George Soros stands before us as one of the most prolific philanthropists and investors that the world has ever seen. His story of rising up from Nazi-occupied Hungary to these great heights is as fascinating as it is deep. Yet, for all of this amazing detail he has still become one of the leading ‘boogeymen’ of the right wing. So is he the night terror that the conservative right believes in? Or the angel of progressive values and social justice that he has been working toward all of his life? Well, his story shows the answer to that with ease — and the right won’t like it.
George Soros has become a left wing darling over the past several decades for his unyielding focus and support of social progress and democracy around the globe. Soros started the Soros Hedge Fund in the early ’70s in order to become the prolific investor that he is today. Now pushing 86 years old, Soros has spent much of his life and his fortune focusing on creating democratic ideals in every nook and cranny of the planet. For all of his good work, he still has become the target of an organized smear campaign by right wing politicians. Joe Uscinski, a pol-science professor at the University of Miami says, “What makes the Soros thing interesting is that most of the conspiracy theories about rich people tend to be made by people on the left about people on the right.” Read this story at Politico about George Soros.
His career is fascinating and walking through it step by step would take countless books and more hours than most people would really want to spend. We can give you the highlights, however. George Soros is worth a cool $25 billion and his rise as a political force has been a thing to marvel in America. Soros broke onto the political scene in the early 2004 election campaign when he worked hard in order to try and stop President George W. Bush from re-election. Of course, his backing of Al Gore should have been a success but issues with the election ended up turning the tide toward the conservative movement. Since then Soros has been nestled neatly into the left wing of the political spectrum: arguing for health care and education while trying to keep America out of wars. Of course, these stances aren’t popular with conservatives and his gigantic wealth has made it easy to demonize the noble work of an honorable man. Know more on cnbc.com about George Soros.
Perhaps most interesting in the American political climate is George Soros’ comparison to the Koch Brothers. The Koch Brothers are billionaires who use their money to astroturf political campaigns for the right wing, including such groups as the Tea Party. While the Koch’s spend millions to fight progress and democracy, Soros counteracts them at every turn. Perhaps George Soros is a boogeyman, but only because he is fighting for what is right.
Samuel Strauch was asked if he had a business idea that he is willing to give away to the readers of Ideamensch. A business idea that Strauch was willing to share with Ideamensch was to create or enter the specialized service market for retirees. Samuel Strauch says that there is now a large generation of baby boomers who are now retired or close to retiring. The sheer amount of people needing retirement related services creates a very big market with lots of opportunities for people looking to serve these people. Strauch also believes that serving these retirees can help society.
Ideamensch then asked what was the best $100 Samuel Strauch had recently spent on. His answer was the best $100 he spent was on eating out with his family and friends. Mr. Strauch says that the best things in life are experienced. They are not material objects or possessions that you purchase with money. Things like spending time with your family and friends are priceless according to Strauch.
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Samuel Strauch was also asked on what web services or software he uses in his business. A follow up was also asked. This was what he loves about the web services or software. Strauch responded by saying that his company uses custom tailored software and cloud based programs. He also like to use programs such as Pivotal Tracker, GoToMeeting and Dropbox to stay organized and on top of tasks. What Strauch loves about these programs and the cloud bases software is that he can literally work from anywhere. This gives him great flexibility and the ability to work outside his home or office.
The final question of the interview was what is one book that Samuel Strauch has read and he suggests the Ideamensch community check out as well. Strauch suggests that people check out the book titled 100 Years of Solitude written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He recommends it because the book helps to foster creativity and expand a person’s imagination.
Learn more about Samuel Strauch: https://vimeo.com/user12031018
On the 2nd of November 2016, James Dondero, the co-founder of Highland Capital Management got an appointment to the board of Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business. Highland Capital had earlier committed to empowering students through the institution. The Towers Scholars program spearheaded by Highland Capital stands to benefit more with his appointment. The program aims at encouraging academic and professional pursuits in public policy. Additionally, the support towards the George W. Bush Presidential Library Museum is expected to improve.
According to James Dondero, the business school is a major contributor of the corporate workforce in Dallas. Highland Capital benefits from the business community delivered by the institution. It was such an honor to be appointed and take part in the growth initiatives in the university. The Board meets thrice annually and consists of 100 non-academic members tasked with developing strategies to improve the school.
