Serial entrepreneur David Adelman runs his family office like a VC firm with 60-plus deals

The Philly billionaire’s net worth is $1.6 billion by Insider’s estimate.
For the past 22 years, he’s been CEO of Campus Apartments. The bulk of his wealth comes from FS Investments.
We talked to longtime colleagues to find out what makes the “aggressive entrepreneur” tick.

In winter, billionaire David Adelman was faced with a choice. The real-estate veteran and serial investor felt that two of his smaller bets, American Harvest vodka and Beach Whiskey, weren’t growing fast enough.

Adelman doubled down. He decided he could fix them and bought full control of both to form Darco Spirits in February, with the goal of having four to five labels. He installed a staff of eight with a new CEO who had 30 years of distribution experience.

The liquor brand is housed under his family office, Darco Capital, which Adelman runs like a venture-capital firm. He has made more than 60 investments in the past eight years.

For the past 22 years, he’s been the CEO of Campus Apartments, which houses students at more than 50 colleges and universities. The bulk of his wealth comes from FS Investments, a private-equity firm he cofounded, which has $25 billion in assets.

He compares stock picking to dart throwing and prefers to bet on himself.

“You have to be right about the company and you have to be right about the overall market. You could be right about the company, and the stock market doesn’t cooperate for some reason,” he said. “I’d rather control my destiny a little bit.”

Subscribers can keep reading about his strategy here:

David Adelman quietly built a $1.6 billion fortune on campus housing and private equity. Now he’s making aggressive VC-style bets on private jets, vodka, and more.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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