1) Gary Winnick (Up arrow)
Residence: West L.A.
Source of Wealth: Investments, telecommunications
Net Worth: $6.2 billion
Last Year’s Rank: 18
Background: L.A.’s richest resident first tasted big-time deal making as top lieutenant of Michael Milken at Drexel Burnham Lambert. Described by Milken as one of the hardest-working people he ever met. Moved into office across the street from Drexel in 1985 to form his own investment firm, Pacific Asset Group, now known as Pacific Capital Group. Met with moderate success in ventures ranging from retail furniture chains to real estate development. Two years ago picked up undersea cable-laying operation from AT & T.;
Money Track: Made initial fortune working in Milken’s high-yield trading operation at Drexel. But it was Global Crossing that propelled him to the position as the richest Angeleno. In 1997 he put $15 million of his own money into the embryonic telecommunications project. Today that stake is worth more than $6 billion. Pacific Capital also has a 27 percent stake in the Playa Vista development near Marina del Rey.
Buzz: Says sudden emergence as richest Los Angeles resident hasn’t changed his ways. Celebrated recent $11.2 billion deal to acquire Frontier Communications at a New York hot dog stand. Plays basketball four times a week. Sometimes jogs on treadmill while conducting management meetings. In between board meetings he likes to drop by local art galleries. Married 26 years. Couldn’t make it to a 1998 reception for President Clinton at Jeffrey Katzenberg’s house, so he sent his 20-year-old son. Family foundation makes philanthropic contributions to the Special Olympics, the L.A. Music Center, the Holocaust Museum and the Simon Weisenthal Center for Humanitarian Studies. (see story, page 26)