Who Is John W Henry: Ownership of European Super League - Biography, Personal Life
|Photo: The Independent|
John William Henry II (born September 13, 1949) is an American businessman and investor and the founder of John W. Henry & Company, an investment management firm. He is the principal owner of Liverpool Football Club, the Boston Red Sox, The Boston Globe, and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing. In March 2006, Boston Magazine estimated Henry's net worth at $1.1 billion but noted that his company had recently experienced difficulties.
In November 2012, the company announced that it would stop managing clients' money by the end of the year, and Henry confirmed that total assets under the firm's management had fallen from $2.5 billion in 2006 to less than $100 million as of late 2012. As of July 2017, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $2.6 billion.
John W Henry: Biography
|Photo: Getty Images|
John William Henry II was born on September 13, 1949 in Quincy, Illinois. His parents were soybean farmers, and he split his time growing up between Illinois and Arkansas. His asthmatic condition at the age of 15 prompted his family to move to Apple Valley, California. After his graduation from Victor Valley High School in Victorville, he attended Victor Valley College, then the University of California (at Riverside, Irvine, and Los Angeles), where he majored in philosophy but did not graduate — partly the result of performing on the road in two bands, Elysian Fields and Hillary.
Henry started trading corn and soybean futures to learn the basics of hedging the price risk of holding an inventory of these commodities, whether in storage or out in the field. In 1976, a commodities broker at Reynolds Securities asked him to advise other farmers, but he declined. After spending a summer in Norway with his first wife, Mai, Henry developed a mechanical trend following method for managing a futures trading account. He tested his trend-reversal method—which was never out of the market but always held a position (either long or short) in every one of the markets in the account's "basket" of commodities—"using his own money" (in the words of his marketing literature of 1983). When that test proved successful, he founded John W. Henry & Company in 1981, opened a small office across the street from the airport in Irvine, California, and began marketing his management to the largest commodity brokerage firms in America. That proved so successful by 1983 that he moved to considerably larger quarters at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. In 1989, Henry moved to Westport, Connecticut. Two years later, Henry established a second office in Boca Raton.
John W Henry: Career
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JOHN W. HENRY & COMPANY, INC.
JWH was established in 1981 and began taking retail clients in 1982.
The firm's management methods make mechanical, non-discretionary trading decisions in response to systematic determinations of reversals in each market's direction, with the explicit intention of precluding not only human emotion, but also any subjective evaluation of factors outside of price behavior (such as the so-called fundamentals), to trigger each decision to be long or short each market, or not. On November 9, 2012, John W. Henry & Co., the financial trading firm owned by the Red Sox owner, informed clients it would stop managing their assets on December 31, 2012.
John W. Henry grew up a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, especially their star Stan Musial. After acquiring his fortune, his first foray into professional sports was in purchasing a Minor League Baseball team, the Tucson Toros of the Pacific Coast League, in 1989. He was also one of the founders of the Senior Professional Baseball Association, a winter league in Florida composed of retired major league players. Henry co-owned the winning team in the 1989–90 season, the West Palm Beach Tropics, managed by former Boston Red Sox "Impossible Dream" (1967) manager, Dick Williams. Henry sold his interest in 1990, and the league went out of business the following year. In 1990, Henry negotiated to purchase the Orlando Magic NBA team, for a short time was the lead general for an expansion team which became the Colorado Rockies, and headed a group attempting to land an NHL expansion bid in Florida, which would eventually be given to Phil and Tony Esposito, who created the Tampa Bay Lightning. Subsequently, Henry negotiated to buy the Miami Heat and later the New Jersey Nets.
Boston Red Sox
Following his sale of the Marlins, Henry led a purchase of the Boston Red Sox with partners Tom Werner and the New York Times Company from the Yawkey Trust headed by John Harrington. Henry, as principal owner and Werner, as chairman, assembled a front office team headed up by Larry Lucchino with the express goal of "breaking the Curse of the Bambino." He also hired baseball sabermetrics pioneer Bill James, whose work became widely known following the publication of Moneyball in 2003. Henry accomplished his championship goal in the 2004 World Series, against his former childhood favorite Cardinals, and beat the Cardinals again in 2013. The team also won the 2007 World Series against a franchise with which Henry had pre-expansion involvement, the Rockies, and the 2018 World Series against the Dodgers. Henry is also responsible for saving Fenway Park from the wrecking ball. The previous Red Sox owners had planned on building a new Fenway Park next door, but Henry chose to keep and renovate (including new seats over the Green Monster) the current Fenway Park, which celebrated its centennial in 2012.
