Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted in News World | 0 comments

Paul Parmar’s Tiger Rescue

Perhaps Paul Parmar would like to invest in Big Cat Rescue to enable it to end the tiger trade?
Letter to Paul Parmar of Colts Neck, NJ and Mineola, TX

Dear Paul,

The forces of good always overcome evil. There are no coincidences. That is why I know that reading about you online should result in this letter and why I know this letter will find its way to you. It is The Secret at work and I trust that you will take a moment to consider a powerful position that calls to you in saving the tiger from extinction.

What this world needs is a hero and your screen test for the job has been in the way that you gone after goals that ordinary people think to be impossible. Self made millionaire by the age of 30? A cure for cancer? Saving the tiger from extinction? Who can do that?

Only someone who believes they can; and that person is you.

Your business sense and “lightning bolt” energy and focus is crucial to saving the tiger, both in the wild and from the charlatans who breed them for lives of deprivation and confinement in captivity. Most of the abuse that we deal with is from breeders and pseudo sanctuaries who breed tigers and say they are contributing to conservation or education. In most cases they are supporting themselves from the sale of photo ops and petting ops with the cubs. The cubs have to be replaced every few months and we believe that many of the adults end up being slaughtered for their parts here in the U.S. as the U.S. is the second largest consumer of these illegal tiger products.

Big Cat Rescue is an accredited sanctuary and is a permanent retirement home to 137 tigers, lions, leopards, etc. including 16 species of exotic wildcats. Education is a big part of our mission and our tag line is, “an educational sanctuary” but we do not breed, buy or exploit the cats in order to educate the public. We are also unique in that we are the leading voice against the trade in exotic cats with 2.5 million web visitors each year who send tens of thousands of letters to lawmakers in the U.S. and abroad asking for better protection for wild animals in captivity and in the wild.

We are a member of such effective coalitions as the International Tiger Coalition and the Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition. Each of these coalitions have 30 or so member organizations such as The Humane Society of the United States, The International Fund for Animal Welfare, Born Free, World Wildlife Fund, etc. The ITC has been successful in garnering the support of the World Bank in their new policy to “do no harm” to tiger habitats. Because of Harrison Ford’s support of the ITC and his appearance at the most recent meeting of the ITC and World Bank, you may have seen some of our progress and challenges in the media. We are working hard to close down the tiger farms in China and to end the abusive practices in the U.S., with regards to captive tigers, by working with CITES, USDA, US Fish & Wildlife Service, lawmakers and the public.

A mind like yours should be involved in the strategic work of these coalitions. While I cannot speak for coaltion partners, I can speak for Big Cat Rescue and we would be honored to have you on board. There are a number of ways that I think you could realize your dream of saving the tiger. Science has proven that tiger populations bounce back as soon as conditions are suitable. Fortunately they breed well in the wild and are successful in raising their young as long as they have a steady prey base and are safe from poachers or other human conflict.

Those aren’t easy conditions to create, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

India, as I am sure you know, does not want to lose the tiger as have her neighbors in China and Malaysia. With the pressure of the World Bank to demand that new development take the plight of the tiger into account, there is a real opportunity for concerted effort to protect this iconic species. The tiger was recently voted the world’s favorite animal in a world wide Animal Planet poll. If we lose the planet’s favorite animal, what chance do any of us have for survival?

That is why the world needs a hero. That is why the tiger needs you.

Big Cat Rescue owns 45 acres just 10 minutes NW of Tampa International Airport. We are zoned specifically to be a sanctuary for big cats and our neighbors love us. Unlike Mineola and Wood County you would not be up against existing bans and public concerns. We have had more than 500 positive news stories done on us because we are on the side of good and are overcoming evil. You will find our supporters to be some of the most enthusiastic animal lovers on the planet and they do come from all over the world just to see how the world’s largest accredited sanctuary for big cats does its good work. You can see more than 250 videos on our website that will show you why animal lovers love us and animal abusers hate us. You can tell as much about a person by who their enemies are as by who their friends are…maybe more.

If you watch Discovery and Animal Planet, you will see us in a number of different shows. We have participated in three documentaries that are well under way on the plight of big cats in captivity, each from a different angle. All are in the post production phases and a couple of companies are approaching us about doing a series. Your clever distribution plan in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is just the sort of thinking that is needed to gain the broadest audience. In all that we do for the cats we are constantly faced with the question of how to get the information in front of the most people, without exploiting the cats.

Serendipitously, there are two tracts of 10 acres and 20 acres on our West side for sale. Because they are the only large tracts left for sale in the area, they are more than we can afford. There are 10 acres on our North side that are all that stand between us and one of the largest malls in the area. It is being developed by our friend who has already gotten approvals to build a hotel and some office buildings. He is now looking for the best deal in a hotel chain and funding to start construction.

Our own zoning allows us to build 64,000 square feet of space that can be used for a museum, restaurant, larger gift shop, larger on site cat hospital, event center and office space. We also have approvals for more intern housing. We have interns who come here from all around the globe to learn about the plight of the big cats and what they can do to save them. The larger cat hospital will enable us to have a full time vet so that we can give veterinary students the oversight and training they need. The museum will be the first of its kind and devoted to the history of exploitation of big cats and as an educational facility for what needs to be done to protect the cats in captivity and in the wild.

