Prince family money: $100 million?
Anyone who knows me knows I have a morbid fascination with Erik Prince and Blackwater. Prince and I are from the same hometown, Holland, Michigan. His father, Edgar Prince, made his fortune in auto parts and when he died, young Erik used that money to found Blackwater, the private security firm now known as XE that got in trouble over killing civilians in Iraq. Edgar Prince did a lot of good for Holland, but also was instrumental in funding the rise of the Christian fundamentalist right at the national level.
I always wondered how much money the Prince family had after Edgar died in 1995. Prince Corp. was sold to Johnson Controls in 1996. Thanks to some unexpected Google serendipity, we now have a snapshot from 10 years ago or so: $100 million. I know that because the New York Times reported tonight that Erik Prince was in talks to sell Blackwater/XE to a group of investors that included one Jason DeYonker, who “managed the Prince family’s money from 1998 to 2002.”
I was curious whether the Dutch name DeYonker meant that he was also from Holland, Michigan. So I did a Google search and came up with a page from Forte Management, a private wealth management firm in New York City and Los Angeles where Jason DeYonker was a partner. The firm boasted on its web page that Jason DeYonker, “co-managed a +$100 million family office” before joining Forte Management. So no later than 2002, the Prince family had a fortune of at least $100 million. And that was just before the start of the Iraq War and the huge contracts Blackwater received to provide security for State Department personnel.