Eddie Lampert

Firm: ESL Investments
City: Greenwich, Connecticut
2008 Age: 46

Edward S. “Eddie” Lampert is the founder of ESL Investments.

Lampert graduated from Yale University in 1984 with a degree in economics. While at Yale he worked as a research assistant for Professor James Tobin, a Nobel Prize winning economist. Lampert was also a member of Skull and Bones and Phi Beta Kappa.

Having graduated, he started his career at Goldman Sachs – working in the risk arbitrage department, directly under Robert Rubin.

He founded ESL Investments 1988 – the name ESL derived from Lampert’s initials. Fund manager Richard Rainwater helped seed the firm with $28 million as well as introducing other investors.

In 2003, he was kidnapped from the parking garage of his office – however Lampert was able to convince his captors to free him after two days of being held hostage.

Often compared to Warren Buffett, Lampert has achieved returns of 30% since forming his fund.

Lampert’s ESL Investments is an activist hedge fund – famously buying Kmart out of bankruptcy in 2003 and merging it with Sears.