Everything is in place and is moving forward. To the tiger you could be the person called for in Rihanna’s “Rescue Me” lyrics:

“This time please someone come and rescue me (someone rescue me)
‘Cause you on my mind, it’s got me losing it
I’m lost, you got me lookin’ for the rest of me
Love is testing me but still I’m losing it
This time please someone come and rescue me”

It also seems more than just coincidental that Pegasus is the word for spring or well because “where the winged horse struck his hoof to the earth, an inspiring spring burst forth.” Our 45 acres was dry land prior to the early 1980′s. A tenant, unbeknowst to me, was digging dirt out and selling it. He hit a spring and now 18 acres of our land is a beautiful spring fed lake. Visitors always comment that they cannot believe there is such pristine beauty right in the middle of town. Big Cat Rescue is a magical place and it is calling to you.

Contact me if you wish to pursue this further.


For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org
SaveTheBigCats@gmail.com

Tiger sanctuary has residents growling

By DAVID CASSTEVENS

MINEOLA – A shampoo and set costs $8 at Racheal’s Style Shop.

Or, for a free hair curl, picture a hungry tiger padding along the main street in this small East Texas town.

Tigers are a buzzword in Mineola.

Big cats are the talk at downtown businesses like Kitchen’s, the landmark hardware store and deli.

Striped felines are the subject of reader letters published in the weekly Mineola Monitor.

Alarm bells began sounding several months ago after a New Jersey multimillionaire recently featured in The New York Times purchased 140 acres outside town and revealed plans to create a habitat for tigers on his land, which adjoins property owned by several residents and is near two housing subdivisions.

The neighbors’ greatest fear?

“Tigers eating my grandkids and great-grandkids,” Frank Trent, 73, said.

Retiree Diane Pitkin moved to this area five years ago to enjoy nature’s beauty and the tranquility of rural life.

“We can’t outrun a tiger,” Pitkin said, voicing safety concerns for herself, her husband and their herd of 60 goats.

Another neighbor, Gary Bright, is worried, too.

“What if a tiger escapes? They do, even at zoos,” Bright said. “What would be the cost?”

‘Not neighborly’ Paul Parmar of Colts Neck, N.J., now owns a parcel of picturesque land less than one mile east of the city limits.

The 37-year-old global entrepreneur and head of a private equity fund reportedly paid $1.3 million for the property off Farm Road 1801.

After Trent learned of Parmar’s plans to put tigers near him, he fired off a descriptive letter to the local newspaper. “Think eight-hundred pound pit bull with PMS,” he wrote. “If you see one [tiger] on your property and shoot him, he will most likely kill you anyway as they are practically bullet proof.”

Trent said he and more than 300 others signed petitions opposing the big-cat compound. They were delivered to the county judge and sheriff.

“The Bible states that, ‘We should do our neighbor no harm as he lives by him for his safety,’ ” one petition read. “It is not neighborly to purchase land in an existing inhabited neighborhood for the purpose of raising dangerous animals without so much as discussing it with all those likely to be adversely affected by the act.”

Trent said God and the law are on his side. According to a 2001 county order, a person may not own, keep or have custody over nondomestic animals such as big cats, gorillas, or bears unless the animals lived in Wood County before Jan. 1, 2002.

‘Very safe habitat’ Tigers are not a rarity in Texas. The state has 1,341, according to the American Tiger Registry.

“Texas has more tigers now than India,” said Brian Werner, co-founder of the Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge, a Tyler-area sanctuary for abused, neglected and unwanted tigers and other big cats.

More than 20 tigers are housed at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary near Boyd, 35 miles north of Fort Worth.

Bill Rathburn, a former Dallas police chief and a friend of Parmar, has kept big cats on his land outside Mineola for many years.

He said no one has complained about his five pet tigers, which are housed in large wire cages covering 20,000 square feet.

Raja, a 14-year-old Siberian tiger, is the oldest and largest. The others are Shahzada, Rani, Kumar and Berani.

“They’re monstrous,” City Council member E.F. “Bo” Whitus said. He spread his arms wide in a gesture of measurement. “I can’t describe how big they are.”

County Judge Bryan Jeanes said the law is clear — no more big cats in the county.

“The county intends to enforce the order,” Jeanes said. “Mr. Parmar has not contacted us or yet made any application.”

Parmar, who was born in India, said he still hopes to one day build a 35-acre tiger habitat on his property. He described the estimated $24 million project as a “high-class version” of the Tiger Creek refuge.

“My idea is to create a very safe habitat for maybe five to seven tigers,” Parmar said. “I may put a bed and breakfast there where people can stay and see the tigers. They are magnificent animals. Very few people see them up close. The entire focus is on safety and human education. I would have a professional company run it.”

‘A big business’ Parmar laughed at how wild gossip has put some people on edge.

