Cisneros Group, for example, is led by CEO Adriana Cisneros, daughter of board chairman Gustavo Cisneros.And entrepreneurship may also be the path for people of color.Recently, we have seen an explosion of African-American entrepreneurs.
Wayne Huizenga; and activist and auto dealer Norman Braman.
Some of the newer money in town is coming from such investment professionals as Carl Icahn, the richest billionaire with a South Florida home, which he bought in 1997. While South Florida’s economy turns largely on trade and tourism, the area’s richest residents have made their money in a broader mix of industries and professions often linked to geography and the vibrant, entrepreneurial spirit unrestricted by the generations-old social structure of cities like New York and Chicago.
“They’re making money in real estate here,” Hertzberg said.
When a billionaire New Yorker profits from home ownership in South Florida, “he goes back and tells two other big boys, who tell two others, and all of a sudden you've got a whole world of people like that here.” “It’s the same thing with people from South America: A group will come in, and then another group will come in and say, ‘it’s safe, it’s wonderful, it’s a good place to put your kids in school,’ and, by the way, I made money there,” Hertzberg said.
So between my exposure to Bank United and the Corus Bank, I got an inside look at the Greater Miami area.” He liked what he saw.
Le Frak now has a second home in Miami Beach and two Miami-area real estate projects under way: renovation of the Gansevoort hotel in Miami Beach in partnership with Starwood Capital and resuscitation of an aborted North Miami development previously known as Biscayne Landing.
Le Frak also invested in the remains of the former Corus Bank of Chicago, which counted many South Florida developers among its loan clients before the crash.
“I think I ended up being the largest owner of unsold condos in Miami,” he said.
As a result, some of the wealth fueling South Florida’s Bentleys and multi-million dollar condo purchases — such as privately held entrepreneurial endeavors — may not be reflected on our list.
Despite their diverse sources of wealth, the 25 wealthiest South Florida residents are undiversified in two other ways: gender — all are men — and race.
“Many of the top 25 wealthiest people in South Florida own a controlling equity stake in a large enterprise that they founded,” said Jaret Davis, co-managing partner of Greenberg Traurig's Miami office.