Philip Evan Kamins
Age: About 60
Net Worth: $490 million
Source of Wealth: Plastics, chemicals
Residence: Beverly Hills
One of the richest people in Los Angeles started his company in a place not normally associated with great wealth: Sun Valley, an east San Fernando Valley neighborhood known for its junkyards and landfills.
PMC Inc., which Philip Evan Kamins founded as Kamco Plastics with his wife and brother in 1963, is now a 17-business conglomerate with annual sales exceeding $780 million.
Kamins is president, chief executive officer and 100-percent owner of the company, which manufactures chemicals, foams, plastics and other products.
Kamins, who was born in Chicago in 1936, began his career earlier than most when he was forced to go to work as a teenager to help support his family. At 16, he went to work for H. Muehlstein & Co., a plastics scrap dealer where he became a salesman.
He took night classes in finance at Northwestern University, but never graduated. In 1957, he moved to L.A. as part of his job with Muehlstein.
Part of PMC’s strategy has been to acquire specialty chemical and plastics firms, including poor-performing companies PMC can turn around.