Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Billionaire’s Pact With God

Gubay started building his fortune when he established KwikSave, a retail chain selling cheap goods, in the 1960s. He sold the business in 1973 for $28 million. Not stopping there, he replicated the KwikSave business model in New Zealand, Ireland and the United States, and invested the profits from those business into real estate in the United Kingdom. The move proved savvy: property prices in the U.K. had been on a steep upward trajectory up until about two years ago.

Albert Gubay is pledging most of his fortune to charity, fulfilling a promise made early in his career. | Retailer turned real estate guru. Made his first fortune in 1973 when he sold his U.K. discount retail chain Kwik Save for $28 million. Repeated his Kwik Save model in New Zealand, Ireland and the U.S., investing the profits in real estate in places such as Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Hull and tax haven Isle of Man. While recuperating from a bad back, decided to open fitness centers; sold his health club chain Total Fitness (but not the real estate it sits on) for $154 million in 2004. Devout Catholic has pledged his wealth to both religious and secular causes, like the building of new churches and university scholarships for Isle of Man residents.

via A Billionaire’s Pact With God – Forbes.com.

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