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More on DeVos, Former Alterra Chairman Jerry Tubergen, and RDV Corporation

by: DemWave

Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 13:20:36 PM EDT


(From the diaries. Gold star for DemWave! How many more Alterras are there? UPDATE - MDP has even more info out now on Tubergen. Read it here. My head is spinning - promoted by matt)


[UPDATE!:  Note the comment and links from williamsman below.  Dick DeVos signed the Alterra documents filed with the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission. He signed the documents, but he didn't know?  Get realGreat catch williamsman!--DemWave]

Dick DeVos claims that he didn't exercise any control over Alterra.  He tells the media that he was not an officer of the company.  But the President and CEO of RDV Corporation, Jerry Tubergen, did serve as Chairman of Alterra.  As head of RDV Corporation, Tubergen's job is to manage DeVos Family money and investments in the best interests of the DeVos Family.

Closer scrutiny of DeVos, RDV Corporation, and Tubergen reveals that Team Amway Guy's claim that DeVos was just a "passive investor" in Alterra simply doesn't hold water.

The DeVos family invested $173 million in Alterra.  Is DeVos actually claiming that the DeVos Family would allow others to control their financial destiny with that amount of money at stake?  That they had no stake in how Alterra was managed given such a sizable investment?  That others were free to do what they wished with DeVos Family money while the DeVos Family just passively sat back?  That they exercised no due diligence when investing in the company?  That Chairman Jerry Tubergen and others were not placed on the Alterra Board to look out for DeVos Family interests?

Does anyone really believe that the DeVos Family got to be multi-billionaires by allowing others to fritter away their money?

[more after the jump]

DemWave :: More on DeVos, Former Alterra Chairman Jerry Tubergen, and RDV Corporation
Earlier this year the Grand Rapids Press briefly lifted the veil on RDV Corporation in a rare interview with the very private CEO and President of RDV Corporation, Jerry Tubergen.  The Press wrote:

You are forgiven for not knowing what the very private RDV does. Few people do.

By its namesake's nature -- the 80-year-old DeVos is a well-known inspirational speaker -- RDV sometimes is more public than is typical for this usually secretive undertaking.

The "family-office" industry specializes in creating a central place where extremely wealthy families manage the minutia and the big decisions that accompany having unimaginable amounts of money.

RDV has a hand in managing investments as high profile as the Orlando Magic NBA team, as large as the family's shares in the $6.4 billion Alticor or as obscure as a Hawaiian lumber company.
. . .
But most of its investments are kept private. The company declined to provide a more complete list of investments or say how much the assets it manages are worth.

RDV's 2004 investment in a Hawaiian company, Honsador Lumber Corp., was one of the few instances where its purchase of a minority stake in a company outside West Michigan has been made public.

"Most of the things we're involved in are private firms, and funds we invest with," Tubergen said.

"Secretive undertaking"?  "Declined to provide a more complete list of investments"?  What is Dick DeVos and his family hiding?  How many more Alterras?  Only a full and complete financial disclosure, including tax returns, will provide the public with the information necessary to make an informed judgment.  But Dick DeVos refuses to disclose.  Instead he releases an edited summary of selected financial holdings prepared by his attorneys--lawyers with an ethical obligation to protect DeVos, not inform the public.

At the heart of Dick DeVos and his family's vast financial holdings is a man looking to maximize return for Dick DeVos and the DeVos family--the former Chairman of Alterra, Jerry Tubergen.  The Press continued:

Even Jerry Tubergen, RDV chief executive, admits the company is "a bit of an enigma."

His group's mission is to help the DeVoses do everything from managing their taxes, travel, investments and estate planning to handling contributions to charity.

The goal is to keep the wealth intact and growing, just as other important American families have done through history.

In an interview, Tubergen gave The Press a rare glimpse into RDV.

"We are a professional services firm that's really dedicated to a very small group of clients," Tubergen said. "We go very deep in the professional services we provide to them."

"Bit of an enigma"?  If DeVos were to fully disclose his financial transactions and holdings, financial experts could review and analyze the complex web of financial holdings and things could be clearly explained to the voters.  But again, Dick DeVos refuses.  He hides behind lawyers and SEC filings to claim only an insignificant, fractional interest in Alterra.

What is clear from the Grand Rapids Press article on RDV Corporation is that as President and CEO of RDV Corporation, Jerry Tubergen, has one mission-- management of wide range of DeVos family financial holdings in the best interests of Dick DeVos and his family.  And in doing so, he goes "very deep in the level of services" he provides.

