10 Things You Didn’t Know About Marc Lasry

Many people recognize Marc Lasry as an iconic figure in the world of investment. His journey from humble beginnings to becoming a multi-billion dollar asset manager is undoubtedly inspiring. Although he is often in the limelight, there’s much more to Marc Lasry than meets the eye. In this article, we delve into some lesser-known facts about his early life, his career, and his hobbies outside Wall Street. Let’s discover ten things you may not know about this entrepreneurial maverick.

1. Humble Beginnings

Marc Lasry did not grow up in opulent wealth; far from it. He was born in Marrakech, Morocco, to a Jewish family. His father was a computer programmer and his mother was a school teacher. At the age of seven, Lasry relocated to the U.S. with his family seeking better opportunities.

His family, including three siblings, lived in a small apartment in Hartford, Connecticut. Despite facing financial constraints, his parents prioritised their children’s education, ultimately laying the foundation for Marc’s illustrious career.

2. Self-Made Billionaire

Now, Marc Lasry is considered one of the self-made billionaires in America, with a current net worth of around $1.8 billion, according to Forbes. His journey to wealth wasn’t easy; it was filled with determination, hard work, and well-taken risks.

Lasry started his career after graduating from law school working at Angel & Frankel, from where he transitioned into the investment world, co-founding Avenue Capital Group. His success lies in investing in distressed securities and undervalued assets – a strategy that has made him a fortune over the years.

3. Passion for Sports

Did you know that Marc Lasry is passionate about sports? Not only does he enjoy watching basketball games, but he also co-owns a professional NBA team. In 2014, he bought the Milwaukee Bucks alongside Wes Edens for $550 million, and has since then invested individually in enhancing the team’s performance.

He doesn’t just restrict his love for sports to basketball, but extends it to poker as well. Lasry participates in the World Series of Poker and enjoys friendly home games with friends and family.

4. Philanthropic Work

Lasry does not believe in amassing wealth without giving back. He is quite active in philanthropy, regularly donating to various charitable and non-profit organizations. In 2019, the Lasry family made a significant donation to New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital to improve mental health services.

While philanthropy has become more common among billionaires, what sets Lasry apart is his commitment to empowering others. He strongly believes that businesses should give back to society, and his efforts are a testament to this principle.

5. Politics and Influence

On top of his professional obligations, Marc Lasry is also heavily involved in politics. He raises funds for various democratic candidates and was a significant contributor to Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns. He has maintained a cordial relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton and has supported their charity initiatives.

Even though he’s not a politician, his influence in the world of politics is undeniable. His powerful fundraising capabilities and active participation make him a valuable ally to many public figures, underlining the broad scope of his impact.

6. Family Life

Amidst his busy schedule, Marc Lasry prioritizes spending time with his family. He is married to Cathy Cohen and is a father to five children. His two children, Samantha and Alex, followed their father’s footsteps into finance. Samantha is a vice-president at Lasry’s firm while Alex pursued a career at Morgan Stanley.

Despite his massive wealth, Lasry aims to teach his children the value of hard work. He believes it is important to start from the bottom and learn the ropes, the way he did.

7. Commitment to Education

Lasry is a staunch supporter of education and advocates for greater access to quality education for all. His billionaire status has allowed him to fund scholarships and donate to universities and colleges to ensure education is accessible to everyone, regardless of their background.

His own educational journey is a tale of determination. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Clark University and a J.D. from New York Law School. His strong work ethic and pursuit of higher education have been instrumental in his success.

8. The Climate Pledge

Like many billionaires, Lasry is concerned about environmental issues. He is dedicated to making his investment firm Avenue Capital Group more sustainable. Under his guidance, the firm joined the Climate Pledge, committing to becoming net zero carbon across its businesses by 2040.

By taking this step, Lasry has demonstrated his commitment to combating climate change. His proactive approach showcases his sense of responsibility towards the planet and future generations.

9. Marc’s Movie Appearance

Did you know that Lasry has a Hollywood credit to his name? He made a brief cameo in the 2013 film “Runner Runner” starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck. He played a high-stakes gambler in this crime thriller set in the world of online poker.

The cameo might seem out of place, but given Lasry’s love for poker and his willingness to embrace new experiences, it was an exciting foray into a different world.

10. Resourcefulness in crisis

Last but not least is Lasry’s expertise in managing crises. His firm, Avenue Capital Group, specializes in distressed investing, which means finding opportunities in businesses facing financial difficulties. His resourcefulness in crisis reveals his strategic acumen and ability to thrive amidst challenges.

In the face of the 2008 financial crash, while many firms struggled, Avenue Capital excelled. Lasry applied his expertise in distressed investing to navigate through the crisis and yield impressive profits.

These are the lesser-known facets of Marc Lasry, a person as complex as he is successful. Despite his extraordinary life, his work ethic and commitment to giving back to society have remained consistent. No matter how much he achieves, these ten things remind us of the unique personality that underlies Marc Lasry’s recognisable name.

For more interesting reads, visit Forbes Profile: Marc Lasry or New York Times article on Lasry’s purchase of the Milwaukee Bucks.