Hawaii's Richest People
Tech entrepreneurs and major landowners dominate list
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Given all the challenges that go with ranking Hawaii’s wealthiest people, further explanation about our methods is in order. Wherever possible, we’ve relied on publicly available information from sources like SEC filings, land records and official company documents. To further calibrate their wealth, we’ve tried to highlight major transactions or holdings of the people on our list. Even so, except for the two billionaires at the top, we cannot be certain the list is in exactly the right order. After they make their riches, some of the wealthy quietly give away a lot of it, either to charities or their children.
Finally, we set a baseline of $100 million in cash, investments and other assets as the requirement for inclusion. Those low on the list may not actually exceed the cutoff, but we feel they at least come close.
Photo: Courtesy of Pierre Omidyar
1. Pierre Omidyar
The fortunes of Hawaii’s wealthiest resident are still tied closely to the success of eBay, the Internet auction site he founded in 1995 and still serves as chairman of the board. In 2011, Forbes ranked Omidyar the 50th richest American, estimating his fortune at $6.2 billion. Since then, eBay stock prices have soared, but Omidyar has given away hundreds of thousands of shares. At today’s price, his remaining 132 million shares are worth at least $4.1 billion.
Photo: Revolution LLC
2. Steve Case
When Internet giant AOL purchased Time Warner in 2001, Steve Case’s piece of the $164 billion company was reported to be worth more than $1 billion. Of course, that deal didn’t turn out so well. Combined, the two (separate again) companies are now worth less than $30 billion. Case has done pretty well for himself, though. Through his Revolution LLC holding company, he’s a major investor in startups like Zipcar and LivingSocial, and he’s the majority shareholder of Maui Land & Pine and Kauai’s Grove Farms. Forbes estimates his current worth at $1.3 billion.
3. Michael and Sandra Hartley
Cheap Tickets’ acquisition by Cendant in 2001 for roughly $425 million put an exclamation point on the discount travel business developed by Maui residents Michael Hartley and his wife, Sandra. Their 47 percent stake in the company netted them almost $200 million. Good timing. Since then, the dot.com bubble burst (along with several other bubbles) and Cheap Tickets is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Orbitz.
Photo: Olivier Koning
4. Jay Shidler
As the largest player in Hawaii’s commercial real estate market, Shidler has left an indelible footprint on the state. His REIT, Pacific Office Properties, owns more than 1.5 million square feet of office space in Honolulu, including the Davies Pacific building, the Pan Am building and Waterfront Plaza. But his impact reaches far beyond Hawaii. Through The Shidler Group and its affiliates, Shidler has invested in more than 2,000 properties around the country and has taken five companies public. For example, Corporate Office Properties Trust, a REIT Shidler took public in 1998, now has a market capitalization of $1.5 billion (down from a high of nearly $2.5 billion).
Photo: Olivier Koning
5. Henk Rogers
Never underestimate the power of play. Rogers, best known for popularizing Tetris, made his considerable fortune in games. In 2005, he sold Blue Lava Wireless, his mobile-game-software company, which controlled mobile rights to Tetris, to Jamdat for $137 million in “cash and assets.” Shortly after Rogers joined the new board, Jamdat was acquired by Electronic Arts for about $680 million.
Photo: David Croxford
6. Duncan MacNaughton
Over the past few decades, MacNaughton has had a hand in developing more than 3 million square feet of retail and residential property in Hawaii. Major projects have included Waikele Center, Costco and Pali Momi Hospital. Through his company, The MacNaughton Group, he has also profited as the development partner for big-box stores such as Target and Costco, and has brought major retailers to Hawaii, including Starbucks, Jamba Juice and Blockbuster. In 2006, Starbucks bought out the local ownership’s stake in the 54-store Hawaii chain. The price wasn’t released, but, in 2004, Starbucks officials acknowledged Hawaii’s per store earnings of $1 million a year were the highest in the country.
7. Richard Gushman
In 2007, Gushman’s company, DGM, completed the development of the $100 million Waikiki Beach Walk project, in partnership with Outrigger Enterprises. For the one-time partner, and frequent collaborator with Duncan MacNaughton, that’s just a drop in the bucket. In fact, Gushman has developed everything from single-family homes, to high-rise condos, to industrial and retail projects. He has also managed a $250 million mortgage business.
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