He is the founder and Chairman of the American Himalayan Foundation and is Honorary Consul to Mongolia and Nepal. Mr. Blum also serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.

Prior to founding Blum Capital, Mr. Blum was with Sutro & Co. for seventeen years, holding various positions including director, major stockholder and member of the executive committee.

On April 25, 2009 Blum was honored with the Berkeley Medal by UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgenau in front of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The talk was sponsored by his American Himalayan Foundation.

Contents

Education

Mr. Blum graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his B.S. in business administration in 1958, and an MBA in 1959, both degrees coming from the Haas School of Business.

Controversy

Blum's wife, Senator Dianne Feinstein, has received scrutiny due to her husband's government contracts and extensive business dealings with China and her past votes on trade issues with the country. Blum has denied any wrongdoing, however.[1] Critics have argued that business contracts with the US government awarded to a company (Perini) controlled by Blum may raise a potential conflict-of-interest issue with the voting and policy activities of his wife.[2]

The Center for Public Integrity has reported that US Senator Dianne Feinstein and her husband, Richard Blum, are making millions of dollars from Iraq and Afghanistan contracts through his company, Perini [3]. Feinstein voted for the resolution. Blum did hold over 111,000 shares of stock in URS Corporation, which is now one of the top defense contractors in the United States. URS bought EG&G, a leading provider of technical services and management to the U.S. military, from The Carlyle Group in 2002. Carlyle's advisers, past and present, include former President George H.W. Bush, James Baker, and ex-SEC Commissioner Arthur Levitt, among other prominent neoconservatives and Washington power brokers.

URS and Blum have since banked on the Iraq war, scoring a $600 million contract through EG&G. As a result, URS has seen its stock price more than triple since the war began in March 2003. Blum has cashed in over $2 million on this venture alone and another $100 million for his investment firm.

"As part of EG&G's sale price," reports the San Francisco Chronicle, "Carlyle acquired a 21.74 percent stake in URS – second only to the 23.7 percent of shares controlled by Blum Capital."

The Carlyle Group has long been accused of exploiting its political connections to turn a profit.

Owen Blicksilver, Blum's spokesman, claims his boss and Sen. Feinstein have never talked shop at home in their gated mansion: "Mr. Blum and Sen. Feinstein have never had any discussions about outsourcing, government contracts, or URS."

In an expensive act of privatizing a governmental function, Blum's URS was hired by the Regents on July 29, 2005, to provide "program management services" for the development of a $200 million Southeast Campus Integrated Project, which includes a seismic retrofit of Memorial Stadium and a substantial expansion of the Haas School of Business. The university delegated URS to manage the planning, design, contracting and construction of the mammoth project for an initial fee of $4.5 million. So far, according to a UC Berkeley spokesperson, URS has been paid $1.7 million. [1].

The athletic center became the focus of controversy when concerned citizens staged a 648 day protest to prevent destruction of the memorial oak grove and further development of Strawberry Canyon at the proposed building sites. [2].

According to the Los Angeles Times, on January 16, 2009, at Blum's office at 909 Montgomery Street San Francisco, 60 University of California (UC) workers and at least 10 UC student supporters stormed the office, chanting and posting images and words of impoverished UC service workers. The UC workers and students announced their intentions to occupy of Blum's office until he and UC President Mark Yudof, agree to end poverty wages at UC once and for all. Beneath pictures of Dianne Feinstein and the Dalai Lama, surrounded by Tibetan prayer flags, pictures of presidents and potentates and other knick-knacks of Blum's career, twenty people, including AFSCME members and student supporters, sat-in at and were arrested after Blum gave the SFPD his civil complaint. [3].

April 21, 2009 Washington Times reported Blum's wife Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation to route $25 billion in taxpayer money to a government agency that had just awarded her husband's real estate firm a lucrative contract to sell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms. [4].

Boards

On March 12, 2002, Blum was appointed by California Governor Gray Davis to a 12-year term as one of the Regents of the University of California. Blum also serves on the boards of the following companies:

Blum has a strong interest in Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. In 1981 he attempted to climb Mount Everest from the Tibetan side with Sir Edmund Hillary. He is the Chairman and founder of the apolitical American Himalayan Foundation, or AHF, which has given millions of dollars to build hospitals and schools in Tibet and Nepal but has refrained from political involvement with the Chinese control of Tibet.

In addition to the AHF, Blum’s not-for-profit endeavors include service as Trustee of The Carter Center; member of the Board of Trustees of The Brookings Institution; former Co-Chairman of the The World Conference of Religions for Peace; Member of Governing Council of The Wilderness Society; and Member of the Board of Trustees of the American Cancer Society Foundation.

References

  1. ^ http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_5529371?nclick_check=1
  2. ^ "Senator Feinstein's Iraq Conflict". http://www.bohemian.com/metro/01.24.07/dianne-feinstein-0704.html. Retrieved April 2, 2006.  
  3. ^ "Windfalls of War". http://www.publicintegrity.org/wow/bio.aspx?act=pro&ddlC=45. Retrieved 12-07-2008.  

External links

Advertisements

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message