Before becoming the president of the United States, Donald Trump was one of the most well-known real estate moguls in the world. Thanks to years of making lucrative deals, he has amassed a net worth estimated to be $3.5 billion. The Trump Organization LLC acts as the primary holding company for Trump's array of companies and is his primary source of wealth.
Before his inauguration in January 2017, it was announced that Trump would step down as Chairman of the Trump Organization and have his sons run the company. Specifically, Donald Trump Jr. was to manage the newly created trust, while Eric Trump would serve as trust adviser.
CNBC and other media outlets later reported that the president would still receive quarterly financial results for the organizations. Further, a clause in the trust holding the president's assets stipulated that he is eligible to receive "net income or principal" upon request, pending the approval of the trustees who hold control of the account. This financial situation has become a source of controversy and has raised questions regarding potential conflicts of interest.
An estimate of Donald Trump's net worth.
The following breakdown is of the businesses and brands under the Trump Organization umbrella, based on his 2017 financial disclosure form. As President Trump has not released his tax returns to the public, many aspects of his finances remain unclear to those outside of the Trump Organization.
Golf Courses With the Trump Name
Before his recent political career, Donald Trump was perhaps best known for his real estate ventures throughout New York City. Nonetheless, it appears that Trump owes more of his current income to another portion of his empire instead—golf courses. According to his 2017 financial disclosure, Trump earned more than US$246 million in income related to his golf courses for the year 2017.
Over the years, The Trump Organization has built up an impressive array of golf courses and related properties, with locations around the world. In addition to golf-related properties in New Jersey, New York, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, and California, Trump also owns courses in Ireland and Scotland. As of May 2018, this portfolio consists of 17 properties that include prestigious courses designed by some of the top names in the sport.
For instance, the Trump Turnberry in Scotland—formerly called Turnberry Golf Club—is one of the most historic courses in the world and has hosted top PGA, LPGA, and Senior PGA Tour events. However, contentious comments made by President Trump prompted executives at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews to reconsider endorsing Turnberry as a venue for the 2020 Open. That said, the Trump Organization is currently building two new courses in Dubai, adding to the organization's international presence.
Trump's Real Estate Investments
Donald Trump is well-known in the real estate world and has sold some of the most expensive properties in the U.S. The Trump Organization real estate portfolio includes properties in Virginia, Illinois, Florida, New Jersey, Nevada, California, New York, and Hawaii, among other locations.
New York makes up the bulk of this portfolio with ownership of some of the most expensive and tallest properties in the state. Some of his most iconic New York City properties include the Trump Palace on 69th Street, Trump Plaza on 61st Street, and Trump Parc on Central Park South, all in Manhattan. Likely the most notable of Trump's Manhattan properties, however, is Trump Tower. The Fifth Avenue skyscraper is home to Trump's business headquarters and includes a penthouse apartment that served as his primary residence up until his inauguration. Trump Tower also includes commercial tenants, including the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (IDCBY), Gucci (GUC), the Trump Corporation, and numerous other organizations and companies from around the world.
Trump's international properties can be found in Canada, Turkey, Panama, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, and India, among other locations. Like his U.S. properties, many of the international locations are residential towers of condominiums or commercial ventures, including hotels.
Notably, Trump does not own many of the buildings carrying his name. Developers wishing to capitalize on the Trump brand have paid the Trump Organization for the right to market their properties as such. For this reason, a substantial portion of Trump's income from real estate has come from licensing agreements and similar partnerships, rather than through ownership of properties. Nonetheless, the Trump Organization earns millions each year through the rental and sale of various real estate holdings, too.
The Trump Hotel Chain
The Trump Organization owns hotel properties and also licenses the Trump name to properties around the world. You can find Trump Hotels™ in Illinois, Nevada, Florida, New York, and Hawaii. International properties are in Ireland, Panama, and Canada, and under construction in many other regions.
One of the principal pieces to the hotel and real estate portfolios is the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago. This building has been a AAA Five Diamond-rated property since 2001. The Trump International Hotel & Tower Waikiki Beach Walk was one of the first ultra-luxury properties in the state of Hawaii and contained 462 guestrooms.
The hotel portfolio continues to be a significant growth opportunity for The Trump Organization. As recently as 2016, new hotels bearing the Trump name opened in Vancouver, Canada, and Washington, D.C. This last hotel, one of the latest additions to the Trump Organization holdings, is located in the old post office building, only a few blocks from the White House and also on Pennsylvania Avenue. Trump's lease on the building requires him to pay $3 million for 60 years to the General Services Administration (GSA) of the federal government.
By contrast, the most recent financial disclosure form indicates that the Trump Organization earned more than $40 million in revenue from this hotel in 2017 alone. However, the D.C. hotel has been a source of contention since Trump's inauguration. Because the president has the power to appoint the head of the GSA, critics have argued that the D.C. hotel presents a conflict of interest for Trump.
The Trump Organization owns a stake in Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. The company—known as Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts until 2004—is now owned by Icahn Enterprises L.P (IEP). The initial public offering (IPO) of this company was instrumental in Trump's comeback in the mid-1990s.