“This has nothing to do with me being some crazy guy with 200 pet tigers running around behind a barbed-wire fence.”

Parmer said it will be at least one year before he completes design plans and presents his concept to the county for consideration.

“This can be a big business. It could bring business to Mineola,” Parmar said. “We’re not planning to do anything illegal.”

Rathburn, who supports the venture, said: “Whatever Paul does he will do first-class. It’ll be a showplace, I’m sure.”

Others feel Wood County already has five tigers too many.

“We’ve got a real nice zoo in Tyler,” said Jim Nicholson, whose property adjoins Parmar’s spread. “They’ve got tigers. Even a white one. I’ll buy him [Parmar] a membership and buy Rathburn one, too. They can see all the tigers they want.”

DAVID CASSTEVENS, 817-390-7436

http://www.star-telegram.com/804/story/612858.html

In recent months, Parmar, who lives in Colts Neck, New Jersey, said he bought 140 acres in Mineola, Texas, and is spending $20 million to begin building a refuge there for abused tigers. Since January, he said he added to his car collection with a $110,000 BMW 750 Li (for his girlfriend) and a Bentley Arnage for himself, for about $300,000. He is leasing a Maybach through Luxautica, an “ultimate car club” that has annual fees of about $125,000.

“On a spending level,” Parmar said, speaking about a possible recession, “it doesn’t affect me at all.” That said, providers of luxury goods reported anecdotal evidence of a widening gap between the merely rich and the ultrarich. Clifford Greenhouse, who owns a household-staff employment company, said he suspects that the merely rich might be starting to lag behind their far richer counterparts, and are trimming their budgets. He cited reduced demand for chauffeurs — a relatively small-ticket service — yet ever-strong demand for private chefs, butlers and “household managers.”

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/04/14/america/14partying.php?page=2

‘High-class’ tiger haven has neighbors in a dither

Related

Click for more photos

Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Photo: Bill Rathburn, a former Dallas police chief, hugs Shahzada, one of five tigers kept on his land near Mineola, Texas. He supports a new tiger venture planned by his friend Paul Parmar, but others in and around the rural East Texas town fear for their safety.

More on this site


Already on edge over another big-cat compound near their town, residents fear wealthy man’s plan will bring mayhem

David Casstevens | McClatchy Newspapers

5/6/2008

MINEOLA, Texas — A shampoo and set costs $8 at Racheal’s Style Shop.

Or, for a free hair curl, picture a hungry tiger padding along the main street in this small East Texas town.

Tigers are a buzzword in Mineola.

Big cats are the talk at downtown businesses like Kitchen’s, the landmark hardware store and deli.

Striped felines are the subject of reader letters published in the weekly Mineola Monitor.

Alarm bells began sounding several months ago after a New Jersey multimillionaire recently featured in The New York Times purchased 140 acres outside town and revealed plans to create a habitat for tigers on his land, which adjoins property owned by several residents and is near two housing subdivisions.

The neighbors’ greatest fear?

“Tigers eating my grandkids and great-grandkids,” Frank Trent, 73, said.

Retiree Diane Pitkin moved to this area five years ago to enjoy nature’s beauty and the tranquility of rural life. “We can’t outrun a tiger,” Pitkin said, voicing safety concerns for herself, her husband and their herd of 60 goats.

Another neighbor, Gary Bright, is worried, too. “What if a tiger escapes? They do, even at zoos,” Bright said. “What would be the cost?”

Paul Parmar of Colts Neck, N.J., now owns a parcel of picturesque land less than one mile east of the city limits. The 37-year-old global entrepreneur and head of a private equity fund reportedly paid $1.3 million for the property.

After Trent learned of Parmar’s plans to put tigers near him, he fired off a descriptive letter to the local newspaper. “Think eight-hundred pound pit bull with PMS,” he wrote. “If you see one (tiger) on your property and shoot him, he will most likely kill you anyway as they are practically bullet proof.”

Trent said he and more than 300 others signed petitions opposing the big-cat compound. They were delivered to the county judge and sheriff.

“The Bible states that ‘we should do our neighbor no harm as he lives by him for his safety,’ ” one petition read. “It is not neighborly to purchase land in an existing inhabited neighborhood for the purpose of raising dangerous animals without so much as discussing it with all those likely to be adversely affected by the act.”

Trent said God and the law are on his side. According to a 2001 county order, a person may not own, keep or have custody over nondomestic animals such as big cats, gorillas or bears unless the animals lived in Wood County before Jan. 1, 2002.

Tigers are not a rarity in Texas. The state has 1,341, according to the American Tiger Registry.

“Texas has more tigers now than India,” said Brian Werner, co-founder of the Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary for abused, neglected and unwanted tigers and other big cats.

More than 20 tigers are housed at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary near Boyd, Texas, 35 miles north of Fort Worth.

Bill Rathburn, a former Dallas police chief and a friend of Parmar’s, has kept big cats on his land outside Mineola for many years. He said no one has complained about his five pet tigers, which are housed in large wire cages covering 20,000 square feet.

Raja, a 14-year-old Siberian tiger, is the oldest and largest. The others are Shahzada, Rani, Kumar and Berani.

