Shadow of a Stout

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Sep
02

New Owners Look to Future with Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks had a season to remember in 2014 – 15 as they broke a franchise record for wins and made it past the second round of the playoffs for the first time in nearly 60 years. Owner Bruce Levenson was the man behind the big glass mirror as the owner of the team, enjoying the fruits of his more than 13 year labor. The Hawks were bought in 2002 by Leveson when they were at the bottom of the NBA ladder. Purgatory years when Jordan ruled occurred before Levenson and then the Lakers and Celtics dynasties occurred afterward. What we saw this past year was the symbol of years of waiting and hard work. Now Levenson is stepping aside, having sold the team to a group led by Antony Ressler and Grant Hill.

What is next for Atlanta?
The Hawks stand tall in the Eastern Conference thanks to a collection of factors. For one thing, there is a ton of continuity within the Atlanta organization despite any change in ownership up stairs. Head Coach Mike Budenholzer is back on the bench and he’ll continue to run rings around opposing team defenses with his elite offensive scheme. As far as players go we saw the Hawks make it a priority to bring back star power forward Paul Millsap despite having to let swingman Demarre Carroll go in the process. Kyle Korver was lost in the postseason to an injury and he’ll be back in the line up as well.

The biggest challenge that the Hawks will face in terms of repeating last years success comes down to the progression of their opponents. The Eastern Conference in the NBA is typically laughed at when compared to the West, where the majority of the best teams in the league preside. However, this past off season we saw more than a couple Eastern Conference squads beef up their roster in anticipation of deeper runs than normal this coming year. Here’s the primary competition that Atlanta will be facing:

Cleveland Cavaliers – With the return of Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving from injury, Cleveland instantly flies to the top of Vegas’s odds for a championship out of the Eastern Conference. A renewed LeBron James and a deeper roster give Cavs fans hope.

Miami Heat – The Heat amped up their roster simply by getting hurt players back. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade rejoin the starting 5 while Amare Stoudemire, Gerald Green, and Justise Winslow got added for bench depth. Hassan Whiteside has another year to turn into a stud defensive big man, as well.

Chicago Bulls – Fred Holberg steps into Chicago to turn the Bulls into an offensive juggernaut. Jimmy Butler is looking to make another huge step as he grows in his career and Derrick Rose finally looks healthy. Rack ’em up.

 September 2nd, 2015  
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Aug
31

Sender to the Rescue

I praise Adam Sender as an art collector because when I first heard of the collection, I did not know that he was an investor. However, it makes sense because the collection’s acquisition and sell were handled as deftly as an unknown stock with huge potential. These are the types of stock gems that make stock investor’s rich. However, Sender understood this so well that he found the same metric in art. The genre is contemporary art, and it has been undervalued for many decades. Those like me that love the genre have always known this. It was really not about the greatness of the art, but the proliferation of fake artists saturating the market with abstract art.

Abstract art cannot really ever be assessed for a value that is intrinsically tied to talent. It can be manipulated by anyone including people that know nothing about art. It actually places talented artists that have worked on improving their talent and craft over many decades with children that are slabbing canvases with paint while being filmed by their parents that are exclaiming their kids as geniuses on the order of Picasso. It has even gone so far that horses, apes and elephants have been proclaimed abstract artists with followings. This nonsense has carried on for years, and art investors and collectors understand the frivolity involved, and its suppressive effects on the art industry.

The only option that these genres have for being famous and lucrative is to generate a lot of media and interest over things like diamond encrusted skulls and other moronic ploys to generate interest and inflate the prices of these arbitrary works. However, the realistic art genres that display true genius and talent are making serious comebacks. This is the case with contemporary art. The interest in this genre was propelled by Adam Sender himself. Sender deftly collected almost a thousand contemporary art pieces at the low point in their interest and thus, the low point in its value. He then brought some interest to his works by displaying them in some key places like his home when entertaining other collectors. Adam Sender alsowas discussed by BusinessInsider.