When Trump Hotels and Casino was launched, it was comprised of Trump's three casinos, the Trump Plaza, Trump’s Castle, and Trump Taj Mahal, as well as a riverboat emporium. The shares of this company soared throughout the 90s, and in 1996, the company had a market cap above $1 billion. This enormous market cap made Trump’s 41% stake worth around $400 million. However, even in the 90s, the company struggled with debt.
Harrah’s at Trump Plaza closed in 2014. The last of the Trump Entertainment properties, the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, was built in 1990 for $1.2 billion sold in March 2017 for just $50 million—the equivalent of 4 cents per dollar that it cost to construct. Trump Entertainment Resorts has seen its fair share of problems with debt and financing, entering bankruptcy in 1991, 2004, 2009, and 2014.
Trump's Successful Businesses
Trump Success Eau de Toilette spray is a male fragrance sold by Macy's Inc. (M). The brand was launched in March 2012, and the scent contains scented blends of juniper, red currant, coriander, frozen ginger, and other identifiable fragrances. The Success fragrance line is a collaborative effort between Five Star Fragrance Company and the Trump Organization, the parent company of Success.
Businesses You May Not Know
Many of Trump's businesses have flown under the radar. Indeed, Trump has full or partial ownership of approximately 500 companies in the United States alone. Many of these companies focus their efforts on developing Trump's real estate ventures abroad, although they are headquartered in the U.S. Some of Trump's lesser-known companies include:
Sentient Jets, LLC
Also known as Trump Jets, Sentient® Jet works with an elite group of independent private jet operators to offer private flights to its clients. The business model works through a private jet card, where customers purchase private jet travel time in hourly increments. The company offers the services of private jets to high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) without requiring them to own their planes outright. Instead, they can make travel accommodations through the company's client management team. The company states it offers hourly rates that are as much as 30% below average.
Trump Productions, LLC
Trump Productions is the American television production company founded by Trump in 2004. It operates as the entertainment business entity of the larger Trump Organization. While people may be familiar with the televised shows it produces, including The Apprentice, Pageant Place, The Celebrity Apprentice, and The Ultimate Merger, they may be unfamiliar with the fact that Trump owns the production company itself.
Wollman Rink Operations, LLC
Through an operating agreement with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, Trump maintains an ownership stake in the popular Central Park ice skating rink, Wollman Rink. In 2017, ice skating revenues for the Trump Organization topped $9 million.
Trump’s Failed Businesses
Some businesses fail while others succeed, and Donald Trump, like many other businesspeople, has tasted the flavor of both.
Trump Model Management
Trump Model Management is a modeling agency founded by Trump. The company is a natural extension of Trump's interest in beauty pageants, with his production company formerly producing Miss USA pageants and Pageant Place. In April 2016, however, news that Trump Models would shut down surfaced after an email from the company's president leaked. Trump himself held an 85% stake in the business before its dissolution in 2017.
The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative
The now-defunct Trump Entrepreneur Initiative was once known as Trump University LLC. The for-profit education company offered courses in real estate, asset management, entrepreneurship, and overall wealth creation. The company was not an accredited school and did not offer high school or college credits. It was one of Trump’s least popular enterprises and was embroiled in an ongoing scandal. Some of the issues raised came back into popular discourse during Trump's campaign for president and followed him into his presidency.
The company faced a lawsuit in August 2013 regarding illegal business practices. The attorney general of New York filed a $40 million civil suit that alleged the corporation made false promises to its students. As reported by CNN Politics, a New York judge found Donald Trump personally responsible for the allegations. In late March 2017, a judge approved a $25 million settlement.
Trump Ice Natural Spring Water
Trump Ice is a bottled water brand owned by Donald Trump. The winner of The Apprentice season two, Kelly Perdew, served as executive vice president of the organization. The company's website has been taken down, and the product can no longer be found in national grocery chains or stores but is available on eBay and other such sites. The company was used as a gimmick in season one of The Apprentice when contestants marketed and sold the product.
Launched in 2007, Trump Steaks was a line of beef products sold exclusively by The Sharper Image and QVC. Due to poor sales, the products were removed from distribution after just two months.
Trump’s Controversial Comments
In his successful campaign for the presidency, Trump made contentious comments about immigrants in America, angering many, including several companies with whom he had business relationships.
The controversy surrounding Trump has harmed the media assets of The Trump Organization the most. The company owned—or partially owned—The Apprentice and the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA pageants. Univision, a subsidiary of Grupo Televisa, decided against airing pageants on its channels due to Trump's comments regarding immigrants. NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast (CMSCA), ended its business relationship with Trump and will discontinue using Trump on Celebrity Apprentice. Trump eventually sold the rights to the pageant shows to WME/IMG in 2015.
The home and clothing companies of The Trump Organization have also taken a hit due to Trump’s brash comments. The Donald J. Trump Signature Collection, which includes dress shirts and ties, was pulled by Macy’s stores. However, you can still find the clothes on Amazon. Moreover, The Donald Trump Home iSeries brand mattress, which was used by Serta, was pulled from the mattress brand's stores.
However, the comments have not had the same impact internationally. Currently, the Trump organization has hundreds of pending trademark applications in dozens of different countries. According to The New York Times, the pace of approvals has picked up since Trump was elected president in November 2016.