19) Roy E. Disney (down arrow)
Residence: Los Angeles
Source of Wealth: Inheritance, investments
Net Worth: $930 million
Last Year's Rank: 14
Background: Worked for Uncle Walt at the Disney Studio for 24 years as film editor, writer and producer. Became a board member in 1967, but quit after a fight with management in 1977 and went on to found Shamrock Holdings Inc. He eventually teamed up with the Bass family of Texas to take over Disney and return as vice chairman in 1984. Pushed for the company to focus on animation, resulting in "The Lion King" and "The Little Mermaid." Also supported the hiring of Michael Eisner. Says that "Mickey Mouse really is Walt in a lot of ways. Mickey had all those nice impulses Walt had, the kind of gut-level nice guy he was."
Money Track: Based on the current value of Disney common, his stake is worth about $530 million. Took a hit last year on his bonus, which fell 41 percent to $410,000 after earnings declined. Sold 1.2 million shares of Disney stock about one-sixth of his stake in the company for more than $100 million for estate planning. At Shamrock, investments include Manhattan Beach Studios a complex of 14 sound stages that will be completed this summer along with computer software systems, real estate and investments outside the United States. Also serves as chairman of Trefoil Investors Inc., the general partner of Trefoil Capital Investors, a $250 million investment partnership.
Buzz: Shamrock is in the process of forming a European investment fund with several Swiss partners. Will open a small office in Australia. "We like that Australia/New Zealand area, the entire region is coming out of a recession and there is not nearly as much competition there," says Clifford Miller, Shamrock's managing director. What would Roy Disney's uncle think of today's Walt Disney Co.? "The bottom line would certainly please him," Roy says. The studio is now finishing up "Fantasia 2000," which will make its debut on Imax, and will soon be releasing "Tarzan" and "Toy Story 2."
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.