Sam Nazarian was born in Iran before his family fled the Iranian revolution. His father, Younes Nazarian, made a fortune as an early investor in Qualcomm. Nazarian’s firm, SBE Entertainment, has created more than 30 brands from scratch, including SLS hotels and Hyde Hotels. SBE also owns restaurants and an assortment of nightclubs in the Los Angeles area.
Nazarian is known for keeping his clubs open for a year or less, closing them and rebranding them to cater to the fickle tastes of connoisseurs of high-end nightlife. SBE owns most of its venues, making it much easier to frequently close and reopen businesses in the same space.
In 2016, SBE acquired Morgans Hotel Group in a deal worth $794M. The company has been expanding internationally, including in Argentina, Mexico, Dubai and Qatar. — Scott Klocksin