Shkreli has been out of school for only about a decade, but he's amassed quite the resume since then.
He’s 32 years old, owns his own pharmaceutical company that jacked up the price of a life saving medication by 5,500 percent, and loves the fact that he’s the most hated man in America. Meet Martin Shkreli, the man who since September has been met with a firestorm of hatred for his practices, and has met that hatred with a smile on his face.
But who is he, and how has he suddenly vaulted into the news?
Shkreli is the co-founder of the hedge fund MSMB Capital Management, as well as the founder of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG. He burst into the public’s consciousness when he obtained the manufacturing license for Daraprim, which has been around for more than six decades, and increased the price for this life saving medication from $13.50 per pill to a whopping $750. The outrage was swift and fierce — and Shkreli was totally unapologetic.
So where did this guy come from at such a young age? Shkreli is the son of Albanian and Croatian immigrants and grew up in Brooklyn in a working class community. He earned a degree in business at Baruch College in 2004 — a decent but fairly modest start for someone who would run a hedge fund and a pharmaceutical company by his early 30s.
Shkreli spent his first four years out of college with Cramer Berkowitz & Co. — yes, the Jim Cramer of Mad Money fame. After that, he took jobs with several investment firms before starting his own hedge fund, called Elea Capital Management in 2006. He later launched MSMB Capital Management, and in 2011 filed requests with the Food and Drug Administration asking them to reject a new cancer diagnostic device while short-selling the stocks of the companies that made it. The gambit worked, and Shkreli made a lot of money. The companies got the products approved eventually, but Shkreli’s intervention crippled the product launches.
The rest is history. Shkreli used his business acumen and success in hedge funds to move into the pharmaceutical industry and continue running a successful capital management firm. And now, he’s famous — or rather infamous. And that may be exactly what he wants.