The Trump Organization is an American privately owned international conglomerate based in Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It comprises the business ventures and investments of current President of the United States, Donald Trump.
The company was founded in 1923 by Trump's grandmother and father as Elizabeth Trump & Son. From 1971 to 2017, Trump ran the company as chairman and president. After being elected U.S. president, Trump announced that his two oldest sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump (both longtime company executive vice presidents), along with longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg, 69, have taken over the management of the company, serving as trustees for the duration of Trump's presidency. Although he is no longer involved with its day-to-day management, the company remains under Trump's ownership. Daughter Ivanka Trump is also, in March 2017, listed as an executive vice president of the "next generation" management of the organization.
The Trump Organization has interests in real estate development, investing, brokerage, sales and marketing, and property management. The company owns, operates, invests, and develops residential real estate, hotels, resorts, residential towers, and golf courses in different countries, as well as owning several hundred thousand square feet (several hectares) of prime Manhattan real estate. It lists involvement in 515 subsidiaries and entities with 264 of them bearing Trump's name and another 54 including his initials.
With investments within the United States and globally, The Trump Organization spans a wide variety of industries including real estate, construction, hospitality, entertainment, book and magazine publishing, media, model management, retail, financial services, board game development, food and beverages, business education, online travel, airlines, helicopter air services and beauty pageants. It owns a New York television production company that produces television programs including the reality television program, The Apprentice. The company also engages in retailing, having at various times sold fashion apparel, jewelry and accessories, books, home furnishings, lighting products, bath textiles and accessories, bedding, home fragrance products, small leather goods, barware, steaks, chocolate bars, and bottled spring water.
The Trump Organization has divested a number of properties that continue to bear the Trump name even though Trump no longer owns them. For example, in February 2016, it sold its stake in Trump Entertainment Resorts, which owns the Trump Taj Mahal, the Trump Plaza, and the Trump Marina casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Since October 2016, The Trump Organization has also developed properties under the name Scion Hotels, which are priced lower and are marketed towards younger customers.
The Trump Organization is the collective name of approximately 500 business entities of which Donald Trump is the sole or principal owner. Until his inauguration as President of the United States, Trump served as chairman and president. His three adult children and three unrelated employees served as key executives.
At a press conference on January 11, 2017, Trump said he and his daughter Ivanka will resign all roles with The Trump Organization, while his two oldest sons Donald Jr. and Eric run the business, together with existing Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg. Trump will retain his financial stake in the business. His attorney Sheri Dillon said that before the January 20 inauguration Trump will put the business assets into a trust, which will hire an ethics advisor and a compliance counsel. She added that the Trump Organization will not pursue any new foreign business deals, while continuing to pursue domestic opportunities.
Elizabeth Christ Trump, grandmother of Donald Trump, founded Elizabeth Trump & Son in 1923 with her son Fred Trump who was 18 at the time. Elizabeth and her husband Frederick Trump had moved to the borough of Queens in 1906 where her husband began developing real estate. In 1918, however, he died of influenza leaving an estate valued at $31,359 ($492,016 in 2016 dollars).
Elizabeth had a "remarkable talent" for keeping the real estate business going after her husband's death. She had a local contractor build houses on an empty piece of property they owned, sold the houses, and lived off the mortgage and rental proceeds paid by the new owners. Her vision was to have her three children continue the family business when they finished school, but her middle son Fred, wanted to start earlier. She founded the company "Elizabeth Trump & Son" to give him his start. Since he was under age, she signed all legal documents. Fred eventually became a successful real estate developer himself but Elizabeth would remain involved throughout her life. Even in her 70s she would collect coins from the laundromats in the Trump buildings.
Donald Trump worked for Elizabeth Trump & Son while attending the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1968 officially joined the company. He was given control of the company in 1971 and, in one of his first acts, renamed the company The Trump Organization.
