Sam Zell is the chairman of Equity Group Investments LLS. This is a private, Chicago-based investment firm that he founded more than 40 years ago. Zell started his career while he was still an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. While there, he managed apartment buildings in Southeast Michigan. He went on to create three of the largest real estate investment trusts (REITs) in history and is considered a founding father of public real estate for this reason. Mr. Zell is the chair of five public companies that are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and he is the chairman of Equity International, a privately held investor in real estate related businesses.