But when it comes to Alterra and Jerry Tubergen's role as Chairman of Alterra, Team Amway Guy is trying to convince the media and the public that Jerry Tubergen suspended such activity on behalf of Dick DeVos and his family.  That neither DeVos nor Tubergen were involved the details of the investment of Alterra.  That Tubergen wasn't providing a deep level of services.  That Tubergen just sat there passively.

But wait.  There are even more details on the scope of involvement by Jerry Tubergen in Dick DeVos's financial affairs.  Tubergen is so deeply involved in family business concerns that he even manages family investment in Dick's "creative" son Rick's (Richard M. DeVos III) company that distributes liberal Hollywood movies:

Tubergen said the development efforts are only a tiny fraction of the DeVos investments managed by RDV.

"We are not a development firm," he said. "It's interesting, because people see us doing those things, but it's sort of the tip of iceberg for what we do," he [Tubergen] said.

Among RDV's other tasks are assisting the DeVos family foundations and coordinating major family holdings such as the Orlando Magic and MVP, which operates health clubs in Florida and West Michigan.

While RDV has no management role in Alticor, it manages the DeVos family's shares in the Ada-based, direct-sales company founded by DeVos and the late Jay Van Andel.

The company also has provided guidance to Spout.com, an online film fan community started by Rick DeVos, Rich DeVos' eldest grandchild.

Amway Guy's money manager Tubergen and Dick DeVos apparently go way back.  As far back as 1993, Tubergen was serving with Dick DeVos as a member of the Board of Directors of the Orlando Magic.  The New York Times reported that year:

ORLANDO MAGIC -- Announced the formation of a governing board. Named Richard M. DeVos chairman; Cheri DeVos VanderWeide vice-chairman and Doug DeVos vice-chairman. Named Jerry Tubergen, Dick DeVos, Pat Williams, Jack Swope and Bob VanderWeide as the other board members.

Finally, an interesting tidbit on the company that DeVos is claiming to be managing as a businessman during the campaign.  He regularly points to the Windquest Company, a small closet organizing company that he and Betsy own, to support his unsupportable claim that he is a "Michigan jobs maker".  That can't be true because, as the Grand Rapids Press revealed, it's been Tubergen not DeVos, who actually has been running Windquest for nearly two years since DeVos started running for governor:

For example, RDV took a more active role in managing Windquest, a closet-organization company owned by eldest son Dick DeVos, once he began his run for governor.

Dick DeVos wants the people of Michigan to elect him governor.  Doesn't the voting public deserve to know what sort of role the secretive Jerry Tubergen will play in state government and in managing state investments and expenditures?

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disclosure (4.00 / 2)
wow... Michlib has been on FIRE this week

DemWave, where did you dig this article up from!?!?  Great find!

Check out my mediocre blog.


I'm amazed by the people who write for this blog. (4.00 / 1)
Great work, DemWave! Lots to chew on with this post. Hopefully the traditional media outlets will pick up on stuff like this and keep the story moving for a while.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few

[ Parent ]
STILL more rabbits to hunt... (4.00 / 4)
...down and holes to flush out.  Don't pull a Cheney and go to house.

Alterra hit is great, but that's media stuff now, back to digging and hitting. No Mercy.

Don't be sitting there with your eyes in the headlights watching those last minute attack ads, and there will be PLENTY of those, come pounding in well rested. Act now.


[ Parent ]
DeVos is a huge liar. Check out this SEC filing (4.00 / 2)
As of 2003, Richard M. DeVos Jr, is listed as owning 39.8% of Alterra's common stock, and 91.2% of Alterra's series A stock.

http://sec.edgar-onl...

"Passive investor" my ass.


Thank God for government and regulatory agencies (4.00 / 2)
Without the government run entities, who would help gather information to shed light on the motivations of the billionaire bunt cake and other folks like him in running for government or just wanting to drown government in a bathtub.

[ Parent ]
I wonder (4.00 / 1)
It would be interesting to know what the timing of the reportered Alterra abuse cases were and to look at how the timing of the abuse matches up with the timing of the company's financial troubles.

As the company was struggling to meet it's debtload, did it begin to make cost cutting measures that impacted the quality of care to the patients in it's care?

Was the DeVos/Tubergen turn around plan predicated on cutting these costs to get the company back to profitability?


