(Bloomberg) Three money managers in one of the country's richest towns collected the biggest jackpot in the history of the Connecticut lottery after investing $1 dollar in a Powerball ticket.
Brandon E. Lacoff, co-founder of Belpointe LLC, an $82 million wealth manager in Greenwich, Connecticut, and his colleagues Gregory Skidmore and Tim Davidson rode a black limousine into the lottery headquarters in Rocky Hill yesterday to claim a $254 million Powerball prize, according to Anne Noble, president of the lottery.
The jackpot, earned through the purchase of a single ticket at a gas station in Stamford, Connecticut, home to Steven Cohen's $14 billion dollar hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors LP, dwarfs the previous biggest prize given out in the state of $59 million, Noble said. Gamblers with an income of more than $125,000 account for 19 percent of lottery players in Connecticut, according to a 2009 study by Spectrum Gaming Group.
"I have given away money to people of all walks of life, some employed and some not," Noble said in an interview. "There is one common theme, which is that they are all always happy to get the money."
The three men choose to accept an after-tax payment of about $104 million and collect it through an entity they formed called the Putnam Avenue Family Trust, Noble said. She declined to provide details on when the trust was created.
London's Daily Mail reported today that Lacoff, Skidmore and Davidson may not have purchased the winning ticket, quoting a Greenwich real estate agent who rents office space to Lacoff. The individual who bought the ticket is a client of Belpointe who wanted to remain anonymous to avoid media scrutiny and the three men just collected the winnings on behalf of the trust, the newspaper said, citing the real estate agent.
Skidmore, Lacoff and Davidson didn't return phone calls left at Belpointe yesterday and today seeking comment. Jason Kurland, a lawyer representing the Putnam Avenue Family Trust, wrote in an e-mail yesterday that he was out of his office and unable to discuss the jackpot. Kurland didn't respond to a subsequent phone call and e-mail today.
In addition to a wealth-management arm formerly called Belray Asset Management LLC, Belpointe has advisers licensed to sell life, disability and health insurance, according to its website. The firm also does commercial and residential development, and provides legal services through another firm owned by Lacoff.
Belpointe is registered as an investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Belpointe's most recent filing with the regulator said high net-worth individuals make up more than half of the firm's clients and that it manages $82 million.
Lacoff, a former Ernst & Young LLP employee, co-founded the predecessor to Belpointe in 1999 and his initials form the first part of the company name, according to its website. Belpointe is best known for its development of Beacon Hill of Greenwich, a luxury town home development in downtown Greenwich, according to the company.