Lou Pai Net Worth
What is Lou Pai's Net Worth?
Lou Pai is a Chinese-American businessman and mathematical genius who has a net worth of $200 million. Lou Pai earned his net worth through his tenure serving as the CEO of Enron Energy Services and Enron Xcelerator, a venture capital division of Enron. During his time at the now-defunct energy company, Pai was often referred to as "the invisible CEO."
Lou Pai is somewhat notorious for being fired and forced to sell the majority of his Enron shares several years before the company imploded. He is one of the few former Enron executives who ended up with a massive fortune.
Lou Pai was born 白露龍 in Nanjing, China in 1946. He moved to the United Sates when he was a baby. The family settled in Maryland where his father landed a job as a professor of aeronautics at the University of Maryland, College Park. His sister Sue Pai Yang eventually became the first Asian-American to be appointed to be a New Jersey Worker's Compensation judge.
Lou earned Bachelor's Degree and Masters Degree in economics from the University of Maryland. After graduating he went to work for the Federal government.
In 1976 Lou married his first wife Lanna. They would eventually have two children before divorcing in 2000.
In 1987 Lou Pai joined Enron, which at the time was little-known regional energy supplier. At this time, future-CEO Jeffrey Skilling was working closely with Enron as a consultant. Skilling impressed Enron's CEO Kenneth Lay and was hired away in 1991.
Lou Pai and Jeff Skilling quickly bonded. Pai would soon be one of Skilling's top lieutenants and was put in charge of many key Enron projects and subsidiaries. Most importantly Lou went on to reign as CEO of the EES (Enron Energy Services) from 1997 to 2001.
An Affair Leads to a Fortune
In May 2001, Lou Pai suddenly stepped down from Enron. It was later revealed that he had been using Enron's corporate jet for personal commuting but the true reason for his departure may have been related to an extramarital affair with a stripper.
Despite being married during his time at Enron, Pai was known to spend inordinate amounts of time during and after work at Houston-area strip clubs. Pai also allegedly brought strippers back to Enron's offices for late night parties.
His frequent trips to strip clubs culminated in an affair with a married erotic dancer. The affair resulted in a pregnancy. When Pai's wife learned of the affair, she filed for divorce.
The divorce filing would inadvertently be an extremely lucky turn of events for Pai.
Pai's affinity for strippers and abusing corporate expense accounts actually is a big reason why he was able to walk away with such a large fortune. After leaving the company in 2001, to settle his divorce Pai proceeded to sell off his entire stake of Enron stock. He dumped the shares at ended up being the the all-time peak of Enron's market value. These share sales resulted in a $250 million windfall for Pai. Money he still has today and was untouchable years later when the company imploded.
Because he sold all of his shares before the company imploded, Lou was shielded from the charges that many other Enron executives faced in the following years. He was eventually brought up on some insider trading charges. He settled those charges in July 2008, agreed to an out-of-court settlement that reportedly involved a $30 million restitution payment and a $1.5 million fine. In addition, he was barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company for five years (until 2013). He never served a moment of jail time.
Life After Enron
Upon leaving Texas in the early 2000s, Pai became the second largest land owner in Colorado when he purchased a 77,500-acre parcel named Taylor Ranch. He sold the property in 2005. Oh and he did end up marrying the exotic dancer he impregnated, Melanie Fewell who is now known as Melanie Pai, after the divorce from his first wife.
Lou and Melanie Pai are still married today. Outside of Colorado they operate ranches in Texas and Virginia. Both their Texas and Virginia ranches are called Canaan Ranch. They are especially involved in the Olympic sport of dressage.
|Net Worth:||$200 Million|
|Date of Birth:||1946|