The new house
on the block for
a kid who’s been
around it

The new multimillion-dollar luxury home on Maui that has the glitterati of Keawakapu Beach buzzing belongs to Thomas W. Weisel.

The chairman and chief executive officer of Thomas Weisel Partners LLC and recent addition to the Nasdaq board of directors completed the $5.6 million purchase of the property in 1998; it was said by many to have a "tear-down house" on it at the time.

No confirmed figures are available for the cost of the new construction.

The new Wailea home of Nasdaq Director Thomas W. Weisel has Maui buzzing.

Some Maui subcontractors did work on the home, but none contacted by the Star-Bulletin returned calls.

A call to Weisel's San Francisco headquarters also was not returned.

The home was designed by a mainland architect and built by a mainland contractor and it is quite the conversation piece.

Its shape gets it compared to a fortress.

The new home has sparked many rumors, including one stating it had 200,000 square feet under roof and was the largest home ever built on Maui. The land is 38,028 square feet, significantly diminishing the credibility of the rumor.

Nevertheless it is large, believed to be larger than 22,000 square feet.

"You can't help but notice it," said Maui realtor Jim Worley, president and principal broker of Pali Kai Inc. "You know it is something of grandeur."

Weisel, pronounced, "WHY-zul," is the subject of a new book co-written by Richard C. Brandt titled, "Capital Instinct: Life as an Entrepreneur, Financier and Athlete." It is due for release next month by publishers John Wiley & Sons Inc.

In July of 1997, BusinessWeek magazine reported that NationsBank paid Weisel's asking price for Montgomery Securities, an investment bank he founded.

The story said NationsBank paid $1.2 billion and an additional $100 million for nonpartners, "a breathtaking 10.6 times Montgomery Securities' current book value of $113 million."

Biographical information on the publisher's Web site says after NationsBank merged with Bank of America, Weisel negotiated a separation package that included $500 million in stock options and the ability to hire away key Bank of America management personnel.

Thomas Weisel Partners was founded in 1999 and has generated $1 billion in revenue, completed more than 300 transactions valued at $140 billion and has come to manage more than $2 billion in private equity assets, according to a statement from the Nasdaq Stock Market Inc.

Pretty soon you're talking about real money.

Worley's company was not involved in the Weisel transaction, but has sold several of the high-end homes in the Wailea and Keawakapu areas. One was sold to a California businessman whose associates had purchased luxury properties on the Big Island's Kohala Coast, which is why he chose Maui. He told Worley, "Why would I go to Hawaii to see my neighbors?"

With offices in San Francisco, Menlo Park, Calif.; New York; Boston and London, it's unclear how much Wailea time Weisel will get.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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