Timeline (4.00 / 3)
May 31, 2000 - DeVos family makes investment

August 2000 - Tubergen becomes chairman

November 2001 - "To conserve cash and fund ongoing residence operations, Alterra did not make selected scheduled debt service and lease payments during the first half of 2001 and as a result is in default under many of its major credit instruments and certain of its lease facilities, the company management said. "

Fall of 2001 - Male Alterra home resident is sexually and physically abused.

January 2002 - Authorities in New Philidelphia begin investigation into Alterra home and find evidence of sexual assault.

I'm sure we can add to it...but the pattern is clear.


[ Parent ]
Earlier dates on the timeline (4.00 / 1)
RDV Corp. was involved several years earlier.

1991 RDV Corp. formed, Tubergen named pres./COO

May 1995 - Tubergen joins board of Alternative Living Services, later renamed Alterra

January 1996 - ALS acquires Heartland Retirement Services, Inc. with an $8.7 million bridge loan from RDV Capital Management LP, a Delaware limited partnership (Tubergen is its general partner).

Note:  Not only was the DeVos family involved with Alterra, but so was the Prince family.  In May 1995, Robert Haveman (any relation to James H.??) also joined the board.  At the time he was secy/treas of Prince Corp. Edgar Prince had just died unexpectedly in March 1995 so I imagine he was in on the planning of this activity.  Haveman went on to head up EDP Management, the equivalent of RDV Corp.  A third west MI big-hitter, JC Huizenga, was also involved with Alterra through his "man," Ronald G. Kenny, who also joined the ALS board in May 1995.  Kenny is/was Vice President-Finance of Huizenga Capital Management, Inc., a privately held investment management company.  At the time of a public stock offering by ALS in May 1996, the company said it had been losing money for several years and would continue to do so in the future.  Were these investors throwing "good" money after bad??


[ Parent ]
Dividends, distributions, etc. to the DeVoses (4.00 / 1)
How much in dividends and distributions did Alterra pay its Class A shareholders, and did they receive more favorable treatment than other shareholders? Also, how much in Alterra bonds did the DeVoses own, and what kind of deal did they get when Alterra went bankrupt?

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

Deceitful Dick Personally Signed Alterra Documents (4.00 / 6)
I did not follow all the links on the posts on this subject so I apologize in advance if someone has already pointed this out, BUT Dick PERSONALLY signed the SEC Alterra filings. In SEC parlance, Dick was the signatory. In other works, we are left to wonder if Dick either cannot read or he is a liar when he claims no prior knowledge of Alterra since he personally signed federal filings regarding his investment and management of Alterra.

http://sec.edgar-onl...

http://www.secinfo.c...

http://www.secinfo.c...

So will the voters think Dick is so DUMB he would sign federal documents he did not understand or read under penalty of law? Or will voters believe it is the case that Dick may be so DISHONEST that he would tell any lie to avoid being held accountable for trying to profit off the blood and pain of senior citizens?

Whether voters conclude it is DUMB Dick or DISHONEST Dick, Michigan cannot afford either Dick to be Governor.


DeVos cannot be trusted... (4.00 / 1)
to be straight with the public.

It's obvious now, isn't it?

Pray for the dead, fight like hell for the living. - Mother Jones


[ Parent ]
fits the "narrative" :-P (n/t) (4.00 / 1)


Check out my mediocre blog.

[ Parent ]
No wonder (4.00 / 1)
he's buddy-buddy with George W Bush and his neo-con buddies. They're all from the same mold.

[ Parent ]
DeVos Alterra connections and the AP (4.00 / 2)
In Wednesday’s Morning Sun (a paper that circulates in mid-Michigan), there is a story from the AP that further explains DeVos’ ties with Alterra. Setting aside DeVos’ claim of owning 1% of Alterra stock (which another writer here suggests might actually be more like 39%), what did “almost 200 million” buy him? Control of the Board. The AP report states that DeVos loaned Alterra the money in 2000 in exchange for “amending the company’s bylaws that allowed the DeVoses and investors close to them to appoint four of the corporation’s nine directors. Even though they were in the minority, those four directors had veto powers over board decisions because the votes of at least two of those directors were required for any motions to pass.” Jerry Tubergen was one of the directors.

Maybe Dick’s control of Alterra was like his nonexistent nineteen million dollar tax break that the AP also reported. What did he call it in the debate, a tax adjustment?



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