Todd Boehly (/ˈbl/; born September 20, 1973) is an American businessman. He is the co-founder, chairman, chief executive officer and controlling member of Eldridge Industries, a holding company[1] headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut.[2] He is also the interim CEO of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association[3] and co-controlling owner and chairman of Premier League football club Chelsea,[4] and co-owner of Ligue 1 football club Strasbourg under BlueCo.[5] As of 2024, Forbes estimates his net worth at US$6.1 billion.[6]

Todd Boehly
Chairman of Chelsea Football Club
Assumed office
20 June 2022
Preceded byBruce Buck
Co-owner of Chelsea Football Club
Assumed office
20 June 2022
Preceded byRoman Abramovich
Personal details
Born (1973-09-20) September 20, 1973 (age 50)
United States
Alma mater
  • Businessman
  • investor
Known for

Early life and education edit

Boehly, whose grandparents emigrated from Germany, attended Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland, graduating in 1991.[7]

Boehly graduated in 1996 from the College of William & Mary with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance.[8] After feeling overwhelmed with his college experience and not knowing exactly what he wanted to do, he visited his former geometry professor from Landon, Steve Sorkin, for advice.[9][10] Boehly had an interest in finance and Sorkin advised him to move to London due to the potential opportunities to work in one of the largest global financial centers.[11]

Taking Sorkin's advice onboard, he moved to London on a special BUNAC visa and studied at the London School of Economics residing at Passfield Hall. Whilst at the London School of Economics, Boehly began working at Citibank and then at CS First Boston.[12]

Career edit

1996–2015: Early career, Guggenheim Partners edit

Boehly spent his early career at Credit Suisse First Boston and J.H. Whitney & Company.[13][14] He joined Guggenheim Partners in 2001, where he launched the firm's credit investing business, assumed responsibility of its asset management business, and served as president.[15][13][16]

In early 2013, Boehly led a deal between Time Warner Cable and the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball to create SportsNet LA, a regional network to broadcast all Dodgers’ games and Dodgers-related programming. Broadcasting from the team-owned network began with the 2014 baseball season.[17][18][19][20][21]

2015–present: Founding Eldridge, investment career edit

In 2015, Boehly bought some of the assets he had collected at Guggenheim, including The Hollywood Reporter, Dick Clark Productions, and Security Benefit to found Eldridge, a private holding company which invests in various industries.[7][22] In addition to Greenwich, Eldridge also has offices in New York, London and Beverly Hills.[23] In a 2023 interview with CNBC, Boehly discussed the company's focus on credit management and scaling businesses in response to market conditions in the United States.[24]

Boehly is on the boards of Cain International, Kennedy Wilson, PayActiv, Vivid Seats and CAIS.[25][26] He was formerly on the board of Truebill.[27] Accelerant, which has received investment from Eldridge, was valued at $2.4 billion in 2023,[28] and expanded into Canada later that year with the acquisition of Omega Insurance.[29]

In October 2023, CAIS launched the SaaS platform CAIS Solutions.[30] Boehly spoke at the second annual CAIS Alternative Investment Summit, along with other business and media leaders.[31]

Boehly's firm Eldridge owns Security Benefit Life Insurance,[7] and Zinnia (formerly SE2),[32] a technology platform for insurance companies.[22] Zinnia acquired insurance marketplace Policygenius in 2023.[33] As CEO, chairman and co-founder of Eldridge, he invested in Clearcover Insurance,[12] and DPL Financial Advisors, an RIA insurance network.[34] DPL reached over $1 billion in annuity sales in 2022, which doubled in 2023.[35]

He helped to found Cain International, a real estate firm co-owned by Eldridge, Kennedy Wilson, Langdon Park Capital,[36][37][38] and European real investment firm Blackbrook Capital.[39]

Boehly has invested in the digital technology industry, including companies such as Gopuff,[40] Stash,[41] Wealthsimple,[42] Dataminr, AI security company AnyVision, digital health platform Wellthy, Truebill, Quantum-Si and Tripledot Studios.[43][44][45][46][47] He acquired data technology company Seek (formerly Knoema) through Eldridge in 2020.[48]

