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Wednesday, Sep 27, 2023


Gary Winnick

Pacific Capital Group

Age: 49

Specialty: Financier

Recent Deal: Purchased Playa Vista mortgage debt

What developer Robert Maguire started, financier Gary Winnick wants to finish.

Winnick pulled together the investment team that purchased the mortgage debt on the troubled Playa Vista development, where Maguire had fallen into default on his loan.

Under Winnick’s guidance, two real estate investment funds, managed by affiliates of Morgan Stanley & Co. and Goldman Sachs & Co., acquired an 83 percent stake in the Playa Vista mortgage. The remaining 17 percent is held by an unnamed investment fund.

Winnick’s clear intention is to take control of the project, perhaps by foreclosing on Maguire’s debt. But he’s not saying what his next step will be.

“I can’t get into any of that,” he said, but added: “There’s a 98 percent chance (the development) will happen.”

Winnick was one of the original group that set up the Drexel Burnham Lambert banking shop in 1979. Later, as a major shareholder and director of Guber-Peters Entertainment, Winnick initiated and negotiated that company’s acquisition by Sony Corp.

He said development of Playa Vista, where DreamWorks SKG plans to build its studio campus, will be a “showcase for the city.”

But it’s far from the only thing on Winnick’s mind these days. He is currently a principal investor in a 10,000-mile under-sea cable system that will link the United States and Europe. The fiberoptics telecommunications link, which will run three miles under the Atlantic Ocean, is being built by AT & T.;

His successes, Winnick says, are a result of keeping a “balance and a passion” for everything he does in life, including family life.

“I have a wonderful family,” says the father of three.

Hildy Medina

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