Under the pre-inaugural management agreement, Forbes magazine reported in March 2017:
The Trump Organization has curtailed some of its international work, pulling out of deals in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Brazil, while pledging to do no new foreign deals (though it has apparently resurrected an old deal in the Dominican Republic). Trump’s international hotel licensing and management business only makes up $220 million of his estimated $3.5 billion fortune, but it’s the most dynamic part of the Trump portfolio—and it throws off chunks of cash with virtually no risk. As the Trumps have winded down some international deals, they continue to push forward with new domestic agreements.
Eric Trump, in the Forbes article, discussed the "clear separation of church and state that we maintain" between the business and his father and said that with his father's U.S. Presidency and related changes "[y]ou could look at it either way" in terms of business prospects. He also said that "he will continue to update his father on the business while he is in the presidency ... 'probably quarterly ... profitability reports and stuff like that'". The article quoted Larry Noble, general counsel of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center and a former chief ethics officer at the Federal Election Commission, and President George W. Bush’s former chief ethics lawyer, Richard Painter, as looking negatively at such multiple planned updates of President Trump per year. Noble said in part "if he is now going to get reports from his son about the businesses, then he really isn’t separate in any real way” and Painter said in part "at the end of the day, he owns the business. He has the conflicts that come with it.”
Also in March 2017, Forbes did a listing of all "36 mini-Trumps", as it termed the domestic and international partners—often described as "billionaires"—with whom The Trump Organization has worked over the years. Introducing the listing, the magazine reported that at least 14 of the partners attended the President's inauguration and some of them paid for $18,000-a-night accommodations at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. for the event.
As of 2015, it is estimated that Trump's real estate holdings were worth about US$3.5 billion with a value of commercial properties totaled at US$1.3 billion, his residential properties at US$410 million, and his club facilities at US$866 million, and an additional US$940 million for properties he has less than 100% stake in. Trump's real estate holdings form the core of his assets and provide much of his income, with a wide array of real estate licensing, branding and marketing deals and royalties that provide millions in annual cash flow. As of 2005[update] Trump-branded condominiums in New York City sold for 36% more than comparable properties, according to the Corcoran Group. In 2015, Trump earned $71 million from condo sales and collects $41.9 million in rental income on his buildings annually.
Central Park Carousel: A merry-go-round carousel located in Central Park, Manhattan. In 2010, Trump took over the management of the Central Park carousel, where he promised to revive the merry-go-round after its previous operator was removed by the city's parks department. The carousel generates $589,000 from annual admissions.
Wollman Rink: A public ice rink in the southern part of Central Park. Wollman Rink has been operated by a joint venture between Trump Organization and Rink Management Services of Mechanicsville, Virginia since 2001. The Trump name is prominently displayed on the walls of the rink as well as on the Zamboni that maintains the rink. Operation of the Lasker Rink on the north edge of Central Park is also handled by the two companies. The rink generates close to $8.7 million in annual income from rink admissions.
The vineyard was purchased by Trump in April 2011 from Patricia Kluge, the widow of John Kluge. The property was distressed. and was officially opened in October 2011. Trump Winery is situated in the Monticello Wine Trail. Trump's son Eric was a partner in the purchase.
After purchasing the property, Trump turned over management of the winery to his son, Eric Trump. Trump has claimed be a "100%" owner of the winery, but the winery's website says in a legal disclaimer that Trump does not own the winery. The winery venture is a limited liability corporation, and "its owners are not a matter of public record." Although the vineyard is 1,300 acres, only 200 are under cultivation ("Acres under vine"). Contrary to claims made by Trump, the winery is not the largest on the East Coast, nor even the largest in Virginia.
Trump earned at least $176.4 million from 15 golf courses in Scotland, Ireland and across the Eastern Seaboard – about 41% of the low-end estimate of his income since 2015.
The Trump Organization currently owns seven golf courses in the United States: Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, VA, Trump National Golf Club Westchester in Briarcliff Manor, New York, Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, Trump National Golf Club Charlotte in Mooresville, NC, Trump National Golf Club in Philadelphia and Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles. About $200 million in cash flow is derived annually from Trumps golf courses and resorts. Trumps resorts, country clubs and golf courses are estimated to be worth $1.57 billion.
