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Feeling the pain - The Virginia 100 Intro

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Print this page by Paula C. Squires

Even the rich are feeling the sting, because some of them don’t have as much money, either.

What began as a subprime mortgage crisis morphed into a credit crunch and then a global recession not seen since the Great Depression. The result: Huge chucks of net worth disappeared as major stock indexes gave up more than 30 percent of their value. 

“The economic downturn has not left me unaffected,” says the Rev. Pat Robertson, the multimillionaire chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia Beach.  “The falloff in the stock market, plus the dramatic downturn in oil and natural resources, have cut my potential worth down to somewhere in the $70 to $75 million dollar range.”

That’s a plunge of a $100 million since last year. Losses are typical in this year’s Virginia 100, our annual list of some of the state’s wealthiest residents. In fact, 71 percent of the people with net worths carrying high confidence rankings (A or B, see page 23) saw their fortunes decline. The cutoff point for this year’s list was $27 million, down $15 million from last year.

Executives at some of Virginia’s Fortune 500s suffered major hits. Michael Fraizer, CEO at Genworth Financial Inc., fell off the list after the value of his stock holdings evaporated from $42 million to less than $3 million over the past year. At one point, Genworth’s stock fell to as low as 70 cents a share. While the stock had bounced back to more than $4 a share at press time, all of Fraizer’s stock options are under water. 

Also coming off are Sunrise Senior living founders Paul and Teresa Klaassen.  The value of their company stock took a nose dive — from $119 million to $3.5 million — due to devaluations before the struggling company renegotiated debt agreements to save Sunrise from bankruptcy.

General Dynamics CEO Nicholas Chabraja stayed on the 2009 list, but he, too, experienced a wild ride. Since last June, his estimated wealth from company holdings plummeted by nearly 70 percent — from $297 million to $90 million.

“I don’t think anybody’s not affected,” says Mark Sauer, executive vice president of sales at C.F. Sauer Co. in Richmond. “The depth of this recession … has struck every strata in the United States from the wealthiest people to folks on the bottom of the ladder.”

William Goodwin, head of Richmond-based CCA Industries, has seen a drop in business at his company’s resorts as wealthy people cut back. “They eat out less and eat at less expensive places,” he says.  “They fly tourist or drive sometimes when they would have normally flown.”

Plus, Goodwin isn’t seeing as many fancy fund-raisers.  Instead, he and his friends are talking with their churches and ministers to get a pulse on which nonprofits are responding to people hurt by the recession, including the unemployed.

With many Americans getting pink slips, those with newfound wealth — say from the sale of a company — are reluctant to flaunt it. Throw in the populist streak of President Barack Obama’s administration, and it’s easy to understand why there are no new faces on this year’s list.

The Virginia 100 list includes more than 100 people. Some fortunes are shared by several family units. We strive each year to have 100 separate households on our list.  During this extraordinary year, we came up short when no one replaced those who fell off. Several people were approached, but the ultra-wealthy are keeping quiet. 

According to our research, the people and companies who are faring the best didn’t have much exposure to stock and real estate investments or they are involved with essential, bread-and-butter businesses. Sauer, whose company makes consumer staples, considers his good fortune: “If you’re sitting down making up a budget, you probably wouldn’t say ‘we’re going to cut out mayonnaise …’” 
With the economy seeing some positive signs, the worst may be over.  Even so, wealthy Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) sees a silver lining.  “We can’t live beyond our means. A country can’t live on deficits as far as the eye can see, companies can’t over-leverage themselves … and individual families can’t think that slapping another mortgage on their house to try to get some immediate cash flow is the way to long-term financial security.” 

Editor’s note: Richmond-based freelance writer Richard Foster contributed to the reporting of this story.

   

Name/family

Net worth
         (in millions)

Mars   family**

$27,000

Winnie   Johnson-Marquart

1,900

Frank   Batten Sr.

1,700

Randal   J. Kirk

1,500

William   E. Conway Jr.

1,400

Daniel   D’Aniello

1,400

Sheila   C. Johnson

1,300

Smith/Kogod   family**

1,000

Frank   Batten Jr.

950

Stephen   M. Case

900

Rodney   P. Hunt

800

Silver   family**

750

Richard   Fairbank

644

George   J. Pedersen

597

Ted   Leonsis

425

P.  Wesley Foster Jr.

400+

C.  Daniel Clemente

400

Robins   family**

350+

Gottwald   family**

309

Estes   family**

300+*

McGlothlin   family**

300+

Bert   and Diana Firestone

300

Russell   W. Ramsey

300

Sauer   family**

300

Betty   Knight Scripps

300

Robert   Rosenthal

270

Nicewonder   family**

250+

Joseph   E. Robert Jr

220

Nigel   W. Morris

220

Mark   Warner

200

Harry   H. Hunt III

184*

Dan   Hoffler

150

Noland   family**

150

Richard   L. Sharp

150

Ukrop   family**

150

Weinstein   family**

150

Roger   Mody

135

Daniel F. Akerson

$130

David C. Karlgaard

130

James B. Murray Jr.

125

Betty and Farmer Meadows

119

George Buchanan Jr.

111

Nicholas and EugeniaTaubman

110

Paul Saville

109

William H. Jr. and Alice Goodwin

100+

Jimmy Dean

100

Alan Lingerfelt

100

Milton Peterson

100

Michael Saylor

96

Nicholas D. Chabraja

90

John W. Snow

90

David R. Goode

85

John M. Jacquemin

80

Massey family**

80*

Arundel family**

75*

Byrd family**

75

Alexander and Margaret McMurtrie

75

M.G. “Pat” Robertson

75

Patricia Kluge

70+

John G. Ballenger

70

Thomas E. Capps

70

Steve and Kim Johnson

70

Jonnie R. Williams

70

Ronald Bradley

67

Steven Markel

67

Willam F. Brandt Jr.

61

W. Austin Ligon

60

Macon F. Brock Jr.

55

Anthony F. Markel

50

William Inman

48

Joseph W. Luter III

42

William K. Brehm

30

Michael Szymanczyk

27


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