They praised the collection and thought that Sender would only ever part with some pieces, but he surprised them and released the entire collection. This made the interest explode and thus, the value. These pieces have been selling at many times their value, in some cases, hundreds of times their value. This propelled this collection, the contemporary art genre and every other art genre dedicated to actual talent back into the forefront. Now people assess the popular art for this natural talent and those artists that have cultivated their talent through diligence and business acumen.

 August 31st, 2015  
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Aug
25

Town Residential Is My First Choice When Looking For Real Estate

I remembered my visit to NYC luxury real estate last year, and it’s the biggest reason I chose to move to the city this year. When I first arrived at the airport, I took a taxi to go to my hotel. I stayed in a nice upscale hotel that had everything I could ever want, and I had some amazing room service as well. I made it a point to go out and see the city every single day, and one part I wanted to see was the Brooklyn Bridge. I love to look at big structures, especially things that tower above me, and I had already seen the high-rises, so the Brooklyn Bridge was the next best thing.

I remember crossing the bridge in my taxi, and I looked up, and it seemed as if the bridge went on forever. I was amazed at the structure, and I even went on the ground below the bridge to look up at it from afar, and I took a lot of pictures. When I was in New York City, I even got to visit Central Park, which was a lot of fun because they had a nice concert in the park when I was there. I went on several tours while I was in New York City as well, and one of them was touring Wall Street.

I had always been fascinated with Wall Street, ever since I watched the movie with the same name. I even went to see the Statue of Liberty, and that’s what impressed me, especially since I got to go inside and take a tour. Seeing everything that New York City had to offer made me want to live in the city, and I made a vow that I would save up for a year and move to New York City. I was ready to find a new home, but I wasn’t going to look for it on my own, so that’s when I contacted a real estate agency.

I had done some research before I left New York City for the first time, so I knew to call Town Residential when I was ready to look for my new home. Town Residential worked with me, even though I lived in a completely different state, and they helped me to find a home in New York City. The home was fabulous, and it was in a great high-rise building with some fantastic views of the city. Not only do I have a great home, but everything inside of it is almost brand-new, and I couldn’t be happier with where I live. I’m glad Town Residential helped me to find a home in New York City.

 August 25th, 2015  
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Aug
15

Beyond The Hoop With Bruce Levenson

Bruce Levenson, the husband, father, businessman, philanthropist, entrepreneur and more. Levenson, attended Washington University and the American University, majoring in law, journalism, and business. He began his working career while in college studying law working at the Washington Star as a journalist.

After graduation from college still working for the Washington Star, he worked as a reporter for the Observer Publishing an energy information newsletter. With his background in journalism, his education extended to law and business, he and a friend Ed Peskowitz started a business called UCG, United Communications Group. With just the two starting the business and little startup money to begin this adventure, their office was set up in a storage room above Bruce’s dad’s liquor store. It wouldn’t be long before they outgrew that facility. As soon as the business took off they began receiving awards for their journalism and reporting accurate facts creating continued interest in their style of journalism.

After continuing to receive awards for their work, they continued to acquire more businesses expanding their repertoire of reporting. Their business slogan became “Creating Content That Is Targeted, Trusted, Transformative”. UCG has grown over the last thirty-five years, expanded in all areas of reporting.

Levenson became involved in the Atlanta Hawks following his love and enthusiasm for the sport. Bruce Levenson and Michael Gearon together purchased the team in 2004 for a price of $189M. Holding the team and stadium for 11-years, they turned around and sold the #22 NBA Team for approximately $850M. Antony Ressler led the buyers Grant Hill, Sara Blakely and a couple of others in their purchase of the Atlanta Hawks. The ink is now dry on the paperwork, and Levenson has time to spend with his wife, grown children and grandchildren enjoying the good life.

