Richard Feldstein is a prominent figure in the entertainment industry, known for his exceptional skills as a business manager. With a career spanning nearly 50 years, Feldstein has represented numerous A-list clients, including Adam Levine, Paul Rudd, and Kate Hudson. His journey from being a career-driven accountant to a highly sought-after business manager is a testament to his talent, dedication, and expertise.
Early Beginnings and Career Path
Growing up on Long Island, Richard Feldstein moved to Los Angeles with his family when he was 14 years old. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley with a business degree in 1973, he embarked on his professional journey. Richard Feldstein’s career started in the audit department at Price Waterhouse in New York before transitioning to the field of business management.
Richard Feldstein | Building a Stellar Reputation
Feldstein’s entry into the world of business management came through a fortuitous connection. His uncle, TV director Alan Rafkin, had been college roommates with industry icon Marshall Gelfand. Through this association, Feldstein secured a job that would shape the trajectory of his career.
Under Gelfand’s mentorship, Richard Feldstein honed his skills and gained valuable experience. After spending seven years at Gelfand’s firm,Richard Feldstein decided to venture out on his own. He recognized that establishing his own practice would accelerate his career growth, considering his ability to attract clients. Marilu Henner, known for her role in the TV show “Taxi,” was one of his earliest Hollywood clients and remains a close friend to this day.
A Diversified Practice
Throughout his illustrious career, Richard Feldstein’s practice has expanded and diversified, thanks to referrals from satisfied clients, entertainment lawyers, agents, and managers. His reputation as an exceptional business manager has attracted numerous high-profile clients who value his intelligence, expertise, and personal touch.
Aleen Keshishian, founder and CEO of Lighthouse Management + Media, praises Feldstein’s brilliance and personal qualities. She highlights his availability, willingness to answer questions, and the sense of trust he instills in his clients. Alan Epstein, co-chair of Willkie Farr & Gallagher’s entertainment transactions group, commends Feldstein’s decision-making skills, ability to handle complex situations, and calm demeanor.
Richard Feldstein | Solving Complex Challenges
Throughout his career, Richard Feldstein has tackled various challenges on behalf of his clients. One notable example was when he flew overnight to Washington, D.C., to meet with the IRS regarding a non-U.S. rock band that had failed to file their taxes appropriately in the United States. His proactive approach and meticulous attention to detail helped secure an agreement with the IRS, resolving the issue.
Richard Feldstein has also managed complex logistics associated with tours, coordinating multiple trucks, buses, and charter flights. The immense undertaking involved in running such operations showcases his organizational skills and ability to handle high-pressure situations.
Richard Feldstein Legacy
Despite the significant changes in the industry, including the advent of computers, Richard Feldstein’s core philosophy remains unwavering. He emphasizes the importance of financial conservatism, asset allocation, and saving, especially for entertainers whose careers can be unpredictable.
Feldstein acknowledges that the business management world has become increasingly complex, both in terms of advisory work and compliance. While the profession has been rewarding, he cautions that the hours, stress, and strain on relationships can be challenging. However, he expresses admiration for those who thrive in this field, recognizing the dedication and expertise required.
Outside of his professional endeavors, Feldstein cherishes his close-knit family. He has been married to his wife, Sharon, for 47 years, and together they have raised three children, including actors Jonah Hill and Beanie Feldstein. Despite the demands of his career, he prioritizes spending quality time with his family.
Looking to the future, Richard Feldstein encourages aspiring business professionals to pursue an MBA, gain experience at reputable firms, and explore various aspects of the business world before making a choice.
If there is one thing Richard Feldstein wants to convey to his grandchildren, it’s to find their passion and pursue it wholeheartedly, just as he did. And if that career aptitude test he took many years ago had produced inconclusive results, he jokes that he would have become a rock star.