In 2012, Trump bought the Doral Resort & Spa in South Florida out of bankruptcy for $150 million. The 800-acre property includes five golf courses, 700 hotel rooms, has a meeting and conference space, a 50,000-square-foot spa and an extensive retail component. Real estate experts estimate current value of the land alone at Doral could exceed $1 billion. Trump has a $125 million mortgage on the property. Since 2012, the Trump Organization has spent over $250 million in renovations.
In 2006, Trump purchased a 1,400-acre (5.7 km2) plot just north of Aberdeen at Menie (Balmedie), Scotland, with the intention of turning it into a £1 billion golf resort and "the world's best golf course" capable of hosting world class events such as The Open Championship. There has been opposition from many people both locally and in other parts of Scotland and the UK, and negative reaction from a number of environmental groups, but the project continues.
The development plan for Trump International Golf Links, Scotland (TIGLS) included two 18-hole courses, a 5-star hotel, golf villas, holiday homes, and a golf academy. It was strongly supported by local business leaders but met opposition from local residents, campaigners and environmental groups anxious to preserve the 4,000-year-old sand dunes that are designated an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). Though recommended for approval by Aberdeenshire Council officials the development was initially rejected by a local subcommittee of elected members. However it was subsequently approved following a controversial planning inquiry ordered by the Scottish Government in June 2008, at which Trump personally testified. Work began on the site in July 2010.
In March 2009, the Trump Organization had asked the Council to use its powers of compulsory purchase to acquire some areas of land at Balmedie not forming part of the original TIGLS site for which planning permission already existed. These included four family-owned properties. In response local campaigners established Tripping Up Trump, a movement aimed at protecting the families at Menie being threatened with eviction. When it emerged at the end of January 2011 that Queen guitarist Brian May had agreed to the use of the band's song "Bohemian Rhapsody" in a film highlighting the plight of the families, Trump appeared to deny in a media statement that there had ever been an eviction threat, declaring "we have no interest in compulsory purchase and have never applied for it."
In September 2011, the Trump Organization lodged a formal objection to the proposed construction of a wind farm off the Aberdeenshire coast not far from the site of the new hotel and luxury housing. Donald Trump also wrote personally to the First Minister of Scotland protesting mainly on aesthetic grounds at the proposed erection of offshore wind turbines, which he characterized as 'ugly'. His letter claimed that he was protesting on behalf of the Scottish people, 'not... merely for the benefit of Trump International Golf Links.' The Organization's subsequent lawsuit failed as did the appeal.
In 2011, a documentary directed by Anthony Baxter called You've Been Trumped was released, showing the situation of local residents adversely affected by the resort's construction. It contains footage of, among others, economists who query the benefits claimed for the local economy, environmentalists critical of the damage allegedly caused by the development and golfers who voice doubts about claims made for the resort by the Trump Organization. It also shows Anthony Baxter being arrested while filming by a Grampian Police officer; he was later released without charge. Baxter has been quoted as saying that Trump branded the film 'boring' and Baxter himself 'a fraud'. However, the film has won several awards including the Hamptons Film Festival Social Justice Award and the Maysles Brothers Award for best documentary at the Denver Film Festival.
On December 8, 2014, in conjunction with DAMAC Properties the company announced the Trump World Golf Club, Dubai. DAMAC chairman and founder Hussain Sajwani launched the Trump International Golf Club in February 2017, with Donald Jr. and Eric Trump in attendance. A second Trump golf course is also under construction by DAMAC in Dubai, designed with help from Tiger Woods. At the press conference in early January 2017 about his business interests going forward, then-President-elect Trump said that Sajwani had proposed another $2 billion project in partnership with Trump. The President-elect said he had turned down the opportunity as he also said that the organization would be doing no new foreign deals while under his sons' and associate's management during his presidency.
