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#334 Lynn Schusterman $5.44B

Random fact: Co-signed for loan starting Samson in 1971. Was limited partner.

Overview

Schusterman's late husband Charles founded Samson Investment, a Tulsa, Oklahoma energy business that she sold most of for $7.9 billion in 2011. She gave $2.3 billion to her charity and used Gulf Coast assets to form Samson Energy, which produced about 2.6 million barrels of oil and equivalents in 2017.

As of May 26, 2018:
Last change -$32.2M (-0.6%)
YTD change +$84.4M (+1.6%)
Industry Energy
Biggest asset Cash
Citizenship United States
Age 79
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Lynn Schusterman's net worth of $5.44B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Schusterman's wealth is derived from Samson Investment, an energy producer she and deceased husband Charles formed in 1971. She sold the bulk of Samson Investment to a KKR-led syndicate for $7.9 billion in 2011, according to a 2013 bond prospectus. She's credited with the fortune because she directed a large portion of company shares into her charitable foundation at the sale, indicating she had control of the business. A 2008 13D filing indicated her daughter, Stacy, was trustee of the family trusts.

At the sale of Samson to KKR, she moved $2.3 billion in Samson stock to the Charles & Lynn Schusterman Foundation, according to its tax return. Of the purchase price, $180 million in share appreciation rights were paid to non-family management and $700 million was paid by the family to retain Gulf of Mexico land and other offshore assets, according to the prospectus.

Her cash investments are valued using an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes and market performance. Prior Samson Investment Co asset sales totaling $570 million in June 2010 and January 2011 aren't included because proceeds may have been used to retire company debt.

The assets kept in the KKR sale were renamed Samson Energy Co. Its website said in February 2018 that it has a 19.13 percent working interest in the Noble Energy-operated Gunflint well, equal to 1.61 million barrels of oil equivalent annually. Samson also produced 847,073 barrels of oil and 842,003 MCF of natural gas in Wyoming in 2017, according to the state's oil and gas commission. Revenue is derived from the trailing 12 month average prices of WTI oil and Henry Hub gas futures as of Dec. 31, 2017 as tallied by Netherland, Sewell & Associates. Revenue is then compared to the enterprise value-to-sales and price-to-sales multiples of three publicly traded peers: Carrizo Oil and Gas, Whiting Petroleum and Northern Oil and Gas.

Calls and emails to Samson Energy and Schusterman's foundation for comment weren't returned.

Biography

Birthdate: 1/21/1939
Family: Widowed, 3 children
Education: University of Miami

Lynn Schusterman was born in St. Louis, to parents of German-Jewish extraction, and raised in Oklahoma City, according to the transcript of an interview she gave in 2010 to the Voice of Oklahoma oral history project. She studied at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. She met her future husband, Charles, on a blind date in Oklahoma. They moved to his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, after they were married in 1962.

Charles formed an oil company limited partnership in 1971, naming Lynn its only other partner. She came up with the name -- Samson Investment Co. -- and focused on bringing potential investors to see its oil fields. At the time, oil was selling for about $3 a barrel. They bought domestic oil production rights from New York-based energy conglomerate Amerada Hess, and when Arab embargoes sent oil prices higher a few years later, the couple's gamble proved to be a success.

Charles was diagnosed in 1983 with chronic myelogenic leukemia at age 47 and was given six months to live. He pursued a number of experimental treatments, becoming one of the first patients given the cancer drug interferon. He survived until 2000. The couple had three children, and their only daughter, Stacy, took over Samson after the death of her father and has led the family's energy businesses ever since. A son, Hal, lives in Israel. Another son, Jay, lives in Boulder, Colorado, according to the 2010 interview.

Raised in a secular Jewish household, Schusterman studied Jewish tradition and the Holocaust as an adult, she told the Voice of Oklahoma. She now dedicates her philanthropic efforts to supporting Jewish causes as well as educational initiatives in Tulsa. Before the sale of most of Samson in 2011, she moved into her charitable foundation about 30 percent of the closely held company's shares, valued at more than $2.3 billion at the time, according to the foundation's 2011 tax return. She lives in Tulsa.

Milestones
  • 1962 Lynn and Charles Schusterman marry and move to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • 1971 Co-forms Samson Investment Co. with Charles Schusterman.
  • 1981 Charles Schusterman is diagnosed with a form of leukemia.
  • 2000 Stacy Schusterman becomes CEO of Samson Investment.
  • 2000 Charles Schusterman dies of complications from leukemia.
  • 2011 Gives $2.3 billion to her charity after asset sale.
  • 2011 Sells most of Samson Investment in two transactions for $7.7 billion.
  • 2012 Samson Energy is formed with Gulf of Mexico land and offshore assets.