Barry Zyskind’s High-Stakes Three-Card Monte Game

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A tiny footnote buried in a pair of corporate filings suggests AmTrust Financial Services’ chief executive officer has a great deal of explaining to do about who owns almost 7 percent of the company’s shares.

Barry Zyskind, according to an early January Securities and Exchange Commission Form 4 filing, transferred 12,020,000 million shares of AmTrust — then worth more than $378.2 million — to a “charitable organization” called Gevurah from Teferes, a tax-exempt personal foundation he set up in 2006. (The number of shares reflects a Feb. 15 2-for-1 stock split.) According to the filing, he serves as a trustee and officer for the entity, with voting and investment authority. The company’s proxy, filed on March 29, also mentions this transfer.

Oddly, those two footnotes are the only mentions of Gevurah seemingly anywhere.

The Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation called American Stock Transfer & Trust, the transfer agent for AmTrust Sources: 990-PF filings via and historical prices from Nasdaq Sources: 990-PF filings via and historical prices from Nasdaq[/caption]


For over a month, starting on April 13, the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation repeatedly emailed and called Elizabeth Malone, AmTrust’s investor relations executive. She consistently stated that she “would check” with management about the Gevurah questions but never called back.

The emails to Malone went unanswered.

Calls to Stephen Ungar, AmTrust’s general counsel, and Harold Schlacter, the treasurer, were not returned.

One thought on “Barry Zyskind’s High-Stakes Three-Card Monte Game

  1. Any updates on this story?

    Also a side note, per Wikipedia: “Gevurah is understood as … the foundation of … absolute adherence to the letter of the law, and strict meting out of justice.”

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