Richard A. Baker (businessman)

Richard Alan Baker (born November 27, 1965)[1] is an American business executive. He is the Governor, CEO, and Executive Chairman of Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) [3] and executive chairman of each of HBC's eight portfolio companies.[4] He is also the owner of National Realty and Development Corp. (NRDC),[5] a US-based private real estate development and investment company, and is the Chairman of the Retail Opportunity Investments Corp. (ROIC), a public real estate company.[6]

Richard A. Baker
Richard Alan Baker

(1965-11-27) November 27, 1965 (age 58)
CitizenshipUnited States
EducationCornell University (B.S.)[2]
OccupationBusiness executive
Known forGovernor and Executive Chairman of Hudson's Bay Company
SpouseLisa Marie Burrell

Early life and education edit

Baker grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, the son of Betty Lou (née Grossman)[7][8] and Robert C. Baker, the founder of NRDC.[9] He has one brother, Nelson, and two sisters, Lauren and Ashley.[10][11] As a teenager, Baker spent many of his weekends shadowing his father, a real estate developer, during visits to shopping centers throughout the Northeastern United States.[12][13] At 15, Baker attended the École de Cuisine La Varenne, a cooking school in Paris; he subsequently started a catering business that employed classmates and catered parties in his hometown.[14][15] He graduated from the Brunswick School[16] and received a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management from Cornell University in 1988.[2] He is of Jewish descent.[17]

Career edit

He began his career working for his father, a mall developer and principal of National Realty & Development Corp, after graduating from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.[9] In 2006, he purchased Lord & Taylor, America's longest continually operating department store from Federated Department Stores, for $1.2 billion,[18] borrowing $1 billion to finance the deal.[19] In 2017, Baker sold the Lord & Taylor flagship building on Fifth Avenue for $850 million to WeWork.[20] Two years later, he sold the Lord & Taylor operating company for $100 million to Le Tote.[21]

In 2008, Baker led NRDC's purchase of the Toronto-based Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), North America's oldest company (established by English royal charter in 1670), Baker becoming its Governor (company chairman).[22]

In November 2012, HBC was publicly listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange,[23][24] at which time Baker assumed the role of interim CEO until the appointment of Helena Foulkes as CEO in 2018.[25]

In 2013, Baker led the acquisition by HBC of Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Off 5th through the $2.9 billion purchase of its parent company, Saks Inc.[26]

In 2015, as HBC's chairman, Richard orchestrated the acquisition of Germany's largest department store chain, Galeria Kaufhof.[27] In 2018, HBC sold part of its German real estate assets to Signa Holding, the owner of the German department store Karstadt, for €411 million as the two companies entered into a merger agreement valued at €3.25 billion.[28] The following year, HBC sold its remaining stake in the merger for $1.5 billion to Signa Group, thus exiting the European market.[29] On April 9, 2024 it was announced that his investment company NRDC intends to once again acquire the department store chain which had become known as Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof from the insolvent Signa Holding company.[30]

In March 2020, Baker led a group of shareholders to take HBC private, at which time he resumed the role of CEO in addition to his existing role as Executive Chairman.[31]

In October of that year, HBC created a dedicated investment and real estate business, HBC Properties and Investments, responsible for the operation of 40 million square feet of leasable area throughout North America.[32]

In August 2021, Baker led the expansion of Hudson's Bay department stores with the launch of the company's online marketplace,[33]

Baker is the non-executive chairman of the Retail Opportunity Investments Corporation, a real estate investment trust listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange that focuses on retail properties located on the west coast of the United States.[34]

Baker has served on the board of trustees of Cornell University since 2014.[35] He also sits on the advisory boards of the Cornell University School of Hotel Management and the Baker Program in Real Estate–a two-year real estate graduate program at Cornell University.[36][37]

Philanthropy edit

Baker and his wife contributed $11 million to Cornell's Program in Real Estate, now the Baker Program in Real Estate in 2012.[38]

According to HBC, as Chairman of the Hudson's Bay Foundation, Baker has overseen the disbursement of more than C$100 million in cash and in-kind donations to Canadian charities, to include the Canadian Olympic Foundation, the Paralympic Foundation of Canada, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and the Children's Aid Foundation of Canada.[39]

In 2013, under Baker's leadership, the Hudson's Bay Company announced that it had directed $200,000 to the American Red Cross and Canadian Red Cross in support of Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts in the Philippines.[40] Following the Western Africa Ebola Outbreak in 2014, the Hudson's Bay Company Foundation again partnered with the Canadian Red Cross to match $50,000 in donations to support emergency response operations in affected countries and combat the spread of the virus.[41] In 2021, the Foundation announced the launch of the Hudson's Bay Charter for Change initiative to accelerate racial equity in Canada with a $30 million gift spread over 10 years.[42] In 2022, Baker announced the donation of an historic building in downtown Winnipeg by HBC to the First Nations people.[43][44]

Baker also serves as President of the Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation. As of October 2022, the Foundation announced that it had donated over $5.8 million to various US mental health initiatives.[45]

Personal life edit

He is married to Lisa Marie Burrell.[46] They have three children.[2]