“They’re monstrous,” City Council member E.F. “Bo” Whitus said. He spread his arms wide in a gesture of measurement. “I can’t describe how big they are.”

County Judge Bryan Jeanes said the law is clear — no more big cats in the county.

“The county intends to enforce the order,” Jeanes said. “Mr. Parmar has not contacted us or yet made any application.”

Parmar, who was born in India, said he still hopes to one day build a 35-acre tiger habitat on his property. He described the estimated $24 million project as a “high-class version” of the Tiger Creek refuge.

“My idea is to create a very safe habitat for maybe five to seven tigers,” Parmar said. “I may put a bed and breakfast there where people can stay and see the tigers. They are magnificent animals. Very few people see them up close. The entire focus is on safety and human education. I would have a professional company run it.”

Parmar laughed at how wild gossip has put some people on edge. “This has nothing to do with me being some crazy guy with 200 pet tigers running around behind a barbed-wire fence.”

Parmar said it will be at least one year before he completes design plans and presents his concept to the county for consideration.

“This can be a big business. It could bring business to Mineola,” Parmar said. “We’re not planning to do anything illegal.”

Rathburn, who supports the venture, said: “Whatever Paul does, he will do first-class. It’ll be a showplace, I’m sure.”

Others feel Wood County already has five tigers too many. “We’ve got a real nice zoo in Tyler,” said Jim Nicholson, whose property adjoins Parmar’s spread. “They’ve got tigers. Even a white one. I’ll buy him (Parmar) a membership and buy Rathburn one, too. They can see all the tigers they want.”

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/National%20News/-High-class–tiger-haven-has-neighbors-in-a-dither

There are also some people who say they have not been hurt because they have poured so much money into opportunities not available to the Main Street investor. Paul Parmar, a 37-year-old investor in companies specializing in health care, defense, media, luxury items and private aviation, says he is living just as large as ever.
Skip to next paragraph
Multimedia

In recent months, Mr. Parmar, who lives in Colts Neck, N.J., said he bought 140 acres in Mineola, Tex., and is spending $20 million to begin building a refuge there for abused tigers. Since January, he said he added to his car collection with a $110,000 BMW 750 Li (for his girlfriend) and a Bentley Arnage for himself, for about $300,000. He is leasing a Maybach through Luxautica, an “ultimate car club” that has annual fees of about $125,000.

“On a spending level,” Mr. Parmar said, speaking about a possible recession, “it doesn’t affect me at all.” That said, providers of luxury goods reported anecdotal evidence of a widening gap between the merely rich and the ultrarich. Clifford Greenhouse, who owns a household-staff employment company, said he suspects that the merely rich might be starting to lag behind their far richer counterparts, and are trimming their budgets. He cited reduced demand for chauffeurs — a relatively small-ticket service — yet ever-strong demand for private chefs, butlers and “household managers.”

Darren Sukenik, a real estate broker with Prudential Douglas Elliman, said that while business may be slower for clients with a mere million to spend on apartments, none of his clients with budgets of more than $2.5 million have stopped shopping. Seth Semilof, the publisher of Haute Living, a luxury magazine, said that luxury car dealerships that advertise with him are pushing Bentleys and Rolls-Royces at the expense of less-extravagant cars like the BMW 5 Series.

“If you look at the $20 million-plus market, it’s still strong as ever,” Mr. Semilof said. Some of the ultrarich are still willing to pay above sticker price for things they want badly enough. Mr. Semilof helped three buyers in the past two months acquire Rolls-Royce Phantom convertibles for as much as $200,000 above the asking price of $465,000.

And Eric Lepeingle, a yacht salesman for the Rodriguez Group, said that since January, three New Yorkers bought yachts worth $8 million to $35 million. Although the weak dollar does give some pause to buyers considering Italian-built yachts, Mr. Lepeingle said, they eventually give in. “They want the product anyway,” he said.

All sorts of products, actually.

“They want their Jeroboam, or Methuselah, or Nebuchadnezzar,” said Ronnie Madra, referring to the sizes of Champagne bottles served at 1OAK, a lounge on West 17th Street where he is a part-owner. A Nebuchadnezzar, weighing in at 15 liters, costs up to $35,000.

There would be no Nebuchadnezzar for Mr. Tachman and his friends in Miami, but they soldiered on until the moment the wheels of their private jet returned to the tarmac in New York.

There were hand-rolled cigars, massages, guided rides in racing boats and fighter jets — all arranged by In The Know Experiences, a travel and concierge service in Manhattan.

“It was just all out — it was insane,” said Mr. Tachman. “I’m not afraid to spend money like that.” Sources: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/14/nyregion/14partying.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2&hp&oref=slogin

Even Bear Stearns chairman rides it out: a $25 million condo

Not everyone is feeling the pinch of the declining economy.

A New York Times piece Monday tells the tale of Paul Parmar, a 37-year-old investor in health care, defense, luxury and media companies.