What’s next for Levenson? Haven’t heard any rumors, maybe some rest, relaxation and time for himself and family. Levenson will probably spend time working on his philanthropic endeavors. He has many projects and interests in that area. Since the 1980s, Bruce and wife Karen have funded numerous educational initiatives helping youths who are at a disadvantage in receiving the education needed to succeed. “I Have a Dream,” is one of the endeavors which he and his wife have always worked very hard for its success. UCG employees all donate time and energy to continue the success of this program with tuition paid educations, mentoring, training, and sponsorship.

Continuing in the educational arena, Bruce, and Karen funded the Center for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Management at the University of Maryland. This program ensures that every student at graduation goes into their career motivated and fully informed and knowledgeable to succeed in non-profit organizations.

Helping others help others is a successful tool to pass on.

 August 15th, 2015  
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Aug
10

The Success of Citadel Under Ken Griffin After the 2008 Financial Crisis

Citadel, a hedge-fund firm, nearly came to its knees during the financial crisis of 2008. However, under the leadership of Ken Griffin, Citadel has been registering success over the years and continues to expand in an aggressive manner. When he was celebrating his 46th birthday in October of last year, Ken Griffin’s firm on wallstreetjournal.com, Citadel, paid former president Bill Clinton a sum of $250,000 in order to speak to employees and investors at Daniel, the New York restaurant.
Almost seven years after facing a near collapse, the Chicago-based firm has emerged from heavy losses and struggles, in the furtherance of its investment agendas, to become a leading hedge-fund firm. Since the beginning of 2014, the company has recorded an increase in its asset base by $10 billion to $26 billion. Further, the entity has recorded a 29% boost on its main hedge funds. As originally reported on The Wall Street Journal, people familiar with the company asserts that Citadel is planning to undertake an initial public offering.
However, his progress has been slightly affected by the highly public divorce case brought his wife, Anne Dias. He married her in 2003. She is a former hedge fund manager. The two are now engaged in settlement talks and Griffin asserts that he wishes he could edit it out of his life. During the 2008 financial crisis, most hedge funds were humbled with some forced to close completely. Some institutions like Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC avoid anything that relates them to the functions of a hedge fund. Citadel has been utilizing its risk management strategies like amplification of bets using borrowed funds and thus, managing to remain competitive in the market.
Griffin started to invest aged 19. He invested from his Harvard dorm room. His intelligence saw him graduate quickly and thus, was known as a talented convertible-bond trader. In 1990, he started Citadel while still in his 20’s and made billions through purchasing distressed assets from different failed hedge funds like Amaranth LLC, Enron Corp and Sowood Capital Management. The firm lost $8 billion during the financial crisis forcing Griffin to halt withdrawals for 10 months. After the crisis, the firm recovered after 3 years and 17 days of selling its different distressed asset holdings. Citadel has managed to outshine his competitors by investing in different markets. He has been undertaking spot checks on different reports made by his employees with the view of ensuring that the firm does not record short-term losses.
There has been high staff turnover on the investment department under Citadel’s Stock-Picking Surveyor Capital unit. Griffin likes to be involved in the overall investment and decision-making processes. The entity has over 500 doomsday scenarios that constantly run on their screens. In case of any dangers of risks to Citadel, red notices will automatically flash on the trading screens. The firm is focusing its efforts on moves that would cut its costs in case of future crisis. The entity invests $7 for every $1 used by its clients for purposes of amplifying its wins.
In the recent years, he has been donating funds to back Governor Bruce Rauner, his longtime friend. He asserts that he has no political affiliations except focusing on investments and personal liberty. Griffin has been quite generous to his employees as he recently rented a movie theater for screening of “The Avengers” to mark Citadel’s investment success.

