Malibu’s richest may not contribute most to city


Eli Broad, the richest man in L.A. according to the Los Angeles Business Journal, owns a home in Malibu, and at least nine others of L.A.’s 50 richest people either live or have second homes here.

Though Malibu is quickly becoming an estate haven for the richest, with many just being part-time residents, they account for a slight seven percent of retail business sales in Malibu, according to the City of Malibu Economic Plan report, prepared by consultants Applied Economic Development.

The report states that most of Malibu’s retail market is “driven by the residential population, rather than visitor spending.”

The majority of spending on local business comes from permanent Malibu residents, who account for 55 percent of local retail business sales.

Of that percentage, less than one quarter are made up of moderate-income residents who earn less than $40,000 per year. They include: renters, Pepperdine students and homeowners who purchased property before real estate in Malibu, and in L.A. County generally, spiked to soaring levels.

The other larger portion of Malibu’s residents as reported in the Los Angeles Business Journal earn an family income average of $249,000 per year, and that may be a good thing because the average price of single-family homes in Malibu is now reaching the 1991 levels of more than $1 million.

The rest of Malibu city’s income comes from out-of-town day visitors (10 percent), overnighters ( four percent), and residents of nearby communities (24 percent.)

As the report noted, “higher incomes do not create significantly higher demand for more retail services.”

However, Malibu’s richest buying their second homes here may contribute at least some income for the city.

The plan states that Malibu’s housing sector contributed at least $32.5 million to the city’s economy in 1999.

Richest people in Malibu

The following men were recently listed in the Los Angeles Business Journal as part of the elite 50 richest people in L.A. Another commonality they share is that of property owners and/or residents of Malibu. The estimates of wealth are taken from the L.A. Business Journal.

Eli Broad, 1st

Age: 66, Net worth: $5.5 billion

The richest man in L.A., Broad, who owns property in Malibu and whose residence is listed as Brentwood, made his first millions by co-founding Kaufman & Broad Home Corp., the nation’s largest home-builder, 40 years ago. He became a billionaire when he founded SunAmerica Inc., a financial services company, and then sold it to American Insurance Group Inc., with his converted stock appreciating to $3.1 billion.

A major political figure, leading the drive to bring the Democratic National Convention to L.A., Broad is also “one of the 50 most powerful people in the art world,” according to Art News Magazine.

David Geffen, 4th

Age: 57 Net worth: $2.8 billion

One of the wealthiest L.A. people in the entertainment business, Geffen started on his path to billionairhood in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency, where, no doubt, he and his Dreamworks SKG partners, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, now hire talent. Geffen started out founding Asylum Records in 1970, which he sold to Warner Communications Inc. two years later. He was then vice chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures for six years before founding Geffen Records in 1980. After selling Geffen Records to MCA, he put in his share of $33 million to found Dreamworks SKG in 1994 with the above mentioned partners.

A. Jerrold Perenchio, 5th

Age: 68 Net Worth $2.5 billion

Perenchio gathered his fortunes in the entertainment and media worlds. Chairman and controlling shareholder of Univision, Perenchio made his original fortune when he and Norman Lear sold Embassy Communications to Coca-Cola for $485 million. In 1992 he, along with Venevision, a Venezuelan TV company, bought Univision in 1992 for $550 million.

Steven Spielberg, 7th

Age: 53 Net worth $2 billion

The guru of filmmaking, Spielberg is one of the owners of Dreamworks SKG, which has put out successful films such as “Saving Private Ryan” and “American Beauty” which grossed $130 million.

Merv Griffin, 13th

Age: 74 Net worth: $1.3 billion

Merv Griffin has run the gamut in the entertainment business, starting out in radio in the 1940s, going on to host a talk show, create game shows — “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune” — to operating a production company and parlaying his successful ventures into hotel and real estate. He owns the Beverly Hills Hotel and is said to live on the top floor while in Los Angeles. He has recently released his first album in 25 years “It’s Like a Dream.”

Donald T. Sterling, 15th

Age:63 Net Worth: $1.2 billion

Sterling is one of two listed in L.A. Business Journal’s 50 richest list, as having a residence in Malibu. He also owns the Malibu Beach Club. However, he’s a part-timer, as his other home is in Beverly Hills. Success came from working as a divorce and personal injury lawyer. Investing in real estate helped push him to billionaire status, and he is reportedly the largest apartment owner in Beverly Hills. His success, however, hasn’t rubbed off on the team L.A. Clippers, which he bought for $13.5 million in 1981 when they were the San Diego Clippers.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, 29th

Age: 49 Net worth: $800 million

Another movie mogul, and the third owner of Dreamworks SKG, Katzenberg was hired as Barry Diller’s personal assistant when Diller was an executive at ABC. Katzenberg became president of Paramount and then joined Disney in 1984, heading the studio division. After a falling out with Eisner at Disney, which later gained him around $250 million from a lawsuit against Disney, he joined Spielberg and Geffen in their Dreamworks venture.

Arnon Milchan, 31st

Age: 55 Net worth: $800 million

Milchan is a resident of Malibu–not a part-timer, as far as we know. Milchan was born in Israel and became a producer after reviving his family-owned fertilizer business and then later becoming one of Israel’s largest arms dealers. He owns 50 percent of independent film company, New Regency Productions, and created Regency Television with Twentieth Century Fox Television, which produced the hit television shows “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Roswell.”

Michael Eisner, 36th

Age: 57 Net worth: $700 million

Eisner started as a clerk at NBC and worked his way up to senior vice president of prime-time production and development at ABC Entertainment. Before joining Disney in 1984, he was CEO and president of Paramount Pictures. Eisner’s residences are listed as Burbank and Malibu.

Lloyd E. Cotsen, 47th

Age: 71 Net worth: $590 million

Cotsen made his fortune in cosmetics. He worked for his father-in-law at Neutrogena Corp., a soap and cosmetics maker, and later became CEO in 1982. He made $148 million when Johnson & Johnson bought Neutrogena in 1994. Cotsen owned 38 percent of Neutrogena Corp. when it was sold.