Malibu’s richest


The past year may have been a bust for many mere mortals, but for most of the 50 richest moguls of Los Angeles County, it was a year of bounty. Together, their net worth at the end of last year was $75 billion, nearly 20 percent higher than the year before.

Eleven of the county’s richest are Malibu residents, or at least own residential property here. Their total net worth was reported as slightly more than $22 billion.

The figures come from an annual survey conducted by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Tops among Malibu’s wealthy was Eli Broad, second only to Kirk Kerkorian in the county as a whole. Broad’s net worth was reported as $6.5 billion, up more than 18 percent from the year before. Broad founded the extremely successful residential development company Kaufman & Broad, now KB Home, as well as financial services giant SunAmerica, Inc. Broad is also highly active in civic affairs and philanthropy. In 1999, the Eli & Edythe L. Broad Foundation donated $100 million for education programs.

Other billionaire Malibu homeowners on the top 50 roster are:

  • David Geffen, $3.3 billion (4). Founding partner of DreamWorks SKG, with Stephen Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg. Started show business career in the mailroom of the Philip Morris Agency. Founded Asylum Records in 1970, sold it to Warner Communications, Inc. and became vice chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures. Founded Geffen records in 1980, sold it to MCA in 1994.
  • Jerrold Perenchio, $2.8 billion (5). Rose from family vineyards in Fresno to Hollywood talent agency MCA and to Embassy Communications with Norman Lear, which they sold to Coca Cola for $485 million. Now chairman and controlling shareholder of giant Univision, the nation’s largest Spanish-language TV network and principal owner of the Malibu Bay Company, Malibu’s largest landowner.
  • Stephen Spielberg, $2.2 billion (8). One of the first of modern Hollywood’s young director phenoms. Youngest ever to be signed to a long-term contract with a major studio. Studied film at California State University, Long Beach in 1969. Directed first movie, “The Sugarland Express,” in 1974. Best picture and best director Oscars for “Schindler’s List.”
  • Haim Saban, $1.5 billion (12). First time on the billionaire’s list. Created children’s TV programs based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Owns 49.5 percent of Fox Family Worldwide network.
  • Donald Sterling, $1.3 billion (14). Owner of the Malibu Beach Club, the Beverly Comstock Hotel, the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, and many apartment buildings in Beverly Hills.
  • Bradley Wayne Hughes, $1.2 billion (20). Owns one-third of Public Storage, a company he founded in 1972.
  • Arnon Milchan, $1.1 billion (22). Early success in Israel with family fertilizer business and later as an arms dealer in Israel. Turned to film and stage production in France. Movies included “The King of Comedy,” “Brazil,” and “Once Upon a Time in America.”

Other Malibuites who made the county’s top 50 list, but who missed the billion-dollar mark are:

  • Jeffrey Katzenberg, $890 million (29). President of Paramount Pictures at age 31, joined childhood friend Michael Eisner at Disney as head of studio division, became DreamWorks SKG partner after breaking with Eisner, who passed him over for the number two spot at Disney.
  • Marcy Carsey, $660 million (42). Only woman among the top 50. Started as a tour guide at NBC in New York, came to Hollywood with husband, John Carsey, a writer for Rowan & Martin’s “Laugh-In.” Went to ABC as vice president for prime-time programming, but left when ABC rejected her idea for a sitcom with Bill Cosby. Huge success with “The Cosby Show” at NBC, produced by Carsey-Werner Productions.
  • Michael Eisner, $585 million (47). One of the few net losers on the list, down 17.4 percent from last year. Head of Walt Disney Co. since 1984. Came up through the ranks of ABC Entertainment and Paramount Pictures, where he oversaw “Saturday Night Fever,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and “Beverly Hills Cop.” Loss in net worth caused by 25 percent slump in Disney stock last year.

The one-year rise in net worth for most of these wealthiest of Malibu denizens helps account for the fact that income for the top one-third of households in Malibu was more than $150,000 last year, 10 times the percentage for California as a whole. According to figures published recently by the City of Malibu, the average income of all the city’s 6,704 households as of last March was $149,795.