FB Roundup: Michael Dell, Barry Sternlicht, Jack Ginter

By Glen Ferris

Peloton co-founder sells stock worth $50 million to Michael Dell family firm

John Foley, the co-founder of fitness titan Peloton, has sold $50 million of his personal company stock to Michael Dell’s family investment firm.

The sale comes just a few weeks after Foley stepped down as chief executive, after Peloton lost more than 80% of its market value over the course of a year. Shares in the New York-based equipment and media company have lost about 75% of their value in the past 12 months.

MSD Partners' (the investment firm which manages $20 billion of the Dell Technologies founder’s assets) purchase equates to 1.9 million shares.

"Peloton is an exceptional brand and MSD Partners is pleased to have this opportunity to back [incoming chief executive] Barry McCarthy and the Peloton team as they position the business for long-term growth," Gregg Lemkau, chief executive of MSD Partners, told the Financial Times.

According to filed accounts, Foley sold nearly $100 million of his own stock in 2021, with most of those sales at around $110 a share. Foley sold his stock to the Dell firm at $26 a share, below an initial public offering price of $29.

"This decision to exercise some stock options and sell those underlying shares in a private sale to MSD Partners, was John’s decision, based on his own financial planning," Peloton told the FT.

Barry Sternlicht family office invests in hotel payment software firm

JAWS, the family office of Starwood Capital Group founder Barry Sternlicht, has partnered up with Selfbook in a move that has inflated the hotel payment software firm’s valuation to $300 million.

Sternlicht, who launched his successful private investment firm in 1991 and now handles more than $60 billion in assets under management with an estimated personal net worth of $4.3 billion, joined the co-financing deal with Tiger Global and a raft of hotelier partners.

Selfbook, a one-click service which allows for quick and easy payments across multiple platforms, has completed a $15M extension of its initial financing, bringing its total Series A funding to $40M. The valuation of $300 million represents a 240% increase in the last quarter.

"Selfbook's secure and easy-to-use plug-and-play software supports multiple payment types and can be customised to meet the unique needs of each hotel, from boutique hotels to global chains," said Alex Cook of Tiger Global. "We wanted to double down on Selfbook after hearing the excitement from their hotel customers and seeing the continued rapid growth over the past several months. We are excited to continue our partnership with the Selfbook team as they streamline the hotel booking experience."

Former Abbot Downing family office head launches service for UHNW clients

Jack Ginter, the former president of family office Abbot Downing (a private bank with roots in a 19th-Century New Hampshire coach building company) and former head of Wells Fargo Private Bank has launched a new service for ultra-high net worth clients.

Amy Jucoski, former Abbot Downing senior director, has joined Ginter in forming Callan Family Office, which will provide customised solutions to meet the financial needs of ultra-high net worth families.

The independent firm will call on the extensive resources of independent investment consulting firm Callan LLC, which currently looks after $3 trillion in assets under advisement.

"There have been a lot of changes in the wealth management industry in the past decade as the large banks and brokerages have reprioritized their focus away from this space, presenting an opportunity for a new entrant," said Ginter.

"As an independent firm, we are fully focused on delivering precise and objective counsel to the ultra-high net worth market segment," added Jucoski. "We are strategically building our service offering to optimise the opportunities associated with significant wealth. We look forward to providing a clear path forward to meet the multi-dimensional needs of our clients with expertise, integrity, transparency, and original thinking."

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