President-elect Donald Trump likes to put his name on things.
The Trump brand has appeared on everything from steaks to vodka, hotels, golf courses, residential buildings, his ill-fated university, casinos, and a whole lot more. But, just because a product or building carries the Trump brand does not mean that the soon-to-be-leader-of-the-free-world actually owns it.
In fact, much of Trump’s fortune comes not from properties he owns, but from licensing his name. That’s a lucrative business where he gets paid even if the product/building/golf course, or whatever else his name might be attached to fails.
Licensing actually makes up the biggest single source of revenue for the president elect’s company. Trump has always been a bit elusive in showing people what he’s actually worth but in 2014 he claimed “real estate licensing deal, brand and branded developments” were worth more than $3.3 billion, of the $8.7 billion in total net worth he stated he had at the time — though many people dispute those numbers.
What we do know is that Trump makes money through licensing his name as well as through owning a variety of things. These are some of the higher profile Trump holdings:
Trump converted his Mar-a-Lago home into a membership-based country club. Image source: MaralgoClub.com.
Trump has owned Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, FL since 1985 converting it from a private residence to a country club in 1995. He still spends holidays and weekends at the property and many expect him to use it as his vacation home while serving as president.
New York real estate
While many of the properties Trump built in New York have since been sold and retain his name as a licensing deal, the president elect does own a number of properties outright or with partners, according to WNYC.org. These include a 30% stake in 1290 Avenue of the Americas, full ownership of 40 Wall St., as well as properties at 4 and 8 East 57th Street and coops at 167 East 61 St. and 325 East 43rd St.
In addition, NPR reported that Trump also owns the Trump Tower building at 725 Fifth Ave. That’s the building where he has been conducting much of his transition work and the property which he considers his New York home.
While Trump has sold the Miss Universe pageant he still owns Trump Models, a New York-based modeling agency, according to the company’s website where it describes itself as follows:
Trump Models is the brainstorm and vision of owner, Donald Trump. As one of the leading agencies in New York, Trump Models has been at the forefront of cultivating a wide range of innovative and vibrant talent which personify the trends of the fashion industry. Trump Models has achieved status recognition with the top magazines, designers, photographers and clients from around the world.
The agency may be the future president’s most unique holding at least when it comes to the office he is about to take over. Trump is certainly not the only U.S. president to own real estate or businesses, but he is almost certainly the only one to ever own a modeling agency.
The Trump brand
Trump’s biggest singular asset is his name. The president-elect may have damaged that with some of the public due to the presidential campaign, but an exhaustive examination of his licensing deals by The Real Deal in 2013 found that his brand was worth $4 billion — more than Trump would claim a year later, but less than he claims now
These deals include some of the aforementioned products as well as many of the hotel/condominium projects bearing his name. These include the Trump Soho, various other properties in New York, The Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City, the upcoming Trump International Hotel in Vancouver, Trump International Golf Club, Dubai, and numerous other properties.
What about other well-known Trump ventures?
While he originally owned at least some of the now-shuttered New Jersey casinos bearing his name, that has not been the case for years. Those properties, which included the recently closed Trump Taj Mahal, paid the billionaire a fee to use his name.
Trump may have been fired from NBC as host of The Apprentice but he retains a stake in the success of the program (which will return with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the host). The president-elect was given a 50% stake in the show when he first signed on, according to an excerpt from the book Trump Revealed. It’s possible that the numbers may have changed but, Trump almost certainly still makes money from his piece of The Apprentice both for new episodes in the U.S. as well as licensing deals for the format overseas.
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