References edit

  1. ^ a b Strauss, Marina (March 9, 2012). "Richard Baker: A balancing act in choppy retail waters". The Globe and Mail.
  2. ^ a b c "Richard Baker '88".
  3. ^ Howland, Daphne (2020-03-04). "Richard Baker to take over as Hudson's Bay CEO". Retail Dive.
  4. ^ "Company Leadership".
  5. ^ "NRDC – Company Directory".
  6. ^ "ROIC – Richard A. Baker, Chairman, Biography".
  7. ^ March 8, 1989 (8 March 1989). "Loomis J. Grossman, Developer, Dies at 85". The New York Times.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths GORDON, BETTY LOU BAKER". The New York Times. July 6, 1998.
  9. ^ a b Clifford, Stephanie; Lattman, Peter (May 7, 2011). "The Prince of Lord & Taylor". The New York Times.
  10. ^ "Lauren Stella Baker Weds Robert Richman, a Writer". The New York Times. June 15, 1986.
  11. ^ Moin, David (24 November 2020). "Obituary: Robert Baker, Developer, Philanthropist".
  12. ^ Shaw, Holly (2015-06-20). "How Richard Baker engineered Hudson's Bay Co.'s stunning turnaround with a 'leap of faith' in real estate". Financial Post.
  13. ^ Clifford, Stephanie; Lattman, Peter (2011-05-07). "The Prince of Lord & Taylor". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Clifford, Stephanie; Lattman, Peter (2011-05-07). "The Prince of Lord & Taylor". The New York Times.
  15. ^ "People – Richard Baker". Business of Fashion.
  16. ^ Clifford, Stephanie; Lattman, Peter (2011-05-07). "The Prince of Lord & Taylor". The New York Times.
  17. ^ Cashman, Greer Fay (December 19, 2013). "Grapevine: The Netanya connection". The Jerusalem Post.
  18. ^ Howland, Daphne. "Is it lights out for Lord & Taylor?". Retail Dive. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  19. ^ Clifford, Stephanie; Lattman, Peter (7 May 2011). "The Prince of Lord & Taylor". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  20. ^ "HBC Closes Sale of the Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue Building". (Press release). 2019-02-11.
  21. ^ Hirsch, Lauren; Wu, Jasmine (2019-08-28). "Hudson's Bay to sell Lord & Taylor for $100 million to clothing rental service Le Tote". CNBC.
  22. ^ Shaw, Hollie. "How Richard Baker engineered Hudson's Bay Co.'s stunning turnaround with a 'leap of faith' in real estate". Financial Post. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  23. ^ Strauss, Marina (2012-10-17). "HBC launches IPO as new rivals loom". The Globe and Mail.
  24. ^ "Hudson's Bay Company". The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  25. ^ "HBC Appoints Helena Foulkes Chief Executive Officer". (Press release). 2018-02-05.
  26. ^ "PE backed Hudson's Bay acquires Saks for $2.9bn". Financier Worldwide. 2013-09-01.
  27. ^ "Galeria Kaufhof". HBC Heritage.
  28. ^ Hummel, Tassilo; Copley, Caroline (2018-09-11). "Hudson's Bay, Signa form European retail, real estate joint venture". Reuters.
  29. ^ Seddon Kilbinger, Sara (2019-07-03). "SIGNA takes full control of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof from Hudson Bay Co. for $1.5bn". Refire.
  30. ^ Reul, Maarten (9 April 2024). "Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof returns to old owner". Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  31. ^ Thomas, Lauren (2020-03-03). "Hudson's Bay CEO Helena Foulkes on the way out as retailer prepares to go private". CNBC.
  32. ^ Braun, Jennifer (2020-10-20). "HBC launches HBC Properties and Investments". Fashion Network.
  33. ^ Patterson, Craig (2021-08-12). "Hudson's Bay Shifting Canadian Department Store Model by Separating Physical Stores and Online Business". Retail Insider.
  34. ^ "ROIC Company Profile & Executives - Retail Opportunity Investment Corp. - Wall Street Journal".
  35. ^ "Cornell Board of Trustees seats five new members". Cornell Chronicle. 2014-05-29.
  36. ^ "Richard Baker '88".
  37. ^ "Cornell Board of Trustees seats five new members". Cornell Chronicle. 2014-05-29.
  38. ^ Prabhakar, Umang. "Real estate mogul tells his family's story of business success". Cornell Chronicle. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  39. ^ "Hudson's Bay Foundation".
  40. ^ "Hudson's Bay Company donates $200,000 to disaster relief efforts in the Philippines". PR Newswire (Press release). 2013-11-21.
  41. ^ "Hudson's Bay Company Foundation Donates $50,000 to Canadian Red Cross in Support of the West Africa Ebola Fund". Newswire (Press release). 2014-10-14.
  42. ^ "Hudson's Bay Foundation Launches Hudson's Bay Charter for Change With a $30 Million Investment to Accelerate Racial Equity in Canada". BusinessWire (Press release). 2021-05-03.
  43. ^ Bernhardt, Darren (2022-04-22). "'Historic and monumental' step taken as Winnipeg's Bay building handed to First Nations group". CBC.
  44. ^ Jerry, Daniels (2022-10-11). "Transforming the Bay downtown". The Free Press.
  45. ^ "Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation Celebrates Commitment to Mental Health Support with Fall Fundraiser". AP News (Press release). 2022-10-12.
  46. ^ New York Times: "ENGAGEMENTS; Lisa M. Burrell, Richard A. Baker July 18, 1993

External links edit