Thomas S. Ricketts

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Thomas S. Ricketts (born May 23, 1963) is the Chairman of the Chicago Cubs, [1] and the Chairman, co-founder and former CEO of Incapital LL, [2] a firm that provides securities firms and individual investors more efficient access to corporate bonds. [3] Together with his sister Laura and brothers Pete and Todd, the Ricketts siblings serve as the board of directors for the Cubs. [1] He is the son of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation founder J. Joseph Ricketts. [4] [5] Joe Ricketts has a net worth of US$2.3 billion as of 2018 according to Forbes. [6]

Chicago Cubs Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Chicago, Illinois, United States

The Chicago Cubs are an American professional baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. The team plays its home games at Wrigley Field, located on the city's North Side. The Cubs are one of two major league teams in Chicago; the other, the Chicago White Sox, is a member of the American League (AL) Central division. The Cubs, first known as the White Stockings, were a founding member of the NL in 1876, becoming the Chicago Cubs in 1903.

TD Ameritrade American online broker

TD Ameritrade is a broker that offers an electronic trading platform for the trade of financial assets including common stocks, preferred stocks, futures contracts, exchange-traded funds, options, cryptocurrency, mutual funds, and fixed income investments. It also provides margin lending, and cash management services.


In January 2009, a Ricketts family bid led by Tom emerged as the winning bidder for the Chicago Cubs. [7] The bid was estimated to total around $900 million for the team and related assets. [8] The sale was approved unanimously by the owners of the other 29 Major League Baseball teams that October, [7] Ricketts was introduced as the chairman of the Cubs on October 31, 2009. [9] Tom and his three siblings - Peter, Laura, and Todd - and both of his parents share ownership of the team through their family trust. [7]

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization, and the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901 respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.


Ricketts is the son of Marlene Margaret (Volkmer) and J. Joseph Ricketts, who founded Ameritrade when Tom was eight years old. Ricketts Senior let it be known that he wanted his children to establish themselves through their own hard work and would not be allowed to join TD Ameritrade until they reached the age of 30. [10]

Ricketts is one of four children. His brother J. Peter Ricketts, who lives in Omaha, is the 40th and current Governor of Nebraska [11] and was the unsuccessful Republican nominee for the 2006 U.S. Senate race in Nebraska. [12] His younger sister, Laura Ricketts, is a former corporate lawyer and a board member of the Housing Opportunities for Women organization. His brother, Todd Ricketts is a board member of T.D. Ameritrade, an entrepreneur and finance chair of the Republican National Committee. [13] Tom Ricketts and his wife Cecelia and their five children all live in Wilmette, Illinois.

Governor of Nebraska head of state and of government of the U.S. state of Nebraska

The Governor of Nebraska holds the "supreme executive power" of the U.S. state of Nebraska as provided by the fourth article of the Nebraska Constitution. The current office holder is Pete Ricketts, a Republican, who was sworn in on January 8, 2015. The current Lieutenant Governor is Mike Foley, who also assumed office on January 8, 2015.

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

Laura Ricketts Board Member-Chicago Cubs, LGBT Legal Advocate

Laura M. Ricketts is co-owner of the Chicago Cubs. Her brother, Tom, is the point person among the ownership group. Ricketts is also a board member of Lambda Legal and the Housing Opportunities for Women organization. Ricketts' ownership stake in the Cubs is noteworthy because it makes her the first openly gay owner of a major-league sports franchise.

University of Chicago

In 1983, Ricketts moved to Chicago in order to attend the University of Chicago. Just out of high school, he moved in with his younger brother Peter, also a student at the University of Chicago. [14] Ricketts received a bachelor's degree from the university in 1988 and returned to receive his Master of Business Administration in 1993. Ricketts was awarded the 'Distinguished Young Alumni' award from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, recognizing graduates that achieve extraordinary career success and outstanding leadership. [15] Ricketts has given generous donations to the University of Chicago and established the 'New Year Scholarship Fund,' which awards an incoming student a full undergraduate scholarship. [16] Named after his joy of celebrating the Chinese New Year, the scholarship not only funds promising students but also allows for those students to meet with Ricketts and the other members of the endowment. [17]

University of Chicago Private research university in Chicago, Illinois, United States

The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, the school is located on a 217-acre campus in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, near Lake Michigan. The University of Chicago holds top-ten positions in various national and international rankings.

A bachelor's degree or baccalaureate is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study lasting three to seven years. In some institutions and educational systems, some bachelor's degrees can only be taken as graduate or postgraduate degrees after a first degree has been completed. In countries with qualifications frameworks, bachelor's degrees are normally one of the major levels in the framework, although some qualifications titled bachelor's degrees may be at other levels and some qualifications with non-bachelor's titles may be classified as bachelor's degrees.

The Master of Business Administration degree originated in the United States in the early 20th century when the country industrialized and companies sought scientific approaches to management. The core courses in an MBA program cover various areas of business such as accounting, applied statistics, business communication, business ethics, business law, finance, managerial economics, management, entrepreneurship, marketing and operations in a manner most relevant to management analysis and strategy.

