Barry Sternlicht's Biography

Early Life and Education

Barry Sternlicht was born on November 27, 1960, in New York City and grew up in Stamford, Connecticut. His father, Maurycy Sternlicht, was a Holocaust survivor from Poland, and his mother, Harriet, was a stockbroker with Russian immigrant parents. Sternlicht graduated magna cum laude with honors from Brown University in 1982, where he majored in Law and Society. He then worked as an arbitrage trader on Wall Street before earning an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School in 19861 2 3.

Early Career

After completing his MBA, Sternlicht joined JMB Realty, a real estate investment firm in Chicago. However, he was laid off during the savings and loan crisis and the early 1990s recession. This setback led him to co-found Starwood Capital Group in 1991 with Bob Faith, initially focusing on buying apartment buildings being sold by the Resolution Trust Corporation1 2 3.

Rise in Real Estate and Finance

Sternlicht's first major success came when he sold an apartment portfolio to Sam Zell's Equity Residential Property Trust, tripling his investors' money in 18 months1 4. In 1994, he acquired Westin Hotels & Resorts, and in 1995, he purchased Hotel Investors Trust, transforming it into Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Under his leadership, Starwood Hotels introduced the W Hotels brand and the Westin Heavenly Bed1 5 6.

In 1997, Sternlicht's company acquired ITT Corporation, bringing the Sheraton brand into Starwood's portfolio. By the time he stepped down as CEO of Starwood Hotels in 2005, the company had grown to include over 895 properties in 100 countries1 6 7.

Continuing Influence and Ventures

Sternlicht continues to serve as Chairman & CEO of Starwood Capital Group, which has structured investments with an asset value of over $240 billion. The firm has invested in residential units, hotels, office properties, industrial spaces, retail, and land in residential subdivisions8 9.

He also serves as Chairman & CEO of Starwood Property Trust, a leading diversified finance company, and has founded SH Group, which manages Baccarat Hotels & Resorts and 1 Hotels brands1 9.

Philanthropy and Board Involvement

Sternlicht is known for his philanthropic efforts, including supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He serves on the Board of Directors of The Estée Lauder Companies and the Real Estate Roundtable, among others5 7 9.

Personal Life

Sternlicht was married to Mimi Reichert, with whom he has three children. The couple divorced in 2016, and Sternlicht now resides in Miami Beach1 2.

Awards and Recognition

Sternlicht has received numerous awards, including being named America's Best Lodging CEO by Institutional Investor Magazine and receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Travel Marketing Executives. He is also a member of the Interior Design Magazine Hall of Fame1 2 9.

Recent Developments

In recent years, Sternlicht has been vocal about economic issues, including criticizing the Federal Reserve's interest rate policies. He has also made significant investments in various sectors, indicating his continued confidence in the real estate market despite economic uncertainties10 11 12.



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