David Rubenstein is the front man, but the new Orioles partnership group assembled around Rubenstein is a diverse collection of individuals who made their money — and are now investing that into a baseball team — in sports, politics and business.
There’s an Orioles legend. There’s a National Women’s Soccer League owner. There are two former mayors, three billionaires and a couple of Baltimore City College alumni. In addition, there’s the continued support of the Angelos family, including John Angelos’ new role as a senior adviser once the deal is approved by Major League Baseball and its owners.
There could be additional minority owners announced in the future. For now, this is the group that will take a controlling stake in the Orioles.
Rubenstein has long been interested in purchasing the Orioles. A source with knowledge of his pursuit said he started vocalizing that desire six years ago. He’s a Baltimore native who graduated from City College before going to Duke and the University of Chicago Law School.
Rubenstein is a co-founder and co-chairman of The Carlyle Group, which manages $382 billion from 28 offices around the world, a release said. He recently announced he will step down as the chairman of the board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, although he’ll remain in that role for another year as it looks for a new chairman.
He also holds roles with the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Gallery of Art, the Economic Club of Washington and the University of Chicago, and he’s a trustee of Johns Hopkins Medicine.
The 74-year-old Rubenstein said in a statement he has been an Orioles fan “my entire life.”
“I look forward to working with all the Orioles owners, players and staff to build upon the incredible success the team has achieved in recent seasons,” Rubenstein said. “Our collective goal will be to bring a World Series Trophy back to the City of Baltimore. To the fans I say: we do it for you and can’t do it without you. Thank you for your support.”
The richest member of the new ownership group, Michael Bloomberg has a net worth of $96.3 billion, according to Forbes. He comes into this venture after a long-tenured political and business career that included a failed run for president in 2020.
Bloomberg, who is the CEO for the news website Bloomberg, served as New York City’s mayor from 2002 to 2013. The 81-year-old has ample connections to Baltimore. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins and has been a large supporter of the university, donating more than $3.5 billion for the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and the Bloomberg Center, among other causes.
Bloomberg has a close relationship with Rubenstein, and Rubenstein has two shows on Bloomberg Television dedicated to interviews of high-profile business leaders and other noteworthy figures.
Another billionaire, Michael Arougheti is the co-founder, CEO, president and director of Ares Management Corp., which manages $341 billion in assets, according to Forbes. He graduated from Yale — the same college Orioles general manager Mike Elias attended — and is on the board of the Ares Charitable Foundation.
In addition, Arougheti helps to oversee corporate acquisitions, commercial real estate and lending and investment committees at Ares. Arougheti joined Ares in 2004 from the Royal Bank of Canada, where he was a managing partner and served as a member of the bank’s investment group.
His net worth, according to Forbes, is $1.8 billion.
Cal Ripken Jr.
A 19-time All-Star. A two-time MVP. An MLB Hall of Fame member. A hometown hero who rose to stardom with the Orioles.
Cal Ripken Jr.’s involvement in Rubenstein’s partnership group is noteworthy because it brings a legend of the sport into the decision-making process of the team with which he spent his entire 21-year career. Ripken set baseball’s Iron Man streak of 2,632 consecutive games played.
“The Orioles have been a part of my life since I was a child, and this is a special day,” Ripken said in a statement. “I look forward to this opportunity and will do whatever I can to help the organization.”
She’s building a soccer empire. Now she’s joining in on the Orioles.
Michele Kang grew in influence as the founder and CEO of a medical technology company, but she’s also the majority owner of the Washington Spirit, D.C.’s National Women’s Soccer League team, and the London City Lionesses in England. She will soon add the French women’s team Olympique Lyonnais Féminin to her repertoire.
Since taking over majority ownership of the Spirit in 2022, Kang has risen in popularity with a fan base that had been disgruntled by previous administrative decisions. Currently, she is the lone woman named as part of the partnership group.
A familiar name to Baltimoreans, Kurt Schmoke served as the city’s mayor from 1987 to 1999 after his tenure as Baltimore City state’s attorney. He was in charge when Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened in downtown. He was a classmate with Rubenstein at Baltimore City College.
Since 2014, he has been president of the University of Baltimore. Previously, Schmoke served as the dean of Howard University School of Law.
In an interview with The Banner, Schmoke said Rubenstein told him “a while back” he was looking for members in an investment group and wanted to send a “signal to the community that the Orioles were here to stay.”
The two have remained friends for nearly six decades.
“He’s a really down-to-earth guy with a dry sense of humor,” Schmoke said. “I give as much advice as I possibly can when asked.”
Schmoke said he was honored to be part of the group, though he declined to say how much he invested.
“Not at the level of Mr. Rubenstein,” he said. “I’ve spent most of my career as a public servant, so it will be modest in comparison.”
The second of two sports icons, Grant Hill is an NBA Hall of Famer who played 19 seasons at basketball’s highest level. After his playing career, Hill joined a bid led by Tony Ressler to buy the Atlanta Hawks in 2015. He is a broadcaster and owns a marketing and management company that includes real estate holdings and a personal art collection.
Hill has local roots. He grew up in Fairfax County, Virginia. His father, former NFL star Calvin Hill, was born in Baltimore. The elder Hill used to work within the Orioles front office, too, as the vice president for personnel.
Mitchell Goldstein is a partner at Ares with Arougheti and is the co-head of the Ares Credit Group. Goldstein, who graduated from Columbia’s School of Business, began at Ares in 2005. He has experience in investments and private equity.
Michael Smith is also a partner at Ares and serves as the co-head of the Ares Credit Group and co-chief executive officer of Strategic Income Fund. He joined Ares in 2004. He also serves on the board of directors of the University of Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunity, which “helps service providers apply scientific evaluation methods to better understand and share effective poverty interventions,” according to its website.