The banker to the world’s richest families has a fortune of $ 3.6 billion


Byron Trott, adviser to some of the richest families in the world, doesn’t like to be called the banker to billionaires.

How does the billionaire banker sound?

The 62-year-old founder of BDT Capital Partners quietly amassed a fortune of $ 3.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, making the former head of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as wealthy as some of his clients the most famous.

Born in a small town in Missouri, the son of a telephone line repairman and owner of a clothing store, Trott laid the groundwork by initially advising some of the world’s most successful investors, particularly Warren Buffett, during ‘a nearly three-decade run at Goldman Sachs. Since leaving in 2009, he has created his own Chicago-based private equity and consulting firm, where assets quickly grew to $ 28 billion.

One of his company’s first investments, Weber Inc., went public this week. While BDT is the majority owner of the grill maker, Trott and his family personally own a 5% stake worth $ 240 million, according to a regulatory filing. Weber was a typical BDT investment: a family business and often run by founders. Other investments include Whataburger Restaurants, Cox Automotive, Casa Dragones Tequila and German auto parts maker Schaeffler AG.

The BDT model – offering advice and investing your own capital – is in many ways a throwback to the old world investment banks. It is also an activity which can be extremely lucrative for the founders.

“I think BDT’s goal is to serve and add value to its customers, and their customers are largely family businesses,” said Tom Pritzker, Trott customer for decades and CEO of Pritzker Organization. . “If they do it right, if they add value to these family businesses, the consequence will be profit.”

Trott and BDT Capital declined to comment.

Focus Midwest
Trott’s life crosses the Midwest. He joined Goldman Sachs after graduating from the University of Chicago, where he played varsity baseball as an undergraduate student before earning his MBA from the Booth School of Business. He started out as a stockbroker, then worked as a wealth manager in St. Louis, where he caught the attention of Hank Paulson, then the bank’s director of operations in the Midwest. Paulson, who would become the company’s CEO and later the US Treasury Secretary, hired him to join the investment banking group.

Even after the move, Trott continued to focus on wealthy families, with Midwestern fortunes being a specialty.

“I loved bringing the disciplines of investment and investment banking together and quickly realized the added value I could bring, especially to entrepreneurs and family business leaders,” Trott said in a 2011 biographical note for his acceptance into the Horatio Alger association. . “It didn’t take long for me to realize that I had found my passion.

Trott made a name for himself orchestrating a series of deals for Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which prompted the Omaha billionaire to congratulate him in a letter to investors.

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