Reference Link:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/citadels-ken-griffin-leaves-2008-tumble-far-behind-1438655887

 August 10th, 2015  
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Aug
08

Remembrance of Stephen Murray, Former President and CEO of CCMP Capital

Colleagues and partners remember Stephen P. Murray as a dedicated and hardworking businessman, private equity investor and philanthropist. On March 12, 2015, Mr. Murray passed away in his home in Stamford, Connecticut, leaving his surviving and loving wife and four sons. His family remembers him as a committed father and husband. Funeral service was held on March 17, 2015 at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Stamford. Stephen Murray CCMP Capital CEO has lost an important executive team member. Fortune states that approximately five months before his resignation in February 2015, he helped raise over 3 million dollars.

Stephen was born on August 2nd, 2015 in Brooklyn, New York and graduated from Sleepy Hollow High School. He was raised in North Tarrytown, N.Y and received an economics degree from Boston College in 1984. He received his master’s degree from Columbia Business School in 1989.

Stephen P. Morgan served on the board of The Vitamin Shoppe, Aramark, AMC Entertainment and Pinnacle Foods. His resume included working for several companies before becoming head of the buyout department at JP Morgan Partners in 2005. The following year, Murray co-founded CCMP Capital, a private equity firm. In 2007, he was named CEO of CCMP and in February 2015 resigned because of health reasons.

Mr. Murray is remembered in his community as generous and compassionate to those less fortunate. His philanthropy works include supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York, where he was a member on the chairman’s council. Stephen also supported the Stamford Museum, the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, Boston College, and Columbia Business School. He served as the vice president of the board of trustees at Boston College.

The survivors of Stephen’s family include his wife, Tami and his four children, John, Ryan, James, and Nolan. His parents are Joseph and Nancy Murray of Ossining, New York. The surviving siblings are two brothers, John and Christopher and one sister, Joann. Murray’s entire family and colleagues will forever hold cherished memories of his loving and kind characteristics as a businessman, husband, father, son, brother, and friend.

 August 8th, 2015  
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Jul
29

You Can Get Mobile Wireless Services At A Low Cost Through FreedomPop

It can be frustrating if a person doesn’t have Internet in their home. Most people have even the most basic Internet in their home, and this is because people need the Internet. Someone who is job hunting will want the Internet in their home so they can look in the different places that offer new jobs. Even if the person is just putting in a job application, they’ll need the Internet because most companies have their applications online now. If a person doesn’t have the Internet in their home, then more than likely they will go out and find a Wi-Fi connection.

As long as a person has a mobile device or even a laptop, they can connect to Wi-Fi services, and they’ll be able to use the Internet on their device. The only problem with connecting to any Wi-Fi service is the security that the service may or may not have. In certain cases, a password is needed to access Wi-Fi services. A password-protected Wi-Fi service is the best to use because it means there is some type of security on the system. Any Wi-Fi service that just allows a person to sign on without a password, these types of connections can be the most dangerous.

There have been many stories that still are prevalent today, and they are about someone hijacking another persons mobile device or laptop through Wi-Fi. Someone who uses a free Wi-Fi connection can easily hack into another person’s personal information, and they may steal credit card information as well as other pertinent information. It’s a better idea to go onto a Wi-Fi service that has a password or a specific way to connect that will identify who each user is. Even if a person doesn’t have Internet in their home, they can safely use Wi-Fi outside of their home.

FreedomPop has a great Wi-Fi service that is secure, and it’s also very low in cost. What company out there can say that they have unlimited Wi-Fi connections for only five dollars a month? FreedomPop has cut down to the bare bones in cost for their Wi-Fi connections, and they are passing the savings on to their customers. Any customer that’s looking for a low-cost way to have unlimited Internet on the go, can get the FreedomPop application, and once they are signed up, they will have free Wi-Fi. At such a low-cost for Wi-Fi, why choose any other company?

Say a person lives in a big metropolis, and their home is right next to a FreedomPop Wi-Fi hotspot. The person that lives close to this hotspot will have unlimited Internet as long as they pay the five dollar monthly fee. Not only are they getting Internet that’s nearly free, but it will be at high speeds, and they can use it as much as they want. The FreedomPop Wi-Fi service is the best out there today, and many companies are tripping over themselves trying to beat their service, but they just can’t do it.

