Here are the 3 men quietly overseeing WeWork cofounder Adam Neumann's millions

Business Insider Finance 1 month ago
  • WeWork cofounder Adam Neumann is a very wealthy man, despite being ignominiously ousted from the office-sharing company in September.
  • He is still estimated to be a billionaire, but only just.
  • Neumann stepped down as WeWork's CEO on September 24 after a string of lurid stories about the firm's business model, its governance, and his behaviour while running the company.
  • Major investor SoftBank eventually took control of the business, handing Neumann $1.7 billion in loans and share payments.
  • Adam Neumann and his wife Rebekah formalized a family office, 166 2nd Financial Services, in the summer of 2019 to manage their fortune.
  • Little is known about the family office, except that it handles some investments in startups and other ventures on behalf of the Neumanns.
  • Sources named three people who manage Adam Neumann's money: Ilan Stern, DJ Mauch, and Max Fink.
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More details have emerged about WeWork cofounder Adam Neumann's secretive family office, 166 2nd Financial Services, the outfit that manages his millions.

Neumann may now be persona non grata at WeWork, but the Israeli entrepreneur and his wife Rebekah have still walked away from the office-sharing company with considerable wealth, with Adam Neumann worth an estimated $1 billion.

According to sources speaking to Business Insider, the Neumanns have a team of three managing that fortune and their investments as of summer 2019.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that Ilan Stern, a former investor at Soros Fund Management, took over the running of 166 2nd. He took the job in June 2019.

Sources who have worked with 166 2nd said Ilan Stern brought in two additional investment professionals, who have not been named: DJ Mauch and Max Fink.

DJ Mauch has virtually no online presence, bar what appears to be his Twitter account, but according to one source he worked with Ilan Stern at Soros Fund Management.

Max Fink, according to his LinkedIn profile, is a former private equity associate at HIG Capital. He was at Wall Street bank Citigroup before that.

A representative for Neumann declined to comment. Max Fink did not respond to a request for comment, and Business Insider was unable to reach DJ Mauch.

166 2nd is named after the New York apartment where Adam and Rebekah lived prior to gaining massive wealth while running WeWork. Since then, the pair have bought multiple properties, including a $21 million San Francisco property with a guitar-shaped room.

Not much is really known about the family office's investment activities.

Business Insider earlier reported that Adam Neumann had invested $30 million in one startup, British energy tech company Faraday Grid through the family office in late 2018. He also personally loaned money to Faraday Grid's CEO, Andrew Scobie. But at that point, the investment was managed by a full-time WeWork employee called Daragh Murphy and not by investment professionals at 166 2nd.

The arrival of Stern, Fink, and DJ Mauch to the family office in the summer of 2019 formalized the outfit and all three took over the running of the Faraday Grid investment. Unfortunately, the investment went south. Faraday Grid collapsed in August 2019 after its CEO borrowed money from the company and burned cash trying to rapidly expand the business.

As Faraday Grid unravelled, DJ Mauch and Max Fink visited the firm's offices in Edinburgh in the summer, a source told Business Insider. Although 166 2nd didn't invest again in the ailing business, the trio did set up a hardship fund for Faraday Grid employees who were out of a job.

Neumann likely expected to be a much wealthier man.

He was at one stage a billionaire many times over when WeWork was at its peak and privately valued at $47 billion. In July he was worth $4.1 billion, according to Forbes.

His net worth is now down to about $1 billion, per calculations by Bloomberg and Forbes, after WeWork filed its paperwork to go public, was immediately shredded by the media and prospective investors, and underwent months of drama that ultimately culminated in Neumann's exit as CEO and from the board. WeWork's major backer SoftBank took control of the firm in October.

As part of that rescue plan, SoftBank reportedly handed Neumann some $1.7 billion. That's a combination of $1 billion for some of his shares, plus additional credit and a "consulting fee."

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