Highland Capital Management manages assets priced at over $ 16 billion. The enterprise began in 1993 and got pioneered by James Dondero and Mark Okada. The company deals in the development of credit strategies, alternative investments, long and short term equities, and collateralized loan obligations. The institution serves a diversified client base including foundations, governments, and individuals of high net worth. Highland Capital Management operates from its main offices in Dallas, Texas with several other offices across the globe.
James Dondero is a United States-based businessman. Over the years, Mr. Dondero acquired experience in the credit and equity markets. Today, he serves as the chairman at several institutions. Dondero chairs the board at Cornerstone Healthcare, NexBank, and CSS Medical. Additionally, he serves on the board as a member in American Banknote and MGM Studios.
Besides being a successful entrepreneur, Dondero associates himself with several philanthropic activities. He donates his time and money to initiatives supporting education, veteran affairs, and public policy. Dondero has a degree from the University of Virginia and dual majors in finance and accounting from McIntyre School of Commerce. Among his achievements, the most memorable are the building of GIC subsidiary Protective Life, from its birth to a net worth of over $ 2 billion.
Jeffry Schneider is the founder and the current CEO of Ascendant Capital LLC, a boutique based in Austin. The firm works with a network of investment advisors, family offices and private banks to raise funds for emerging and existing sponsors in alternative asset funding. Ascendant Capital employs an innovative approach focusing on sales, marketing, education and financial restructuring. The company offers its services to public and private clients across the world.
Given the current market trends, Jeffry Schneider views alternative investment as a smart way of minimizing volatility and diversifying investment. His vast expertise in the alternative capital market has led to Ascendant Capital being the leading alternative investment boutique firm in Texas. Schneider’s strong interpersonal skill of developing and maintaining strong ties with his clients has also propelled the growth of his venture.
Jeffry Schneider has been pivotal to the growth and expansion of Ascendant Capital; under his leadership, the firm has expanded its employees’ base from just two to over thirty employees. In the last five years, Schneider and his team have raised over a billion dollars on behalf of several managers using this capital to purchase real estate, tech companies, auto dealerships and much more. Even with such an impressive track record, Schneider and his team aren’t planning on ceasing but are focused on the future. The company is aiming to attain a goal of raising $50 million on a monthly basis this year.
Jeffry attributes Ascendant Capital’s growth to the company’s culture. The firm has a supportive environment which is brought about by open dialogue and a sense of trust among its team members. The company’s idea of transparency which is championed by its founder Jeffry Schneider is extended to all its stakeholders. Ascendant Capital understands its responsibilities to its investors and has made their interests its top priority.
Before joining Ascendant Capital, Jeffry Schneider served in senior management positions for both Axiom Capital Management and Paradigm Global Advisors. He has also worked in renown financial firms like Alex Brown, Smith Barney, and Merrill Lynch. In his time at these companies, Schneider mastered the art of investment and acquired an in-depth knowledge of the alternative market. Schneider holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Todd Lubar graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in speech communication. Soon after he graduated, he took upon a job with Crestar Mortgage Corporation from 1995 to 1999. He then moved on to join Legacy Financial Group, which is based in Arlington Texas. Lubar helped to grow the Maryland office to a production unit of several 100 million dollars a year in loan volume. Mr. Lubar opened up Legendary Properties in 2002 and his establishment in the real estate community continued to grow rapidly. This helped him develop relationships with various people in building trades who needed to produce quality products in a timely fashion. He was able to establish lines of credit that were as high as $20 million dollars, because of his close relationships with major banking institutions.
Todd Lubar left Legacy Financial Group in 2006 to begin his job as Senior Vice President with Charter Funding. Charter Funding became one of the largest privately held mortgage companies in the United States. Lubar has an impressive resume and has experience in several different industries. He has owned several companies in the night club, recycling and real estate industries. However, his main focus is now on his position as President of TDL Global Ventures, which was developed in 2013.
Todd currently resides in Bethesda, Maryland with his two children. In his spare time he loves to travel the world and spend time with his family. Although he has numerous successes, Lubar sets out to improve himself every single day and to become a better person than he was the day before.