“In recent months, Mr. Parmar, who lives in Colts Neck, N.J., said he bought 140 acres in Mineola, Tex., and is spending $20 million to begin building a refuge there for abused tigers,” the Times notes. “Since January, he said he added to his car collection with a $110,000 BMW 750 Li (for his girlfriend) and a Bentley Arnage for himself, for about $300,000. He is leasing a Maybach through Luxautica, an ‘ultimate car club’ that has annual fees of about $125,000.”

“On a spending level,” Mr. Parmar said, speaking about a possible recession, “it doesn’t affect me at all.” That said, providers of luxury goods reported anecdotal evidence of a widening gap between the merely rich and the ultrarich. Clifford Greenhouse, who owns a household-staff employment company, said he suspects that the merely rich might be starting to lag behind their far richer counterparts, and are trimming their budgets. He cited reduced demand for chauffeurs — a relatively small-ticket service — yet ever-strong demand for private chefs, butlers and “household managers.”

Why? A little reported fact of the hemorrhaging US economy is that healthcare companies — and more widely known — defense contractors, are raking it in.

Just two weeks ago, Standard & Poor’s affirmed its ratings for health insurers Aetna Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Cigna Corp., “citing strong profit and competitive positions in the industry.”

Blue Cross & Blue Shield is also doing well, lavishing the parent of its Illinois CEO with massive bonuses for 2007.

“Wellness,” penned the Chicago Business Journal last week, “the new marketing slogan of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois, also applies to the pocketbooks of the insurer’s top executives.”

Pay for almost all of the top 10 execs at the Blues’ Chicago-based parent, Health Care Service Corp., at least doubled in 2007 thanks to hefty bonuses, a recent state filing shows. Longtime CEO Raymond McCaskey’s $8.7-million bonus pushed his total pay to $10.3 million, up 78% from the previous year. The top 10 execs made a combined $35.8 million last year, up 131% from 2006

In a statement, the company defends the compensation, saying it allows it to “compete for and retain talented employees”….

“Health insurers are paying huge amounts of money to top executives at a time when more and more middle-class families can’t afford insurance,” says Jerry Flanagan, health care policy director at the California-based advocacy group Consumer Watchdog. Mr. McCaskey’s pay alone “is enough to provide coverage to 3,500 individuals” for a year, he says.

Executive pay at Health Care Service, which had $14.35 billion in revenue last year, dwarfs that of most other companies that own Blue Cross subsidiaries. Two large Blues plans in Pennsylvania, for example — each of which also ranks among the top 10 health insurers nationally, with about $9.5 billion in 2006 revenue apiece — paid their CEOs $3.7 million and $2.6 million last year.

Cigna’s CEO received $22.7 million in 2007, AP reported last month.

“The chief executive of health insurer Cigna Corp. received a compensation package worth $22.7 million in 2007, boosted by a big bonus awarded during a year of lackluster stock performance, according to a regulatory filing made late Friday,” AP said. “H. Edward Hanway received a salary of $1.11 million, a performance-based bonus of nearly $18 million, and other perks worth $32,021 including the use of company aircraft. He received $3.57 million worth of stock and option awards, the value on the day they were granted, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed.”

This is up from $15.2 million in 2006.

United Health, another profitable insurance company whose rating remained positive in the S&P’s recent review was remonstrated by physicians in an Apr. 4 article by the Wall Street Journal, where some “physicians who see the insurer as ironfisted in reimbursement and largely absent in communicating with doctors.”

Aetna stocks have slid this year, but the company maintains it will hit its profit expectations for 2008.

Defense contractors are also posting growth. In 2008 dollars, yearly expenditures top peaks reached during the Korean and Vietnam wars, and amount to three quarters of the peak reached during World War II — which called for 10 times the number of troops — according to SmartMoney.com associate editor Jack Hough.

“Accordingly, the stock value of America’s big defense contractors has swelled, on average, more than 150% in five years, about triple the broad market’s gain,” Hough adds, in his April 10 piece, “War Lines Pockets of Defense-Stock Investors.”

Rich staying rich, and living well

Across the country, those of multi-million dollar means may be feeling the pinch in the stock market, but it isn’t keeping them from spending lavishly. The multimillion and up housing market — particularly in Manhattan and Miami Beach — remains strong.

And it’s not just the rich who are rich that are doing well.

“Days before the collapse of Bear Stearns, the bank’s chairman, James E. Cayne, paid $25 million for a 14th-floor condo at the Plaza Hotel,” the New York TimesChristine Haughney and Eric Konigsberg reveal Monday.

You might expect Cayne to be hiding from the financial crowd after Bear Stearn’s collapse. He’s not.

He’s “invited to [a] May 10 party at the Plaza,” Haughney and Konigsberg write. “It will feature a dozen female string musicians made up to look like statues and clothed in dresses of fresh flowers, like roses and gardenias. There will be caviar and Cognac bars, as well as a buffet designed to visually replicate 17th-century Dutch paintings from the recent Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit, “The Age of Rembrandt.”

Cayne stepped down to become non-executive chairman in January. He will become “one of the bank’s top ‘rainmakers,’ working with key clients on mergers and acquisitions and other high-profile deals,” according to the British Telegraph.

