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Barry Rosenstein Buys East Hamptons Estate For Record Breaking $147 Million

Barry Rosenstein / Getty

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Jana Partners is an activist private equity firm led by Barry Rosenstein. It has been doing so well lately it announced in a recent letter to its investors it would stop taking money from new investors as of May 1st into its US$4.7 billion Nirvana Fund, and possibly some of its other portfolios as well.

“Given the significant growth in our capital base in recent years, it would be prudent to close our Jana Nirvana funds to outside investments, ” Jana Partners said in its quarterly letter, according to Reuters.

Barry Rosenstein himself, the firm’s founder, has been making so much money personally he must have had trouble buying enough toys to enjoy it all.

Last week we learned that one of the biggest estates in the East Hamptons has sold for US$147 million.

While the identity of the purchaser of the 18-acre estate was initially a mystery, we now learn from the New York Post that the buyer is indeed Barry Rosenstein.

Barry Rosenstein

The Post also noted that the previous owner was a retired investment banker Christopher Brown, who died of a heart attack in 2009, and the property has now been sold by his family. For a time there had been some litigation intervening with Brown’s former partner in life the architect Andrew Gordon, who then himself died of cancer in 2012.

To the local brokers’ chagrin last week’s deal was apparently conducted without brokers in a private transaction, one which also ranks as the largest such deal ever to go down in the entire United States. One of the brokers fumed to the New York Post as word got out “The trustees of the estate, one would think, have a fiduciary responsibility to get the top dollar, which would have happened on an open market, ” – sour grapes for sure there.

Barry Rosenstein is a highly qualified activist investor who founded Jana Partners in 2001. He received his CPA and earned an MBA in business from Wharton, in 1984 before going out to gain his initial experience in the financial industry.

He worked at Plaza Securities Corp and Merrill Lynch for a number of years, then founded Reatta partners and Genesis’ Investment and Merchant Banking Group. After finally spending a number of years as Managing Partner at private equity fund Sagaponack Partners he then founded Jana Partners in 2001 as an event driven activist-oriented private equity firm.

Barry Rosenstein was also in the news last week for announcing at the Milken Institute Global Conference yesterday that he does not accept Bill Ackman of Perhsing Square’s position that Herbalife, the nutritional supplements company is a pyramid scheme.



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