Henry Silverman

Last updated
Henry Silverman
Henry R. Silverman

(1940-08-01) August 1, 1940 (age 79)
NationalityUnited States
Education Williams College (BA, 1961)
University of Pennsylvania Law School (JD, 1964)
Occupationbusinessman; investor
Years active1965-
Employer Apollo Global Management
Cendant Corporation (prior) (prior)
Known forFounder of Hospitality Franchise Systems (later Cendant Corporation)
Co-Founder of Univision
Net worth$300 million
Spouse(s)Susan H. Herson (divorced)
Nancy Ann Kraner (divorced)
Karen Hader
Childrenfour (two with Herson; one with Kraner; one with Hader)

Henry R. Silverman is an American entrepreneur and private equity investor. Silverman is best known for his role in building Cendant Corporation into a multibillion-dollar business services company that provided car rentals, travel reservation services as well as real estate brokerage services and was also the largest franchisor of hotels globally.


Among the brands that Silverman controlled included hotels and motels such as AmeriHost Inn, Days Inn, Howard Johnson's, Ramada, Super 8 and Travelodge; car rental operators such as Avis Rent a Car System and Budget Rent a Car; real estate brokerages such as Coldwell Banker, Century 21 Real Estate and Sotheby's International Realty; as well as Orbitz Worldwide.

Early life and education

Born to a Jewish family, [1] in Brooklyn, the son of the chief executive of commercial finance firm James Talcott Inc. [2] Silverman graduated with a B.A. from Williams College and then a J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School. [2] He served in the United States Navy Reserves and then practiced tax law. [2]


Early career (1965-1990)

Silverman began his career in business as an assistant to Steve Ross, who was then assembling the future Warner Communications. Silverman had graduated from Williams College with a BA in Art History in 1961 and spent the following three years earning a JD from the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1964. Silverman left the job with Ross, which had been secured by Silverman's father, a well known businessman himself, to join White, Weld & Company an investment banking firm.

After a short stint in investment banking, Silverman pursued a number of entrepreneurial ventures in the late 1960s and through the 1970s. In 1984, Silverman joined Reliance Group Holdings, which was run by corporate raider Saul Steinberg. Silverman then served as president and CEO of Telemundo, the Spanish-language television network from 1986 through 1990. While at Reliance, Silverman acquired Days Inn, the US hotel chain in a $590 million deal. Silverman is estimated to have made a $125 million profit on the sale of Days Inn..

In 1990, Silverman accepted a position as partner at Blackstone Group, a private equity firm. However his tenure at Blackstone was cut short because of litigation between Prudential Insurance, one of Blackstone's largest investors, over a Steinberg deal in which Silverman had been involved. [3] In 1991, he left to head Hospitality Franchise Systems, an investment of Blackstone's that Silverman had overseen. He later build HFS into Cendant Corporation.

Creating Cendant Corporation (1991-2006)

Building on his experience with Days Inn, while at Blackstone Silverman created Hospitality Franchise Systems (HFS) which would acquire a number of hotel franchises. Among Silverman's purchases were such brands as Ramada and Howard Johnson's as well as Days Inn, which he was able to buy for $290 million (almost half what he had sold it for) after the company had filed for bankruptcy in 1991. [4] Hospitality Franchise Systems went public in a 1992 IPO.

HFS was among the fastest growing companies of its size in the 1990s and the company's stock had risen from its IPO price of $4 per share to $77 per share by 1998. However, in 1998, Silverman led Cendant into what would prove a disastrous merger with CUC, a direct marketing company that operated Shoppers Advantage and Travelers Advantage (now part of Affinion Group. The $14 billion merger of HFS and CUC resulted in Cendant Corporation, which was formed in December 1997. Also, as part of the merger, Silverman announced he would reduce his day-to-day involvement with the company and assume the company's chairmanship in preference of CUC's founder and CEO Walter Forbes.

Just months after the merger, in April 1998 Cendant uncovered massive accounting improprieties at CUC and resulted in one of the largest financial scandals of the 1990s. After the accounting scandal was uncovered, Silverman and the Cendant board forced Forbes’ resignation and Silverman assumed the CEO post. Under Silverman, Cendant bounced back from the accounting scandal far outperforming the markets in the early 2000s.

