Michael Milken - Philanthropist, Financier, Medical Research Innovator, Public Health Advocate

   Mikemilken.com  |  Finance Career  »  Kevork and Ara Hovnanian, Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc.

Some of the Pioneers Funded by Mike Milken
"As deplorable as Joe McCarthy's attacks on alleged Communists were in the 1950s, the government's attack on Michael Milken during the 1980s was even worse. It was more conspiratorial; it sent more people to jail, and it was, at bottom, an attack on such fundamental American values as entrepreneurship, individual responsibility and, ultimately, capitalism itself."
(The Wall Street Journal/book review, July 18, 1995)
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Financial Career

Top, CEO Ara Hovnanian analyzes demographic data, one of the keys to Hovnanian Enterprises’ success. Bottom, Hovnanian is one of the leading home builders in the United States.
Kevork and Ara Hovnanian,
Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc.

Building Homes for America

Noted development economist Hernando de Soto identifies the lack of private property protections as one of the biggest barriers to home ownership in developing nations.

Kevork Hovnanian can attest to that theory. An Armenian Christian who had developed a large road-construction company in Iraq, Hovnanian was forced to flee the country in 1959 when the Baathist party overthrew the government.

Hovnanian knew construction from top to bottom, however, and upon arriving in New Jersey he cobbled together family funds to restart his business. He eventually started a home-construction company committed to building affordable townhouses and condominiums for first-time buyers.

By 1983, Hovnanian was ready to take his fledgling company public, and Milken and Drexel Burnham Lambert underwrote the company’s initial public offering. In ensuing years, Drexel issued subordinated notes, commercial paper and common stock that put Hovnanian on the road to becoming one of America’s leading home builders.

Under the leadership of Kevork and his son, Ara, Hovnanian Enterprises has expanded its portfolio to include single-family homes ranging from $70,000 to nearly $1 million. The company has extended its original Northeast market to include California, Washington, D.C., North and South Carolina, Texas and Florida. Over the past 40 years, Hovnanian Enterprises has helped 150,000 families enjoy new homes, and currently employs nearly 3,500 American workers.