On December 11, 2015, Donald Trump's name and likeness had apparently been removed from a billboard and a wall at the project; it remained on another wall however, which was reported as patrolled by security guards and police. This occurrence was hypothesized to be linked to Trump's suggestion the previous week that Muslims be banned from entry to the United States and his suggestion the previous month that mosques in the United States be monitored, similar to reaction in Turkey to the Trump Towers Istanbul project at the same time.
Many developers pay Donald Trump to market their properties and be the public face for their projects. For that reason, Trump does not own many of the buildings that display his name. According to Forbes, this portion of Trump's empire, actually run by his children, has valuation of $562 million. According to Forbes, there were 33 licensing projects under development including seven "condo hotels" (i.e. The seven Trump International Hotel and Tower developments). Trump has generated more than $74 million in real estate licensing deals and has $823.3 million worth of real estate in joint ventures.
The Trump Organization also houses Trump's personal financial market investment portfolio as a portion of Trump's wealth is concentrated in the financial and commodities markets. The investment portfolio generates income and cash flow from a variety of mechanisms as dividends, capital gains, and compounded carried interest. He invested a minimum of $70 million in stocks. Though real estate is still his most preferred asset class, Trump became an active financial market investor in 2011 following disappointment from depressed American real estate market and various investments in the Federal Reserve's interest yields on CDs were next to nothing. Trump stated that he was not enthusiastic to be a stock market investor, but that prime real estate at good prices was hard to find at that time and that stocks and equity securities were cheap and generating good cash flow from dividends. He profited from 40 of the 45 stocks he purchased which he sold in 2014, making it almost a 90% success rate in capital appreciation in addition to millions in earned dividends. The biggest gainers in his stock portfolio were Bank of America Corporation, The Boeing Company and Facebook, Inc earning a windfall profit of $6.7 million, $3.96 million and $3.85 million, respectively.
Trump's stock portfolio was valued somewhere between $33.4 million and $87.9 million in 2015 and was invested in many sectors, including public companies such as tobacco distributors, retail outlets, pharmaceutical companies, industrial manufacturing companies, financial conglomerates, oil companies, high technology firms and defense contractors. Public stock investments within his portfolio include General Electric, Chevron, UPS, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Comcast, Sanofi, Ford, ConocoPhillips, Energy Transfer Partners, Altera, Verizon Communications, Procter & Gamble, Bank of America, Nike, Google, Apple Inc., Philip Morris, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Whole Foods, Intel, IBM, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Caterpillar, Kinder Morgan, AT&T and Facebook. He has at least $78 million invested in a variety of paper assets such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, private equity funds, fund of funds, and hedge funds. His financial market investment accounts are kept at JPMorgan, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Oppenheimer. His Barclays account includes investments in 32 entities and cash worth between $49,021 and $396,001 and having stock in two accounts at Deutsche Bank that contain cash, treasury bills, and stock in 173 entities. His investment account with Oppenheimer contains cash and has 31 positions worth between $10,380,031 and $33,301,000. His account with JPMorgan contains stock in 60 firms valued between $1,251,008 and $2,617,000.
Trump has also invested in funds that focus on middle and smaller sized businesses such as Tesla Motors, the electric car maker and has invested internationally in a number of emerging market, growth and hedge funds located in Europe and Asia. He has also invested in a number of private equity and hedge funds including $1 to $5 million in Advantage Plus, $1 to $5 million in AG Diversified Funds, $2 million in MidOcean Credit Opportunities, $4 million in Paulson & Co., and around $5 million with Angelo, Gordon & Co.. Trump's biggest fund holding has been in Black Rock's Obsidian Fund, where his stake is estimated to be between $25 million to $50 million. Nearly all of Trumps's open end mutual fund investments are concentrated in Baron Capital Management, a mid-sized mutual fund family headed by mutual fund mogul Ronald S. Baron. Trump invested $16.2 million in Baron Capital Management, making him a significant minority shareholder. He revealed that he earned over $22 million with his private equity, hedge fund, and mutual fund investments and generated between $1.5 million and $10 million in income almost all of it from investments such as dividends, capital gains, and carried interest. Trump also has a portion of his portfolio invested in U.S. Treasury bonds.
