Michael Edward Novogratz is an American investment banker and billionaire. Currently, he is the CEO of the crypto-currency investment firm, Galaxy Investment Firms. Born on November 26, 1964, he previously worked for Fortress Investment Group.
Mike Novogratz’s Career: Steps to becoming a billionaire
Mike Novogratz started working at Goldman Sachs in 1989 after a stint as a helicopter pilot in the New Jersey National Guard. He began working for the firm as a short-term bond salesman in April 1989. From 1992 to 1999, Novogratz resided in Asia. In 1992, he accepted a sales position at Goldman in Tokyo. Later, he was transferred to Hong Kong to oversee the firm’s trading desk. In 1998, he was selected to become a partner at Goldman. He has held numerous positions at the firm, including head of fixed income, currency and commodities risk in Asia and president of Goldman Sachs Latin America. A year after Goldman went public, Novogratz says he was fired.
Novogratz joined Fortress Investments in March 2002 to help Wesley Edens, Robert Kauffman, Randal Nardone and Peter Briger, Jr. bring the company to the forefront in February 2007 through their initial public offering. The company raised $600 million in the IPO by offering an 8% stake to the general public. He worked as co-chief information officer of macro funds at Fortress Investment Group LLC before joining Fortress as principal and director of Fortress Credit Corporation in 2006.
Although hedge fund and private equity investments fall under the purview of Fortress, Novogratz and his college friend Briger managed the hedge funds. The share price fell to $1.87 on Dec. 3, 2008, after Novogratz’s Drawbridge Global Macro fund stopped allowing withdrawals, down from $35 at the IPO. Novogratz and his associates lost hundreds of millions of dollars betting on the Swiss currency and Brazilian assets, and Fortress collapsed.
Galaxy Digital and Novogratz’s crypto connection
One of the few crypto-currency companies with a requirement to report its financial results is Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. Crypto-currency trading cost the company USD 136 million in the first nine months of 2018. In 2017, Bitfury, a technology company, raised USD 80 million in funding, with Galaxy Digital’s help.
After a loss of $182 million for the previous year, Galaxy’s losses increased to $554 million in Q2 2022.
In 2017, he said bitcoin and Ethereum accounted for 20% of his net worth. He claims to have earned USD 250 million from crypto-currencies between 2016 and 2017. At a 2022 crypto-currency conference, Mike Novogratz boasted that he was “the only guy in the world with both a Bitcoin tattoo and a Luna tattoo.” The UST, which claimed to be pegged to the U.S. dollar, lost almost all its value a few weeks later.
In an interview with New York Magazine in 2021, he said that 85% of his wealth came from crypto-currencies. He added, “it’s just that crypto-currencies have had a movement that only happens once in a generation, and I think people should understand that this is not going to keep happening over and over again. Like this idea that we went from not one class of assets to one class of assets can only happen once.”
Mike Novogratz’s personal life and marriage
Sukey Caceres is the wife of Mike Novogratz. She is a member of Princeton and is currently the vice president of the Joyful Heart Foundation. This organization aims to change society’s response to domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Dora graduated with a degree in anthropology in 1989 and has also written a meditation guide called “Just Sit”. They are both active supporters of Princeton University and contribute to its “Yera Bridge” program, which allows recent students to go abroad and serve those in need. He and his wife have four children.
In 2006, Mike Novogratz paid $12.25 million for Robert De Niro’s duplex in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood. When he moved into De Niro’s former Meatpacking District home, Mickey Rourke moved into Novogratz’ former Meatpacking District home. They also have a home in Amagansett, New York.
He was a supporter of the United States National Wrestling Team as well as an official spokesman for USA Wrestling.
In 2007, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame named him USA Wrestling’s 2010 Man of the Year and an Outstanding American. When the International Olympic Committee removed Olympic wrestling from the 2020 Summer Games, he advocated for its reinstatement. His sister, Jacqueline Novogratz, is the founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, and his brother, Robert Novogratz, is a designer who has appeared on Bravo’s 9 by Design.
Mike Novogratz Fortune: One of the richest people in the crypto-currency world.
In September 2007, Mike Novogratz was ranked 317th on the Forbes 400, with a fortune of $1.5 billion. In March 2008, he was ranked 962nd on the Forbes list of world billionaires, with a net worth of $1.2 billion. In the same year, he joined Kappa Beta Phi, a “secret society” on Wall Street composed of wealthy financial executives. After Fortress’s stock declined in value in 2012, its net worth fell to $500 million. He is an advocate for Democratic political interests. He is also the chairman of the board of directors of The Bail Project.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index for March 2021, Novogratz was the 495th richest person in the world. His fortune was estimated at more than 5.7 billion USD.