The paper documents the continued buying power of America’s powerful elite.

Real estate in Manhattan isn’t suffering the woes of the subprime crisis hitting low-income and middle-class homeowners across the country. Buyers have plucked up 71 apartments in the gilded city — all of them priced over $10 million. This compares with just 17 such units in 2007.

“And the GoldBar, a downtown lounge, reports that bankers continue to order $3,000 bottles of Rémy Martin Louis XIII Cognac.”

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Despite_economic_slowdown_defense_contractors_and_0414.html

Paul Parmar A Man Of The World

Pegasus, the legendary mythical winged horse, fills our imaginations with images of power, excitement, and wonder. Whether transporting Zeus through the skies or shooting lighting bolts of energy down to earth, this grand creature has always painted an imagery of possibilities.

Paul Parmar, founder and chairman of Pegasus Blue Star Fund, embodies the spirit of this mythical icon. Like Pegasus, Parmar enjoys flying through the sky. A trained fighter pilot, he still flies planes and owns aviation companies. Also like Pegasus, he purposefully directs his energy like a lightning bolt into a myriad of companies in multitude of industries, ranging from media to health care to defense to high-end luxury products, hoping to bring them to greater heights of success. Parmar also travels all over the globe because of his involvement in international business and his personal interest in championing the safety of endangered animal species.

Parmar was gracious enough to speak about coming to America from India as a young man, as well as share information about his businesses with Living In Colts Neck.

LICN: Can you please describe, in general terms, what your company does?

PP: I run a New York based private equity firm called Pegasus Blue Star Fund. Prior to that I founded the management consulting firm Pegasus Consulting Group, which has helped some of the world’s best companies develop strategies and improve operations. At Pegasus Blue Star Fund we focus on acquiring small, privately held services – businesses in industries that are highly fragmented, highly regulated, or both. Healthcare, media, and private aviation and defense fit these criteria, and we see significant opportunities in these sectors to generate outsized returns that are uncorrelated with the broader economy. The underlying rationale to our investment thesis is that fragmented industries are populated by subscale businesses, which are often poorly capitalized and poorly managed. In many instances these firms are struggling to simply make payroll and stay afloat, and we are often able to acquire these businesses at very low purchase multiples. We especially make sure that they are struggling because of inefficiencies created by fragmentation and regulation; otherwise these are very successful businesses, liked by their clients. Fragmentation also implies that there are many players in the space, affording us the opportunity to analyze large numbers of potential targets before carefully selecting only those few that meet our exacting investment criteria. Moreover, complex regulatory environments are particularly difficult on small firms, but can create significant competitive advantages in the hands of savvy, professional operators. We also purchase small companies that are performing quite well if we see opportunities to increase their scale, and in so-doing, increase their value. In either instance, we will only acquire a business if we believe that it will perform better under our control; we never make an investment unless we can foresee secure and diverse exit opportunities.

LICN: So is it only private companies?

PP: Only privately held companies where we can take a majority controlling interest.

LICN: Do you take an active role in all of those companies?

PP: Yes. I work very actively along with my core team, operating each one of our portfolio companies. By definition, we are looking to make them highly optimized by using a combination of three tools: 1) process efficiency – I actively use my vast consulting company experience; 2) implementation of new technologies that help enable the new optimized processes; and 3) relocate to lower cost for process and technology where applicable. Once we have substantially optimized the operations we do rapid acquisitions to get geographic coverage and then scale leveraging the highly optimized operating engine that we created in the first place. So in short…yes. We actively work and operate in all the businesses we acquire. As an example, if the company is doing 5% EBITDA. [Editor's note: EBITDA is a financial term referencing a company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.] If I can take it to 40% EBITDA, obviously I would operate that company ’til it got to that level. I can give you an example. I bought a company last year – it was a physicians’ billing company. It was doing 5% EBITDA margins. We introduced our techniques, changed their processes around, implemented new technologies, [and] they are now doing over 40% EBITDA in less than a year. What I bought the company for…it will pay for itself in its own cash in less than 18 to 24 months.

LICN: Most impressive!

PP: So by that logic I become a very active manager of each of my businesses. Even if the company is doing very, very well I buy it if I feel that my network can scale it up. I tap into that network. In that way I get very involved.

LICN: To segue back, the name of the company is Pegasus Blue Star? Why did you choose that name? What is the significance?

PP: Pegasus was the horse used in mythical Greek times for the victory of good over evil. That has always stuck in my head. I have Pegasus around the house so I don’t forget where the money came from. I didn’t make it…Pegasus made it.

LICN: Is that part of the company’s mission?

PP: Victory of good over evil? Isn’t it everybody’s mission?

LICN: I would hope so, but don’t know if that is true.

PP: (Laughs) Well, hopefully it is.

LICN: In terms of your role, you mentioned [that] you take a hands-on approach in the different companies. Do you then sell these companies once you have optimized their performances?

PP: I have very rarely sold a company. I fall in love with the companies I buy. There are only one or two I have sold – equations where I do not have a controlling interest and if the existing management does not allow me to be successful. So there are cases where I would get out, but it has been very rare.