 July 29th, 2015  
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Jul
22

Purina PetCare’s Increased Growth

Purina PetCare, within the last few years has created a name for itself as having the best quality pet care products sold around the world. Not only is this company one of the leading pet companies in the world, but is also a big contributor to helping out pets in animal shelters. The Purina PetCare facility is located in St. Louis, Missouri and is a branch of the Nestlé company.

The products produced at this headquarters are some of the best quality products that include food for pets, pet treats, as well as cat litter. Some of the more well known brands made by Purina includes Beneful, Friskies, and Purina ONE. This company, though producing great products is a newly created company that, in 2001, was the product of a merge between Nestlé and Ralston Purina. For the past 14 years, the sales and amount of products sold have increased drastically. For owners looking for a great product to feed their product, any product created by Purina PetCare comes highly recommended.

By 2012, with only 11 years of being in business, Nestlé Purina PetCare was labeled as the second-largest pet selling company in the world. According to the Purina News Center, the company is currently the largest pet selling company in the United States. This company is not only a pet food producer but also a philanthropist. This company has sponsored and given money to several pet related charities for the purpose of saving or improving the lives of pets globally.

10 years ago, their venture to improve the lives of every pet started with forming a partnership with the Canine Health Foundation. By funding this, Nestlé was encouraging veterinary research. Another example of Nestlé’s intentions is that after Hurricane Charley in Florida, the Purina PetCare company donated 80 tons of pet food to those who needed it. The company even donated $100,000 to the local animal shelters in the area.

Currently, the Nestlé Purina PetCare has operations that are set up in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Oceania. The company has spread itself out to be in 16 different buildings all around the world. What is so great about this company is that the employees truly are pet lovers. There is even a policy that employees of this company can bring their pets to work. There are so many facilities within the building that even cater to just the pets and their owners.

 July 22nd, 2015  
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Jul
22

Trump ahead in latest poll

While the weekend brought new comments by Donald Trump and Shaygan Kheradpir in his quest for the 2016 Republican Nomination, a new poll shows that Trump is the frontrunner in Republican Primary polls with a commanding 24% of the vote.

While 24% does not appear to be a commanding lead, in a race as fragmented as the Republican primary, this puts Trump in clear first place over the prior leader, Jeb Bush. While most political pundits believe his campaign will peter out, few believed that Trump would fly as high as he has, after what appears to have been some significant missteps in his short nomination push.

Over the weekend, Trump stated that John McCain, the senator from Arizona who was tortured in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp during the Vietnam War, was only a hero because he was captured and that Trump likes soldiers who were not captured. This comment brought more outrage against Trump after prior criticisms of Mexican immigrants (calling them criminals).

Scott Walker received 13% of the votes in the survey while Jeb Bush received 12% of the vote total which only includes Republican voters. The study was conducted by ABC News.

This study was mostly conducted before the comments on John McCain, which will have an unknown impact on the next study. Trump’s popularity continues to amaze many who are observing the real estate mogul’s continued ascent in polls.

 July 22nd, 2015  
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Jul
20

Alex Trebek Makes Everyone Want To Laugh

There are some pretty hilarious moments that happen on TV, even on programs that aren’t necessarily supposed to be funny. Alex Trebek is the host of the quiz show Jeopardy!, and he is most often very serious. He takes his job seriously, and he tries to keep the show running smoothly with his calm voice as he reads off the questions.
But a recent episode was laughable. Fans like Ricardo Tosto know that Alex Trebek had to read a question that had some of Rihanna’s lyrics in it, and he is hilarious as he reads/sings them! Watch the video and try not to laugh. I’m not sure you’ll be able to hold yourself back!
So, yes, there are many funny moments that happen on TV. Even on a serious show like Jeopardy! there can be a moment like that that just makes you want to burst out laughing. Watch it and see for yourself how funny it is.

 July 20th, 2015  
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