Chicago Cubs

Ricketts during the victory parade following the Cubs 2016 World Series victory Cubs World Series Victory Parade (30142887113) (Tom Ricketts).jpg
Ricketts during the victory parade following the Cubs 2016 World Series victory

In April 2007, Sam Zell announced his intention to acquire the Chicago-based Tribune Company. After acquiring the Tribune, Zell announced that he would sell the Cubs and related entities including Wrigley Field and a 25% share of SportsNet Chicago. [14] [18] Under bankruptcy protection, the sale of the Cubs and the 25% interest in SportsNet Chicago would raise needed funds for the ailing Tribune company. In a campaign led by Ricketts, the family was selected for the winning bid on January 22, 2009. [19] Forbes estimated that the ownership stake in the Chicago Cubs represents $642 million out of the total $900 million bid made by Ricketts. [18]

Samuel Zell is an American billionaire businessman, the founder and chairman of Equity International, a private investment firm focused on building real estate-related businesses in emerging markets that he founded in 1969. He also maintains substantial interests in, and is the chairman of, several public companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange: Equity Residential (EQR), Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), Equity Commonwealth (EQC), Covanta Holding Corp. (CVA), and Anixter.

<i>Forbes</i> American business magazine

Forbes is an American business magazine. Published bi-weekly, it features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. Forbes also reports on related subjects such as technology, communications, science, politics, and law. Its headquarters is located in Jersey City, New Jersey. Primary competitors in the national business magazine category include Fortune and Bloomberg Businessweek. The magazine is well known for its lists and rankings, including of the richest Americans, of the world's top companies, and The World's Billionaires. The motto of Forbes magazine is "The Capitalist Tool". Its chair and editor-in-chief is Steve Forbes, and its CEO is Mike Federle. In 2014, it was sold to a Hong Kong-based investment group, Integrated Whale Media Investments.

Tom Ricketts has said that his love for the Chicago Cubs started during the 1984 season when he was 18 years old and moved to Chicago to attend university. Later, Tom and his brother Pete lived in an apartment over the "Sports Corner" at Addison and Sheffield, across the street from Wrigley Field. He met his wife Cecelia in the Wrigley bleachers and simply states that "my family and I are Cubs fans". [14] The bid was reviewed by Major League Baseball and other stake holders. Although several close friends told the press about Ricketts's deep love for the Cubs, the Ricketts family decided not to court media attention until the bid was accepted by all parties. [14]

On July 6, 2009, the Chicago Tribune reported that Tom Ricketts and family had reached an agreement with the Tribune Company to purchase the Cubs, Wrigley Field, and 25% of Comcast SportsNet Chicago for close to $900 million, as was originally reported. The contract was sent to commissioner Bud Selig for approval. [20] Final approval came by a unanimous vote of the other MLB owners in an October 6, 2009 conference call. [21] On October 27, 2009, the Ricketts family, with Thomas S. Ricketts as board chairman, officially took over 95% ownership of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, and 25% ownership of Comcast SportsNet Chicago. The Tribune opted to retain a 5% ownership stake in the team. [22]

Real Estate Development Around Wrigley Field

Since acquiring the Chicago Cubs in Oct. 2009, the Ricketts family placed a priority on renovating Wrigley Field as part of their plan to put a championship-caliber team on the field. In 2014, the nearly $1 billion renovation project of Wrigley Field and the collateral land finally broke ground after winning city approval. [23]

Besides preserving Wrigley Field as promised, the objective was to also leverage the Wrigley investment to create something special for the city and the neighborhood – a public space adjacent to the stadium that would function as a town square, offering year-round attractions for neighbors, families, fans and visitors. [24]

On Opening Day of the 2017 season, with Cubs fans celebrating its first in a century role as the defending world champions of baseball, the Ricketts family delivered The Park at Wrigley. Chairman Tom Ricketts, President of business operations Crane Kenney, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, numerous elected officials, neighbors and community leaders cut the ribbon at the Park at Wrigley. To meet the team's goal of being a good neighbor, the area outside Wrigley Field had to transform into a year-round, family-friendly destination that generated economic, social and tax benefits for the area. [25]

On March 30, the Ricketts family opened their first hotel, located on Clark Street just across from the front entrance of Wrigley Field. The 173-room Hotel Zachary is the first full-scale hotel to open within a half mile of the ballpark. [26]

"By the end of the 2018 off-season and next, our initial plan [will be] complete," said Ricketts, whose family bought the team from Tribune Company in 2009. "That doesn't mean we're done, because it's a 100-year- old ballpark. There will be something else we have to fix after that. But it will be great to have the major construction done a year from now. We'll get the upper-deck renovation done after the 2018 season, and that will really help the ballpark a lot." [27]

Business history

Ricketts is the Chairman, co-founder and former CEO of Incapital LLC. [5] Ricketts spent one summer early in life working at TD Ameritrade, giving customers stock quotes over the phone. This was his only work experience with the company before being invited to join as a director later in life. [28]

Mesirow Financial and ABN AMRO

When Ricketts finished undergraduate studies (1988), he joined the Chicago Board Options Exchange as a market maker. Ricketts held this position until 1994, shortly after finishing his MBA. From 1995 to 1996, he served as vice president with Mesirow Financial until moving to ABN AMRO as vice president in their brokerage division. [5] Ricketts is credited with pioneering the idea of using the Internet and other technologies to help companies sell their investment-grade bonds directly to retail investors, as opposed to limiting sales only to institutions. [28] [29] He helped launch the first successful version of this system while at ABN AMRO. In 1999 he left ABN AMRO to found Incapital. [5]

Incapital LLC

Thomas Ricketts co-founded Chicago-based Incapital LLC in 1999. [5] The securities and investment banking firm has since expanded with two additional offices in Boca Raton, Florida and London, England. [30] Currently, Ricketts serves as Incapital Chairman. [31] Forbes describes the company as a "technologically-oriented investment bank focused exclusively on the underwriting and distribution of fixed income products to individual investors. Incapital underwrites for several major U.S. corporations through its InterNotesSM product platform." [5]

Awards and honors

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Joe Ricketts American businessman

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