Meet the Sixers' new management

Posted: October 19, 2011

YOU WON'T believe this, Occupy Philly: A bunch of rich guys bought the 76ers! Oh well. Get over it. Go to a game once in a while, will ya?

Here are the investors, who include four Philadelphia-area natives and two Indonesians. Six of them are graduates of the University of Pennsylvania, where they presumably took an advanced course in rejuvenating ailing NBA teams:

Joshua Harris: Billionaire lead investor who will serve as the 76ers' managing owner and governor on the NBA Board of Governors. The 46-year-old Wharton School grad is a leveraged buyout specialist and managing partner at Apollo Management, an investment firm based in New York. Grew up on the mean streets of Chevy Chase, Md. Harris is scraping by these days with a net worth of $1.45 billion, according to Forbes. He's a member of the Investors Advisory Committee on Financial Markets of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. We don't know what that is, but it doesn't sound like Harris is a member of the "99 percent."

David Blitzer: You could call him the group's co-leading investor. Blitzer, 41, also a Wharton grad, is chipping in the same amount of money as Harris, but will serve as co-managing owner of the 76ers. He's been working out of the Blackstone Group's London office for several years, but recently relocated to its New York office. He's also a director of United Biscuits. Which is good, because nothing goes better with a basketball game than a quality biscuit.

Adam Aron: The 57-year-old Abington High School grad formerly ran Vail Resorts, the big ski-resort company. Before that, he ran Norwegian Cruise Line. Before that, he was a vice president at United Airlines. Now, the lifelong 76ers fan is taking over as CEO of the 76ers and promises to "work tirelessly to make Philadelphia sports fans proud." That sounds quite tiring, actually.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith: Maybe you've heard of them? The Philly-born movie megastar/rapper/Overbrook High grad has bought into the team, along with his wife. Smith, 43, is one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. Between games, the Fresh Prince can shoot b-ball in the Wells Fargo Center, where he won't have to worry about a couple of guys who are up to no good making trouble in his neighborhood.

Jason Levien: The former NBA player agent resigned last year as a Sacramento Kings executive, but he's staying in the business. Levien negotiated large deals representing players like Luol Deng, Kevin Martin and Udonis Haslem. He was reportedly under consideration for the general manager job in Phoenix last year.

Art Wrubel: Where'd he go to school? You guessed it: Penn. Wrubel is a portfolio manager at Wesley Capital, a real estate-focused hedge fund, according to the New York Times, which knows about that kind of stuff.

Travis Hennings: Works with Harris at Apollo Management. Another Penn grad. You want more info on Hennings, ask the new managing owner of the Sixers.

Marc Leder: Co-CEO of private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners, which he co-founded in 1995. He went to Wharton, natch. Leder's bitter divorce made the New York Post a couple years ago. Apparently, splitting up hundreds of millions of dollars in assets can cause tension. The Post checked back last summer, reporting that Leder threw a "wild party" at his Bridgehampton estate, where "guests cavorted nude in the pool and performed sex acts, scantily dressed Russians danced on platforms and men twirled lit torches to a booming techno beat." Unfortunately, we can't verify that. We weren't invited.

Martin Geller: Founded New York-based Geller & Company, which Bloomberg Businessweek says "offers strategic financial advisory services to businesses, high net worth individuals, and family offices."

David Heller: The Goldman Sachs senior executive from New York was mentioned in March as a possible buyer of the Mets. He's one of the Democratic Party's biggest Wall Street fundraisers, says the Washington Post. Raised a ton of dough for President Obama.

James Lassiter: Film producer who's close to Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

Michael Rubin: Philadelphia native. Founded GSI Commerce headquartered in King of Prussia. Recently sold it to eBay. Owns Football Fanatics, which sells sports merchandise online.

Erik Thohir: Big player in the Indonesian media scene. The Jakarta Globe reports that the 40-year-old is "already fabulously wealthy and prodigious," and seems to be getting even wealthier and more prodigious.

Handy Soetedjo: Great first name. He's also a director of Armadian, an Indonesian company that runs coal mines.

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