Paul Allen, who cofounded Microsoft with Bill Gates died on Oct. 15 at age 65. Paul had later become a philanthropist and sports team owner. 8 years after cofounding Microsoft, Allen left after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease.
Paul also owned the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and a stake in the Seattle Sounders soccer team.
Allen announced in early October 2018 that he was receiving treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was previously treated for the disease in 2009.
The billionaire has vast holdings of real estate, art, sports teams and venture capital stakes at Vulcan Inc. Allen had no spouse or children to divide his empire. He gave away more than $2 billion, including $500 million to his Allen Institute for Brain Science.
“Even though this is a person’s life and their personal holdings, it’s almost like the dissolution of a major corporation,” said Darren Wallace, an attorney for Day Pitney who handles estate affairs for high-net-worth clients. “Even if things go along as you might expect, it could easily be three to five years.”
“At least half his $26 billion fortune is probably earmarked for charitable purposes after he joined the Giving Pledge almost a decade ago, and an estate tax bill will apply on much of what remains.” a Bloomberg report said
Vulcan, the 32-year-old company that oversees Allen’s money, was involved in a variety of investments, activism and philanthropic units. They include Vulcan Real Estate, a commercial portfolio that Bloomberg estimates is worth $1.5 billion, and Vulcan Capital, which tends investments in public and private companies.
“His philanthropic interests were split among several other units. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, started by Paul and his sister Jody, oversaw assets valued at $766 million at the end of 2016, according to the latest filing available. That private organization is distinct from the Allen Institute, a public charity that focuses on medical research, with Jody and several Vulcan employees serving as directors. The company has buildings underway for Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, as well as a series of apartment complexes overlooking downtown. ” report said.
Lori Mason Curran, Vulcan Inc.’s director of real estate investment strategy, said no changes are imminent for Allen’s network of interests, including the investment firm.
“Paul thoughtfully addressed how the many institutions he founded and supported could continue after he was no longer able to lead them,” Lori Mason Curran, Vulcan Inc.’s director said in an emailed statement.
“There are no changes imminent for Vulcan, the teams, the research institutes or museums,” Vulcan Chief Executive Officer Bill Hilf said at a press conference in Seattle. “There’s a clear plan of what he wants done for his legacy.”
There are speculation among professionals that there might be opportunities for buyers to take over some of Allen’s properties and projects. Overall, Vulcan Inc. owned companies and other entities that may not be easy to divide and might take a lot of time to transfer to a charitable vehicle.