Recently, especially in India, the news buzz created by Twitter’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) was only as high as about a mystery man named Suhail Rizvi. Suhail is the co-founder and current Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of the Rizvi Traverse Management LLC –a private equity company that has invested heavily in social media initiatives like Twitter and Facebook among others. This investment that Suhail made years ago has now begin to reap rewards. Here I am presenting a few known facts about this elusive guy.
Rizvi prefers to keep himself away from limelight and therefore very little is known about him. The rumor is that he employs a full-time worker whose sole task is to keep removing information about Suhail from Internet. But I am sure, after Twitter IPO, this chap must be facing hard time as Suhail Rizvi is all over the Internet. And why he shouldn’t be!
Suhail Rizvi was born in India. When he was just five years old, his family moved to the USA in 1971. Upon arriving in the USA, the family settled in Iowa Falls. Rizvi’s father became a teacher of psychology in Ellsworth Community College. Suhail Rizvi and his brother Ashraf also studied in the same school.
Rizvi graduated from the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania. As he was studying for his MBA degree, he also worked as a real state analyst.
After his MBA, Rizvi bought a telecom company but sold it again without keeping it for long. The profit he made in this deal went into buying a telephone company in Puerto Rico. Rizvi transformed this company as its turnover shot from merely $10 million to $450 million.
Suhail Rizvi’s real big stride in the world of business began when he bought International Creative Management (ICM) in 2005. ICM managed creative people like Hollywood actors, television personalities, authors and publishers. He sold ICM for a handsome profit.
Rizvi also helped Hugh Hefner, the founder of adult entertainment magazine Playboy, to take private Playboy. Playboy became a public company in 1971 but in 2011, Hugh Hefner decided to buy it back lock, stock and barrel.
Rizvi also bought another entertainment company named Summit Entertainment. Purchase and subsequent sale of his company gave a profit of $400 million to Rizvi. He invested this amount into Twitter. Slowly, he went on to acquire as much as 15.6% stake in Twitter, the world’s largest microblogging platform. And when Twitter issued an IPO –he earned billions.
Suhail Rizvi tops the list of people who gained the most from Twitter’s IPO. His company made a whopping 3.8 billion dollars from this IPO. The second spot was taken by the founder of Twitter Evan Williams ($2.6 bn) and JP Morgan came at the third place as they rake in $2.2 bn.
After Twitter IPO, the New York Times published a report in which the newspaper described Suhail Rizvi as “strategic power broker who prefers to operate behind the scenes”
This report further said, “In Silicon Valley, and even at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, prominent investors and executives said they had not heard his name until it popped up in public disclosures by the company last month.
This guy who made the most from Twitter keeps his own Twitter profile private! His profile is said to have a peacock’s photograph as profile picture.