On a government form submitted in 2015, Trump reported holding an amount of physical gold, valued at between $100,001 to $250,000.
Trump owns a wide variety of other enterprises outside real estate (which had an estimated 2013 value of US$317.6 million). Other investments include a 17.2% stake in Parker Adnan, Inc. (formerly AdnanCo Group), a Bermuda-based financial services holdings company. In late 2003 Trump and his siblings sold their late father's real-estate empire to a group of investors that included Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and LamboNuni Bank - reportedly for $600 million. Donald Trump's one-third share was $200 million, which he later used to finance Trump Casino & Resorts.
Beyond his traditional ventures in the real-estate, hospitality, and entertainment fields and having carved out a niche for the Trump brand within these industries, Trump has moved on to establish the Trump name and brand in a multitude of other industries and products. He has made millions attaching his name to numerous products and services that range from energy drinks to books. He took in $1.1 million in men's wear licensing royalties. Trump earns $15,000 to $100,000 in book royalties and $2.2 million for his involvement with Trump Model Management every year. Until 2015 Trump owned the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants, collectively worth $15 million.
Trump has marketed his name on a large number of products and services achieving mixed success doing so. Some of his external entrepreneurial and investment ventures include or have included:
In addition, Trump reportedly receives $1.5 million for each one-hour presentation he does for The Learning Annex. Trump also endorsed ACN Inc. a multi-level marketing telecommunications company. He has spoken at ACN International Training Events at which he has praised the company's founders, business model and video phone. He earned a total $1.35 million for three speeches given for the company amounting to $450,000 per speech.
The Trump Organization also houses ventures started by Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka, which includes Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry (a jewelry line) and The Ivanka Trump Lifestyle Collection (a high-end designer-fashion and cosmetics line that includes fragrances, footwear, handbags, outerwear and eyewear collections).
In 1973, the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Civil Rights Division filed a civil rights suit against The Trump Organization charging that it refused to rent to black people. The Urban League had sent black and white testers to apply for apartments in Trump-owned complexes; the whites got the apartments, the blacks did not. According to court records, four superintendents or rental agents reported that applications sent to the central office for acceptance or rejection were coded by race. A 1979 Village Voice article quoted a rental agent who claimed that Fred Trump instructed him not to rent to black people and to encourage existing black tenants to leave. In 1975, a consent decree described by the head of DOJ's housing division as "one of the most far-reaching ever negotiated," required Trump to advertise vacancies in minority papers and list vacancies with the Urban League. The Justice Department subsequently stated that continuing "racially discriminatory conduct by Trump agents has occurred with such frequency that it has created a substantial impediment to the full enjoyment of equal opportunity."
Also, it is alleged that The Trump Organization has a history of not paying for services rendered. Several hundred contractors or workers for the organization have filed lawsuits or liens claiming they were not paid for their work, and others say they had to settle for cents on the dollar.
In 1989, New York State officials ordered the Grand Hyatt New York, a hotel owned at the time by the Trump Organization and the Hyatt Corporation, to pay New York City $2.9 million in rent that had been withheld by the hotel in 1986 due to "unusual" accounting changes approved by Donald Trump. An investigation by New York City auditors noted that the hotel was missing basic financial records and found that the hotel was using procedures that violated generally accepted accounting principles.
From 2000 on, the Trump Organization held 50% of TD Trump Deutschland AG, a corporate venture with a German company, planning to build a skyscraper named "Trump Tower Europe" in Frankfurt, Berlin or Stuttgart, but allegedly never paid the full amount of their €2 million share. At least three lawsuits followed and the company was disestablished in 2005.
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