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Updated: June 15, 2022 / 2022 Wealthiest people in CT

Wealthiest People in CT: 5. Karen Pritzker

Entrepreneur, Investor, Philanthropist
2022 Net Worth: $5.8 billion
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With a reported $5.8 billion pocketbook, according to Forbes, Branford heiress Karen Pritzker wants to make the world a better place.

“My father has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to make the world a better place throughout his long business and philanthropic career,” Pritzker said when she and her husband (who has since passed away) made a $3 million gift to endow a Yale School of Medicine professorship in pediatric surgery.

The Pritzker family fortune started with Abram Nicholas, son of a Ukrainian immigrant, who invested in real estate and small companies. According to Britannica, the family fortune quickly grew, and they managed to protect their profits from heavy taxation by putting the money into a number of trusts.

Nicholas’ sons expanded the business empire in the 1950s. They bought the Hyatt House hotel in Los Angeles and built it into a chain of more than 150 Hyatt hotels in the United States and abroad; and bought financially troubled companies, rejuvenating them into profit-making enterprises.

By the mid-1980s the Pritzker family owned significant real estate holdings and hundreds of companies and subsidiaries, including the Hyatt Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruises and Ticketmaster (which they sold in 1993), Britannica noted.

Their largest business interest was the Marmon Group, a diversified holding company with businesses that included Wells Lamont (gloves), Trans Union (credit reporting), and interests in construction, transportation and water treatment.

Karen Pritzker isn’t resting on her predecessors’ accomplishments. In 2008, she and her husband, through the Pritzker Vlock Family Office, were early investors in LaunchCapital, which helps entrepreneurs gain quick access to seed capital and mentorship, and reports it’s invested in more than 200 companies that are “reinventing industries across the nation.”

The family office owns and manages a broad portfolio of public equities, consumer, biotech, industrial and medical equipment and technology businesses, several venture funds, and real estate.

Karen Pritzker runs the Pritzker Vlock Family Office and is involved in numerous national philanthropic efforts individually and through her family foundation with emphasis on literacy, education, medicine, theater and land preservation.

Under Managing Director Elon Boms, the Pritzker Vlock Family Office has reported investments in technology, consumer, medical device and biotech companies, including Valerion, Arccos Golf, Gelesis and Spotify.

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