Vice Chairman and President
Jay Wintrob had a promising legal career at one of the most prestigious law firms in the nation when he decided to try his hand in the business world.
And what a move it was Wintrob, 39, is now next in line to succeed Eli Broad, chairman and CEO of SunAmerica Inc.
"Jay is the leading internal candidate to succeed me," says Broad. "It is clear to the board and senior management that he would be the choice."
Broad describes Wintrob as a person with "great drive, superb judgment and a work ethic that everyone respects."
Wintrob wasn't even considering leaving law when one of his former colleagues at O'Melveny and Myers, who had since moved to a job at Kaufman and Broad Inc., called to tell Wintrob he was moving to another company.
The ex-colleague had been assistant to Kaufman and Broad Chairman Eli Broad and he wanted to find someone to fill his shoes before he moved on.
Despite the title's ambuiguity, Wintrob jumped at the chance, figuring it wasn't often that a non-legal job would come his way.
"I enjoyed practicing law, but I thought I might be good being on the other end of the table. I was afraid if I passed it up I might not get another chance it's hard for attorneys to transition into other fields," he says.
Wintrob's initial job at Kaufman and Broad, which has since changed its name to SunAmerica Inc., was working with Eli Broad on a series of special projects, including identifying acquisition targets for the company and developing its investment portfolio.
"There was no better training than direct involvement with Eli. I thought I could learn a tremendous amount," says Wintrob.
Eight months after taking the position at SunAmerica, Wintrob was made an officer of the company. He is now vice chairman and president of SunAmerica Investments, which manages the company's $18 billion investment portfolio.
Wintrob, 39, also feels passionately about his pro bono work on another board of directors he is president of the board of Bet Tzedek Legal Services, an organization that provides free legal services to the poor.
Lisa Steen Proctor
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