Henry was in the news in August 2017, when he said the team would lead a campaign to change the name of Yawkey Way, where Fenway Park is located. The Red Sox had been the last team in Major League Baseball to integrate, and Henry said, "I am still haunted by what went on here a long time before we arrived." The change was approved by the City of Boston in April 2018, and the name reverted to Jersey Street in May 2018.
Henry also enjoys playing baseball simulations, including Out of the Park Baseball.
FENWAY SPORTS GROUP
|Photo: Liverpool Football Club|
Henry and Werner established New England Sports Ventures in 2001. The company owns the Boston Red Sox, 80% of the New England Sports Network (which also carries the NHL's Boston Bruins), Fenway Park, Fenway Sports Management (a sports marketing and management firm), various real estate properties surrounding Fenway Park, and as of 2010, Liverpool Football Club.
In 2009, the company made its first foray into European sports with an unsuccessful bid for the French Ligue 1 club Olympique de Marseille.
In 2010, New England Sports Ventures changed its name to Fenway Sports Group.
Liverpool Football Club
In October 2010 the Fenway Sports Group took over Liverpool F.C. The UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations may have been a factor in the decision. The previous owners, Tom Hicks and George N. Gillett, Jr., had become extremely unpopular among Liverpool fans for their failure to deliver on the promise of a new stadium or on the promise that no debt would be placed onto the club, as well as disrespectful treatment of its manager and front office and for their allegedly misleading statements about planned and past investment in players. Having lost around £154 million on the pressured sale of their debt-ridden club, Hicks and Gillett announced that they would sue co-owners and creditors for at least $1.6 billion for the "extraordinary swindle" they suffered. In January 2013, Hicks and Gillett had lost a Court of Appeal case and agreed to drop the suit.
On October 8, 2015, Henry appointed Jürgen Klopp as the new manager of Liverpool F.C. The move was praised by Liverpool supporters and seen as a show of Henry's ambition for the club. Klopp led Liverpool to two finals during the 2015-16 season. In 2018 Liverpool reached the Champions League final for the first time in 11 years. In 2019 Liverpool reached the Champions League Final for the second consecutive year and won it, beating fellow English club Tottenham Hotspur, 2–0.
In 2007, Henry's Fenway Sports Group bought a 50% stake in Jack Roush's Roush Fenway Racing stock car racing team. Driver Matt Kenseth won the Auto Club 500 at the California Speedway in February 2007 marking Henry's first win as an owner. In February 2009 the team won their first Daytona 500 with Matt Kenseth. Henry is currently listed as the owner of the #17 Ford driven by NASCAR Cup Series driver Chris Buescher.
IRACING.COM MOTORSPORT SIMULATIONS
In September 2004 Henry and David Kaemmer founded iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations for developing a racing simulation service aimed at both real-world racers and racing simulator enthusiasts. The service was launched in August 2008.
In the predawn hours of August 3, 2013, both The Boston Globe and The New York Times carried stories on their web sites reporting that Henry had agreed to purchase the former along with the Telegram & Gazette newspaper of Worcester, Massachusetts and related New England media properties for $70 million in cash from The New York Times Company, which had paid $1.1 billion for The Globe in 1993. The Globe's story described Henry as "a personally shy businessman with a history of bold bets." The Times story quoted Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy as confirming the sale deal.
In 2014, Henry sold the Worcester Telegram & Gazette to Halifax Media Group, which had previously purchased 16 former New York Times Company newspapers in 2011.
AWARDS AND HONORS
Four-time World Series champion (as principal owner of the Boston Red Sox)
2012 EFL Cup champion (as principal owner of Liverpool F.C.)
2019 UEFA Champions League winner (as principal owner of Liverpool F.C.)
2019 UEFA Super Cup winner (as principal owner of Liverpool F.C.)
2019 FIFA Club World Cup winner (as principal owner of Liverpool F.C.)
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