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Slifka Family in Manhattan in Legal Fight Over $258M Madison Avenue Sale

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Slifka Family in Manhattan in Legal Fight Over $258M Madison Avenue Sale

Edited by: TJVNews.com

While many wealthy, influential and well connected Manhattan families have their names associated with charitable foundations as well as having a significant investment portfolio, according to a report in Crain’s New York, the Slifka family makes regular appearances on the Manhattan social scene and is seen out in the Hamptons every summer. The report said that their name is also on a building at Yale University.

Crain’s reported however, that peace amongst the Slifka family members is in jeopardy. According to court filings, they are on opposite sides of a business dispute.

Alan Slifka is the founder of Halcyon Capital Management and last week, one of his sons, Randy Slifka filed a lawsuit in New York state court claiming he and his brother were shortchanged in the 2019 sale of one of Joseph’s buildings, 477 Madison, for about $258 million, according to the Crain’s report. They are seeking more than $37 million in damages. Randy Slifka is also the grandson of developer Joseph Slifka.

The accountant who was in charge of the trust accounts for Randy Slifka, his brothers and their 93-year old aunt Barbara Slifka is Michael Hecht and he is the defendant in the case, Crain’s reported.

According to the court filings, Randy Slifka, has alleged that Hecht allowed the property manager, a company named Shorenstein, who was overseeing the 24-story building at Madison Avenue and 51st Street to influence the appraisal of the building in a way that benefited Barbara at the expense of her nephews, as was reported by Crain’s.

Crain’s also reported that in his lawsuit, Randy Slifka said that his Aunt Barbara,  “who was 89 years old at the time of the sale in 2019 and in declining health, barely understood, if at all, how the money from the sale of 477 Madison was being distributed.”

When contacted by Crain’s, Hecht did not offer a comment on the court filings. The attorney representing him, Gregory Clarick, also did not provide a comment.

According to the Crain’s report, Randy has been involved in previous litigation with Barbara Slifka. The report stated that in September the younger Slifka won a $16 million arbitration award against Barbara. He had accused her of breaching her fiduciary duty in the distributions to him and his brothers from the building’s sale, Crain’s said.  Barbara, however, defeated Randy’s 2017 lawsuit challenging her authority to sell the building in the first place.

The Slifka family stands out as prominent members in the cultural and social circles of the northeast region of the country, Crains reported.  Randy Slifka is the operator of Slifka Asset Management and is a prominent modern art collector, the report stated.  Barbara Slifka was a previous board member at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton. Additionally, Crain’s reported that she holds board of director’s positions at the New York City ballet and at the iconic Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. She was also a fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar magazine.

Crain’s also reported that Hecht is a trustee at the the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation, the Trisha Brown Dance Company and at Bennington College in Vermont.

The internal family litigation began with the death of Alan Slifka in 2011, according to Crain’s, but the actual genesis of the legal conundrum started with the will of Alan’s father. The name Joseph Slifka is on a Center for Jewish Life building at Yale University, the report stated.

The court papers that Randy filed said that his grandfather, Joseph Slifka, who passed away in 1992, had bequeathed the building in question on Madison Avenue to equal partners, Alan and Barbara, Crain’s reported. Upon his demise, Alan’s interest was divided among Randy and two other sons, leaving Barbara with the largest stake, according to Crain’s.

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