Boehly has invested in the hospitality group Aurify Brands, which owns restaurant chains such as Le Pain Quotidien.[49] He also invested in Chuck E. Cheese,[50] and materials science company Recover.[51]

Boehly's Eldridge owns Stonebriar Commercial Finance, a large ticket commercial finance and leasing company,[52] and seeded Essential Properties Realty Trust.[53] Some of Eldridge's credit management operations were spun out in 2021 to create Panagram Structured Asset Management. Eldridge co-founded CBAM Partners, an SEC-registered investment advisor. It was sold to The Carlyle Group for $787 million in 2022.[54] In October 2022, Eldridge invested in Protein Evolution, Inc., a company which develops enzymes to break down plastic and textile materials for recycling.[2]

Through Eldridge, Boehly backs the Allbright Alliance, which works to support the advancement of women in the workforce.[55]

Sports edit

Boehly owns 20% of the Los Angeles Dodgers and is also a part owner of the Los Angeles Sparks.[56][7] He is an owner of fantasy sports company DraftKings and esports organization Cloud9.[57][58]

In 2019, Boehly made an attempt to buy the English football club Chelsea for $3 billion, but the owner at the time, Russian billionaire tycoon, Roman Abramovich, rejected the takeover bid.[59] In March 2022, alongside Mark Walter, Hansjörg Wyss and Clearlake Capital, he launched a bid to buy the club from Abramovich, who had announced an intention to sell it amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The consortium was later known as BlueCo. On May 6, 2022, Chelsea confirmed that the bid had been accepted and would be finalized by the end of the month.[60][61] The bid was approved by the UK and Portuguese governments, Premier League and the European Union, because of Abramovich’s Portuguese citizenship.[62][63][64][65] On May 30, the takeover of the club was completed.[66] Boehly was named chairman and interim sporting director of Chelsea on June 20, 2022, after Bruce Buck stepped down.[67] On January 9, 2023, Boehly stepped down as the interim sporting director of Chelsea.[68][69] The Guardian noted that Boehly's ownership of Chelsea followed his usual approach of taking an active role in new business operations during their first year, and then stepping back once they were "in situ".[70] In May 2023, Boehly called the purchase of the team "a long-term project", commenting that "the fans are demanding, and they want to win. And we get that, we want to win".[71] In July 2023, it was announced that Chelsea had partnered with technology startup Tempus Ex Machina to integrate additional features into the Chelsea mobile app, including the ability to switch between camera positions while watching livestreams of Chelsea games, adjust the graphical interface and view game highlights.[72]

Boehly and Walter acquired a 27% stake in the Los Angeles Lakers from Philip Anschutz in July 2021.[73][74] As of February 2021, the Lakers were third-highest valued team in the NBA, with an estimated value of $5.14 billion.[75]

In October 2021, Boehly spoke at SporticoLive's "Invest in Sports" summit to discuss the sports industry and investment in professional sports.[76]

On 22 June 2023, Boehly acquired a majority stake in French Ligue 1 club Strasbourg for a reported of £65M through BlueCo.[77]

Media and entertainment edit

Boehly is an investor in MRC.[78][79] In September 2020, it was announced that Boehly's MRC and Penske Media Corporation were merging as part of a joint venture to manage their publications, including Billboard, Rolling Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety and Music Business Worldwide.[80] MRC and Penske announced plans to manage content such as television series, films and live events through a second joint venture.[81] In 2021, the venture became the majority owner of South by Southwest.[82]

Eldridge and MRC reached an agreement to split their assets as separate entities in 2022.[83] As part of the agreement, Eldridge became a minority stakeholder in MRC, maintaining ownership of Dick Clark Productions from the company, and retained Boehly's investments in ventures such as A24, Fulwell 73 and Penske Media, including Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Luminate Data, Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival and South by Southwest.[84]

In 2023, Penske Media Eldridge, a joint venture between Eldridge and Penske, acquired Dick Clark Productions.[85] Dick Clark Productions partnered with Spotify to relaunch the Billboard Music Awards as a digital event in 2023.[86] That year, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, which is produced by Dick Clark Productions, was renewed with ABC through 2029.[87]