LICN: How did you become involved in this industry? Did you always have an interest in business?

PP: It is all just by chance. No, I am not from a business background.

LICN: What is your background?

PP: I am from a scientific background – computer science as it pertains to research, artificial intelligence. That is why when I speak to kids I tell them [that] math is very important, because math gets you to anywhere you want to be in the world. You can forget about everything else you are studying.

LICN: Is that what you studied in school?

PP: Yes.

LICN: Did you go to school in the U.S. or India?

PP: I went to school in India. It was a naval public school in Goa.

LICN: How old were you when you came to the United States?

PP: I was 21.

LICN: Did you come on your own or with your family?

PP: I came alone.

LICN: How did you approach that as a young man? Was it scary? An adventure?

PP: From the time I was young I was a traveler. If I was seeing you off at a train station, I might just get on the train and go off myself. I have done that way too many times (laughs)! So it doesn’t bother me.

LICN: Where else have you traveled?

PP: It would probably be a shorter list if I told you where I haven’t traveled.

LICN: When you first arrived here what was your first job?

PP: In 1991 I received the Young Scientist Award from the National Science Congress (in India). I was 19 then. A lot of companies out of the U.S., U.K., and Germany offered me jobs from that. I decided to take one person up on their offer in the U.S. I was to be an advisor on a strategic change for this financial services company. That started my career in the U.S. in New York.

LICN: Did you know anyone in New York?

PP: No, nobody.

LICN: In terms of childhood expectations did you ever dream this is where you would be?

PP: No, I always dreamt that I was going to be a fighter pilot.

LICN: Do you fly now?

PP: Yes, I fly a lot.

LICN: You mentioned that a lot of how you got to where you are now was by chance. Are there any moments you can identify that charted your path?

PP: The first thing is that I applied to be a fighter pilot with the Indian Air Force. I passed their test, I passed all the requirements, and I was about to start when they discovered I had flat feet and I was thrown out. That was a big disappointment. But if I became a fighter pilot I do not know where I would be now. Then the second thing was that out of all the business cards that I had, I picked “the” card and chased it to success. That is how I have always been. I have never said let me try these five things and see what happens, one of them will click. I only bet on one and give it a full shot 110% shot. So I picked one card and said this is who I am going to call and who I am going to work with. That guy turned out to be a huge mentor for me.

LICN: In terms of the mentorship do you see yourself providing mentorship for someone younger than you now?

PP: That happens all the time in business. There are people you interact with on a daily basis, and hopefully you provide the leadership, guidance, and knowledge that people are learning.

LICN: How do you apply the good versus evil philosophy in your business?

PP: It comes in, in many different ways, sometimes it has a huge conflict. I am very conservative when it comes to doing business but I am very big risk taker in my personal life. So I have very contrasting elements. The good versus evil part usually comes in being very conservative in business.

LICN: Can you explain further the risks you take in your personal life as opposed to your conservative business behavior?

PP: I sky dive, I ride bikes…everything my insurance company tells me not to do, I do it! I fly fighter jets. In my business we look at 300+ opportunities to decide one that we will bet on.

LICN: Are you involved in any other hobbies, causes, issues, or philanthropies?

PP: I am a big believer in finding a cure for cancer. I have a bunch of businesses involved in cancer – CTSI cancer centers. We have seven centers in the U.S., [we're] building one in India and one in China, and exploring Malaysia and Australia right now. We are looking to open up centers in central New Jersey with Meridian, as they do not have a cancer strategy.

LICN: Are these primarily treatment or research centers?

PP: They would be treatment and research centers.

LICN: What would the research component focus on?

PP: The way research works in cancer, or any medicine, is it starts with a biotech or pharmaceutical forum looking for a cure. They then go through FDA regulated procedures. In phase three they are looking for real patients on which it can be tried. That is where treatment centers come in.

LICN: How does that work when you are working internationally?

PP: It is the same. You work with their regulatory bodies. Their procedures are usually more relaxed than the U.S., so if you are following the U.S. you are pretty safe. There are subtle nuances in how you report stuff.

LICN: What is the focus of the treatment and research?

PP: You start with cancer treatment. If you get enough volume you can gather the information for research. I think cancer is the most misunderstood disease. The average person would say a cancer cell looks like an alien cell…doesn’t even look like a human cell. Meanwhile, the fact is cancer cells look 99.9999999% like a normal cell. There is a minor defect that happens in its DNA that causes it to behavior irrationally, and the body is not able to detect it. Those are two very critical components of cancer. You see, 10 years back our understanding of cancer was so poor it did not matter what kind of cancer you had; we had basically three or four meds that we used. We would radiate you, operate, and it was pretty much a death sentence – maybe 2, 3, 4 years – but it was a death sentence. It is no longer that way as we understand different types of cancer. Breast cancer alone has 67 different medicines today.

LICN: Are there any specific areas of research where you think we will get more answers?

