Taking Henry Silverman Private

After surfing the financial markets' big waves for a decade and a half, a CEO cashes out

Peter Murphy for TIME

Henry R. Silverman photographed at his office in New York City.

On the morning of April 19, the private-equity firm Apollo Management acquired Realogy--the company behind real estate brokerages Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and ERA. It was not, by modern standards, a huge transaction: the sale price was $8.5 billion, nowhere near the $39 billion that private-equity titan Blackstone Group recently paid for Equity Offices Trust.

Realogy's passage into private ownership was nonetheless a landmark--because it marked the end of chief executive Henry Silverman's career as boss of a publicly traded corporation. Silverman, 66, is no household name, but he may be one of the iconic figures of modern American capitalism. Either...

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