Boehly led a $3 million investment round for fan engagement platform Laylo in 2021,[88] followed by another investment in 2022.[89] In April 2022, Boehly led a $250 million investment round in Canadian influencer marketing and technology company, Viral Nation.[90]

Boehly is the largest investor in Larry Jackson's music company Gamma,[91] followed by A24 and Apple Inc..[92] Gamma acquired music distribution platform Vydia, and expanded into Africa and the Middle East, opening headquarters in Lagos and Dubai. Sipho Dlamini was named president of its operations in Africa and the Middle East, with Naomi Campbell named as a special advisor.[93] Gamma co-produced and released The Color Purple soundtrack album.[94] The company was valued at $400 million in February 2024, following a $100 million investment led by Alpha Wave Global.[95]

Golden Globes edit

In October 2021, he was named the interim CEO of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.[96] In 2022, Eldridge acquired the HFPA, and announced plans to create a for-profit entity to manage the Golden Globe Awards' intellectual property, as well as a nonprofit entity to manage the HFPA's philanthropic efforts.[97]

In a December 2022 interview with the LA Times, Boehly discussed a series of reforms made at the HFPA earlier that year to improve diversity of membership, increase accountability and prevent conflicts of interest. Under these reforms, the organization's voting body was expanded to include 103 international non-member voters and began employing a chief diversity officer.[98] The voting body was expanded again in April 2023, with the addition of 215 international votes who brought the total number of voters to 310. The demographics of the expanded voting body was more diverse, with 58% identifying as ethnically diverse, 17% as LGBTQ+,[99] and more than 50% being female.[3] The changes also provide paid salaries to members, and the implementation of bylaws to prevent them from accepting gifts in the course of their duties.[100]

The HFPA presented the 80th Golden Globe Awards on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, which was aired on NBC after a hiatus from television the previous year. The renewed awards show was positively received, with Michael Schulman of The New Yorker, calling it "delightful".[101] Marc Malkin of Variety described the event as "a celebrity-filled comeback."[102] Some publications also praised the efforts at promoting diversity at the Golden Globes, particularly the acknowledgement of diverse international artists.[103] Angela Bassett, who won Best Supporting Actress, said that she felt the organization had "made strides to do what they know needs to be done."[104] The awards show's return was considered a success, attracting 6.3 million viewers and making 24.2 social media impressions.[105]

In June 2023, the Attorney General of California approved Boehly's plan to dissolve the HFPA and convert it into a private commercial enterprise. Under this deal, the non-profit Golden Globe Foundation will also be formed to handle the philanthropic efforts of the former HFPA.[106]

The 81st Golden Globe Awards aired on CBS on January 7, 2024,[107] returning to its traditional time slot on the first Sunday of January.[108] The show introduced two new awards categories, "Stand-up Comedy" and "Cinematic and Box Office Achievement", and six nominees per category, increasing from the previous five nominees.[109] The broadcast was watched by over 9.4 million viewers, earning the show's highest ratings in years.[110]

Reception edit

Boehly was listed on Los Angeles Business Journal's list of the 500 most influential people from 2017 to 2021.[15][111] In 2022, he was included on the Forbes 400 list,[112] and the Bloomberg 50, a list of the most influential people in global business.[113] He was interviewed by Michael Milken at the 2023 Milken Institute Global Conference, where he discussed his ownership of Chelsea and the team’s plans for the next season.[114]

Philanthropy edit

Boehly helped found the Boehly Center for Excellence in Finance in 2014 at William & Mary's Raymond A. Mason School of Business with his wife Katie Boehly via a multi-year gift.[115][116] They also sponsor the yearly women's Stock Pitch and Leadership Summit at William & Mary. In 2020, Boehly and Katie committed funding to the construction of a new athletic complex and sports performance center at the college.[117] They were honorary co-chairs of a $55 million campaign to fund William & Mary Athletics in 2021.[118]

In January 2021, Boehly partnered with William & Mary to produce a series of courses for students at the Boehly Center for Excellence in Finance.[119]

He is also actively involved with various organizations, including Finding a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures (FACES), the Brunswick School, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Focused Ultrasound Foundation.[120][14][116][121]

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Business positions
Preceded by Chelsea chairman
Succeeded by