Silverman's compensation was the subject of scrutiny in 2004. In 2002, on the back of strong performance at Cendant, Silverman signed a 10-year contract that provided for medical benefits, office space as well as travel perks including a corporate airplane and a company car and driver. Of greater attention was the compensation Silverman received in 2003. Silverman's 2003 compensation was estimated at $60 million, which included $14 million in cash salary and bonus, $37 million in stock options and $4.6 million paid as premiums on a company funded life insurance policy.

In September 2006, Silverman championed the separation of Cendant Corporation into four independent companies. Cendant spun off its real estate brokerage division, Realogy which was sold to Apollo Global Management and sold its travel distribution services division, Travelport, to The Blackstone Group. Cendant's hospitality services division, is now a separate company Wyndham Worldwide. The remaining Cendant Corporation, which renamed itself Avis Budget Group, operates the company's car rental businesses.

Career since 2006

In February 2009, Silverman assumed a position as chief operating officer of Apollo Global Management, a New York-based private equity firm. [5]

In March 2012, Silverman assumed a position as Vice Chairman of Asset Management at Guggenheim Partners, a New York-based private equity firm. [6] [7]

Personal life

Silverman has been married three times. In 1965, he married Susan H. Herson; they had two children and divorced in 1977. In 1978, he married Nancy Ann Kraner; they had one child [8] and divorced in 2012 after 30 years of marriage. [9] In 2009 he moved into an apartment in 15 Central Park West in Manhattan. [10] [11] [12]

In 2012, he remarried to his yoga instructor, Karen Hader, 30 years his junior. [9] He has a son, Casey (born 2010) with Hader. [9] Nancy received more than $150 million as well as their Upper East Side apartment and their home in Southampton [ clarification needed ] as part of the settlement. [9] Silverman tried to argue that he was an innate genius and that his wife played no part in earning his $450 million fortune. [13]

Related Research Articles

The Blackstone Group American asset management company

The Blackstone Group Inc. is a multinational private equity alternative investment management and financial services firm based in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. As the largest alternative investment firm in the world, Blackstone specializes in private equity, credit, and hedge fund investment strategies.

Jackson Hewitt American tax preparation company

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. is the second-largest tax-preparation service in the United States; responsible for preparing over 2 million federal, state, and local income-tax returns each year.


Cendant Corporation was an American provider of business and consumer services, primarily within the real estate and travel industries. In 2005 and 2006, Cendant broke up and spun off or sold its constituent businesses. Although the company was based in New York City, the majority of Cendant's headquarters employees were located in Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey.

Days Inn is a hotel chain headquartered in the United States. It was founded in 1970 by Cecil B. Day, who opened the first location in Tybee Island, Georgia. The brand is now a part of the Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, which used to be a part of Cendant. As of December 31, 2018, Days Inn includes 1,728 locations worldwide with 137,678 rooms.

CUC (Comp-U-Card) International Inc. was a membership-based consumer services conglomerate with travel, shopping, auto, dining, home improvement and financial services offered to more than 60 million customers worldwide based out of Stamford, Connecticut and founded by Kirk Shelton and Walter Forbes. In 1998, it became involved in a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into what, at the time, was the biggest accounting scandal in corporate history.

Avis Car Rental American car rental company

Avis is an American car rental company headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, United States. Avis, Budget Rent a Car, Budget Truck Rental and Zipcar are all units of Avis Budget Group.

Budget Rent a Car U.S. car rental company

Budget Rent a Car System, Inc. is an American car rental company that was founded in 1958 in Los Angeles, California by Morris Mirkin. Budget's operations are headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey.

Travelodge refers to several hotel chains around the world. Current operations include: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and Asia. However, many of these are operated by independent companies who have no connection with the brand in other countries. As of December 31, 2018, it has 435 properties with 31,005 rooms.

Coldwell Banker company

Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC is an American real estate franchise owned by Realogy, with headquarters in Madison, New Jersey. It was founded in 1906 in San Francisco, and has approximately 3,000 offices in 49 countries and territories. It publishes an annual house price guide, Home Listing Report.

La Quinta Inns & Suites Midscale hotel chain run by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

La Quinta Inns & Suites is a chain of limited service hotels in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Honduras. La Quinta Holdings Inc first sold shares to the public in April 2014. La Quinta has headquarters in Irving, Texas. As of December 31, 2018, the company owns and operates 914 properties with 89,456 rooms.

