Guggenheim Partners is a global investment and advisory financial services firm that engages in investment banking, capital markets services, investment management, investment advisory, and insurance services. The firm is headquartered in New York City and Chicago with 2,500 staff located in 20 cities throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. It has more than $240 billion of assets under management. The firm's CEO is Mark Walter. It has eight Managing Partners who are key executives, and with a Senior Leadership Team of 17 other executives, oversee the Firm's businesses. It was founded by Peter Lawson-Johnston II, Solomon R. Guggenheim's great-grandson.
Guggenheim Partners provides services across insurance services, investment banking, capital markets, strategic direction, investment management, merchant banking, and asset management. Guggenheim Investment Advisors oversees about $50 billion in assets.
In June 2009, Guggenheim hired former Bear Stearns CEO Alan Schwartz as Executive Chairman to "focus on transforming Guggenheim's existing broker-dealer, which is focused on sales and trading of fixed income securities, into a full-service investment banking enterprise".
In September 2009, Guggenheim hired former Goldman Sachs partner Peter Comisar as Vice Chairman and Head of West Coast Investment Banking. The West Coast Advisory team is also headed by Managing Directors from Bear Stearns, Moelis & Co and Credit Suisse. The West Coast team focuses on Consumer Retail and Digital E-Commerce advisory while the NY office houses the remaining industry verticals and product groups with the except of oil & gas, which is based out of Houston.
In October 2009, Guggenheim hired former J.P. Morgan head of Media Investment Banking Mark Van Lith as Senior Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking.
In March 2012, Guggenheim hired former Apollo Global Management director and vice chairman Henry Silverman as vice chairman of asset management.
In January 2013, Guggenheim named former Yahoo! interim CEO Ross Levinsohn as CEO of private equity unit Guggenheim Digital Media.
In May & June 2013, the firm also hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s co-head of U.S. leveraged finance capital markets Tom Stein, former Barclays head of retail investment banking and vice chairman Andrew Taussig, as well as managing directors Spencer Hart, Matthew Pilla, Ken Harada and Ryan Mash.
In September 2013, Guggenheim Securities was named a financial adviser to Verizon in connection with its $130 billion acquisition of Vodafone's 45% stake in Verizon Wireless.
Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, the investment arm of Guggenheim Partners, was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with failure to disclose a $50 million loan made in 2010 to a senior executive from a client. The firm paid $20 million in 2015 to settle the charges. The government agency also found that Guggenheim's compliance program did not prevent violations of federal securities laws. According to the SEC, the firm's employees did not report dozens of trips on clients' private airplanes and had overbilled a client $6.5 million in fees, taking nearly two years to reimburse them.
On December 17, 2015, it was reported that in response to losses across Guggenheim Partners, the company would spin out its media properties into a new holding company owned by an investment group led by Guggenheim president Todd Boehly, consisting of Mediabistro, Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, and Dick Clark Productions.
In May 2009, Guggenheim Partners acquired a controlling interest in financial services firm Transparent Value LLC. In July 2009, it acquired Claymore Group, a firm known for its Exchange-traded funds "Guggenheim ETFs". and unit investment trusts "Guggenheim UITs". . In December 2009, Guggenheim acquired a division of Wellmark and renamed it Guggenheim Life & Annuity. In February 2010, Guggenheim Partners acquired Security Benefit Corp, parent company of Rydex Funds. In October 2011, it acquired the life insurance company EquiTrust from FBL Financial Group. In 2012, Guggenheim affiliates acquired the US annuities business of Canadian insurers Industrial Alliance and Sun Life Financial.
In March 2012, Guggenheim Baseball Management acquired the Los Angeles Dodgers team for $2.15 billion in cash. The consortium consisted of Guggenheim controlling partner Mark Walter, former Los Angeles Laker Magic Johnson and partners Peter Guber, Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly. The acquisition includes the surrounding land and parking lot of Dodger Stadium. Mark Walter said of the acquisition: "It's a lot of money, but if we do our jobs right...the long-term point of view is that people will see that the value was there."
That September, Guggenheim bought a stake in the entertainment production company Dick Clark Productions, which produces specials such as the American Music Awards and the Golden Globe Awards and other television programming.
In January 2013, the company bought out the remainder of the business-to-business media company Prometheus Global Media and acquired CardCash in November of the same year. In February 2014, Guggenheim Partners acquired the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA.
In February 2013, Fortune magazine, which is owned by Time Warner, did an investigation into the Guggenheim Partners. They noted that when Magic Johnson bought the Los Angeles Dodgers he was joined by a team which turned out to be the Guggenheim Partners and it was "the main force in the deal, and the eye-popping Dodgers acquisition has been only one of a handful drawing ever more attention to the firm". The article continued that "the New York- and Chicago-based operation has been turning up everywhere in Los Angeles. In September, a Guggenheim group spent a reported $370 million for Dick Clark Productions, the company that produces the Golden Globes telecast and So You Think You Can Dance. A few years before, Guggenheim teamed up with other investors to buy seven trade publications, including the Hollywood Reporter". Despite this, the partners according to the magazine "avoided the cataclysm of the financial crisis", pouncing when "disaster struck". Later in the article they said that since the Guggenheim Partners managed so many billions in assets that they were almost like a private equity firm. Also, they noted that the group is very secretive in its dealings and likes to work behind the scenes with its members consisting of former employees of Bear Stearns, Yahoo and Apollo Global Management. At the end of the article they noted that the partners might buy a sports TV channel owned by Time Warner and if not that, it is "on the hunt for deals".