The Real Deal Miami

Vector Group’s Howard Lorber ranks as top-paid CEO in South Florida

July 08, 2011 04:15PM

[Updated at 4.40 p.m.] Howard Lorber, CEO of South Florida-based Vector Group and chairman of New York brokerage Prudential Douglas Elliman, has been ranked South Florida’s highest paid CEO, with a yearly salary of $6 million plus bonuses, according to research carried out by the South Florida Business Journal.

Vector Group is famous in the tobacco industry for producing the Ligget brand of cigarettes, but is also involved in real estate through its New Valley subsidiary. New Valley has a 50 percent ownership interest in Douglas Elliman Realty, which operates the largest residential real estate brokerage company in the New York metropolitan area. New Valley also has real estate holdings in California, according to Vector’s website.

Elliman also has a presence in South Florida, and opened a Miami Beach branch in March. Last month, The Real Deal reported that top-ranked Manhattan broker team, the Jacky Teplitzky Team, was expanding to Florida.

Lorber has also been vice chairman at Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services of Miami since May 2001, the Journal said, which is currently controlled by billionaire Philip Frost. He is a director of Borders Group since May 2010, where Vector Group Chairman Bennett LeBow is CEO and chairman. He was CEO of the Nathan’s Famous fast-food restaurant chain from November 1993 to December 2006.

As The Real Deal previously reported, Lorber has also been deeply involved with the University of Miami. Having sat on the school’s overall advisory board for approximately 10 years, he recently became involved with an effort to establish a real estate program at the college.

The only other real estate professional to make the top five highly-paid CEOs list was Bradley Meier, CEO of Universal Insurance Holdings, one of the five leading writers of homeowners insurance in Florida, according to its website. Meier currently makes $4.5 million per year plus bonuses, according to the Journal’s findings. [SFBJ]