PP: I think preventative measures will be most effective. We look at questions like: How was your life style? What where your living conditions? What is it like where you live? Work? Then [we] try to find out what in those elements actually interacts with your DNA. There is no way to cure a missing link in your DNA. The only way to cure it is to keep you away from the damage. We are building a platform collecting data from around the world. We will track data that no one is even thinking of, try to match up what went wrong, and see why their DNA changes – that .001% it could be paint fumes, second-hand smoke. Every time you walk in the sun you are changing your cells by more than 1%, so .001% is nothing. The body can usually take care of the defective cells. The body is designed in a fail-proof way, which is why cancer is so interesting. The cell by itself should destroy itself if it is not correct. Each cell also checks its neighbor and kills it if it is not okay, so why doesn’t the cancer cell get killed? It is a pretty tricky disease.

LICN: Can you share information on other parts of your business?

PP: I am involved in movies. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead was directed by Sidney Lumet with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, and Marisa Tomei. It was a very dark movie. We had rave reviews; we had predictions that it would win an Oscar, but we decided not to broad release the movie.

LICN: Why was that?

PP: It was a marketing gimmick that paid off. We wanted people to say “where did that movie go?” It started in New York in two theaters. It grossed the highest in 16 weeks of any film. We took it to 400 theaters nationwide, enough that it had visibility but not enough that everyone had access to it. Our main goal was, without spending a marketing dollar, we wanted all the DVDs to get grabbed up. The day we announced the DVD release, Amazon and Blockbuster had over 22 million orders.

LICN: Do you see the DVD market as more important than theaters than for the film industry?

PP: Theaters used be a place to go see a movie, today it is to have an event. Today you say I feel like going to a theater; lets see what movie is playing. Years ago you wanted to see a movie so you went to the theater. The main platform for seeing a movie has shifted. Today theaters are used for advertisement of your DVD product.

LICN: So is this your entertainment division?

PP: It is part of my media strategy. It started with buying a movie sales company out of London, and then investing in a post-production company there. Fifteen years back, 95% of your revenue came from the United States. Today, 70% of the revenue comes from abroad.

LICN: How do you explain the change?

PP: More mature markets. In India alone you have over a billion and a half people. If everyone went and saw the movie with a dollar, you’d have a massive market (laughs). The studios have failed to see that; Wall Street has failed to see it.

LICN: Do you do Bollywood movies too?

PP: I do a lot of Bollywood. I am exploring some Russian movies as well. You need to focus on the international market.

LICN: Are there other industries that you do business in?

PP: Private aviation.

LICN: Can you define private aviation?

PP: Private aviation covers anything that is not commercial. Airplanes have less than 20 seats. We came out with an innovative concept. We have two companies; we are highly rated. There are 3,000 companies in that space; out of those, less than 50 companies have one or the other rating. We have both – Wyvern Wingman and ARG/US Platinum Rated Operation. Only 17 companies have both. One company manages aircraft, takes care of maintenance, permit filing, etc. Seagate Aviation does this. Pegasus Elite…we own a fleet of jets; we [also] started a concept of yellow taxi cabs. The planes are owned by us and you can arrange flights. We went from zero revenue in June of last year to 100 million dollars this year.

LICN: In terms of cost how does this plane rental compare to first class?

PP: Most people try to do that rationalization, but you can’t. It’s more convenient. You don’t have to deal with getting to the airport 2 hours earlier, dealing with the lines and airport staff; you don’t have to worry about getting bumped off a flight from overbooking. With private flying the plane waits for you for when you want to fly.

That market has expanded dramatically. People think of delays, bump offs, aggravation, and decide it is worth it. It is two different products.

LICN: Any other interests or divisions?

PP: There is a project in Texas. It stemmed from the need to provide a refuge for tigers that people had as pets in their houses, and then do not have means or space to care for them. The law now is so absurd, they don’t check if you have enough money to see if you can provide food for the tigers. I have seen tigers in tight boxes. I decided to buy a couple of hundred acres in Texas for a refuge.

LICN: What is you interest in tigers?

PP: Tigers are the most majestic cats. There are less than 5,000 in the world, for a species to survive you need 10,000 in neighboring geography. By that definition, the species is not going to survive. India has less than 2,000. Russia has killed nearly all its tigers, as has China. Malaysia has killed off its tigers.

LICN: Why the kill off?

PP: The tigers were killed because people believed eating certain body parts would make them more virile. The rhinos disappeared as well, because people want their horns, when it is actually just a hair. When I go to Africa you still hear of hunters killing rhinos. I am friends with a game warden. We trapped rhinos and cut their horns off to save them from hunters.

LICN: Well thank you so much for sharing so much information about your businesses, passions, and background!

PP: It’s been a pleasure.

STAT

Favorite restaurant:

Windansea, Highlands

Favorite music:

Akon, Rihanna, and Journey

Favorite movie:

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

Pet peeve:

people who are dodgy

Three people I would like to have dinner with:

Senator Jenifer Beck, Dr. Aaron Feingold, and Hank Greenberg

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org
SaveTheBigCats@gmail.com

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above. You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.

Add Comment Register



Post a Reply