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts is an international hotel and resort chain based in the United States. It has locations in China, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Turkey, Germany, the UK, the Caribbean, the UAE, Indonesia, India, Saudi Arabia and Margarita Island in Venezuela. On June 1, 2018, Wyndham Worldwide spun-off Wyndham Hotels & Resorts as its own company, and Wyndham Worldwide was renamed Wyndham Destinations. As of December 31, 2019, it has 9,280 hotels, including two that are owned by the company.

Baymont Inn & Suites American hotel chain

Baymont Inn & Suites is a hotel franchise owned by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and based in the United States. As of December 31, 2018, it has 513 properties with 40,541 rooms.

Vivendi Games was an American video game publisher and holding company based in Los Angeles. It was founded in 1996 as CUC Software, the publishing subsidiary of CUC International, after the latter acquired video game companies Davidson & Associates and Sierra On-Line. Between 1997 and 2001, the company switched parents and names multiple times before ending up organized under Vivendi Universal. In July 2008, Vivendi Games merged with Activision to create Activision Blizzard.

Realogy Holdings Corp. is an American publicly owned real estate and relocation services company. It owns and franchises several real estate brands and brokerages, and offers relocation, title and settlement services.

Avis Budget Group American rental car company

Avis Budget Group, Inc. is the American parent company of Avis Car Rental, Budget Car Rental, Budget Truck Rental, Payless Car Rental, Apex Car Rentals, Maggiore Group and Zipcar. The company's headquarters are located in Parsippany, New Jersey, United States.

NRT LLC is a residential real estate brokerage company in the United States of America. A subsidiary of the Realogy Corporation, its headquarters are located in Madison, New Jersey.

Apollo Global Management American private equity firm

Apollo Global Management, Inc., is a global alternative investment manager firm. It was founded in 1990 by Leon Black, Josh Harris, and Marc Rowan. Apollo is headquartered in New York City, with additional offices across North America, Europe and Asia. The company's stock is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol 'APO'.

Private equity in the 2000s represents one of the major growth periods in the history of private equity and venture capital. Within the broader private equity industry, two distinct sub-industries, leveraged buyouts and venture capital expanded along parallel and interrelated tracks.

Publicly traded private equity refers to an investment firm or investment vehicle, which makes investments conforming to one of the various private equity strategies, and is listed on a public stock exchange.

One Equity Partners is the private merchant banking arm of JPMorgan Chase, focused on leveraged buyout and growth capital investments in middle-market companies. Formed at Bank One in 2001, the group has offices in New York City, Chicago, Sao Paulo, Vienna, Hong Kong and Frankfurt. It manages approximately $10 billion of investments and capital commitments by JPMorgan Chase. In 2014, it was announced that J.P Morgan was to sell of half of its stake in One Equity Partners.


  1. Silbiger, Steve The Jewish Phenomenon: Seven Keys to the Enduring Wealth of a People p. 91
  2. 1 2 3 BusinessWeek: "HENRY SILVERMAN: THE REAL ARTIST OF THE DEAL? - This empire builder is riding high, but investors are jittery" By Joseph Weber June 14, 1997
  3. David Carey and John E. Morris, King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone (Crown 2010), pp. 120-21.
  4. King of Capital, pp. 112-15, 116-17.
  5. Apollo Taps Silverman to Be Operating Chief. Wall Street Journal, Feb 13, 2009
  6. Lattman, Peter (2012-03-08). "Henry Silverman Joins Guggenheim Partners - The New York Times". Dealbook.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  7. Bloomberg: "Guggenheim Hires Apollo’s Henry Silverman to Expand Investment Management" by Charles Stein March 8, 2012
  8. Reference for Business: Henry Silverman retrieved July 7, 2013
  9. 1 2 3 4 Daily Mail: "'Genius' millionaire, 71, who tried to prevent ex-wife getting her hands on his $450m fortune marries 40-year-old yoga instructor - just days after divorce" By Rachel Quigley March 16, 2012
  10. "A-Rod settles for smaller digs at 15 CPW". Therealdeal.com. 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  11. Gould, Jennifer (2010-03-24). "$20M UWS home is a real 'cash' pad". Nypost.com. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  12. Doge, Annie (2014-09-17). "Robert De Niro Moves into $125K-Per-Month Rental at 15 Central Park West". 6sqft. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  13. New York Post: "New wife for ‘genius’ Henry" March 16, 2012