Michael Milken

Michael Milken Biography.com

Business Leader(1946–)
Michael N Milken is known as the "junk bond king." He was indicted for racketeering and securities fraud and served two years in prison.

Synopsis

Michael N Milken was born on July 4, 1946 in Encino, California. His development of the high-yield debt market in is said to have fueled the 1980s boom in leveraged buyouts, hostile takeovers, and corporate raids. In 1989, Milken was indicted on 98 counts of racketeering and fraud. He served two years in prison. He now markets himself as a financial innovator and devotes himself to charity.

Profile

Financier and convict. Born Michael Robert Milken on July 4, 1946 in Encino, California. Michael Milken received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and his master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. In 1969, Milken joined Drexel Harriman Ripley, which merged with Burnham and Company in 1973. He was immensely successful as head of the company??s non-investment-grade bond department. By 1976, Michael Milken's income was estimated at $5 million a year.

Milken??s development of the high-yield debt market in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions is said to have fueled the 1980s boom in leveraged buyouts, hostile takeovers, and corporate raids. During Milken??s time at Drexel, the company??s fees skyrocketed from $1.2 million to over $4 billion. Milken??s salary escalated as well; one year he reportedly earned in excess of $500 million.

In 1989, Milken left Drexel to start his own company, International Capital Access Group. That year, he was indicted on 98 counts of racketeering and fraud. A plea bargain reduced the charge to six securities and reporting violations. He was sentenced to ten years in prison and made to pay $900 million in fines and settlements, but was released after less than two years. Milken was also banned for life from the securities industry.

As of 2007, Milken??s estimated worth was $2.1 billion after having been successful in numerous business ventures. In addition to marketing himself as a financial innovator who popularized high-risk alternative investments, Milken has devoted a considerable amount of time and money to charity. His philanthropic causes include medical research, education and prostate cancer. He is also the founder of a private Jewish high school called Milken Community High School.

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