Chairman and CEO
JANUARY 7, 1963
LOS ANGELES, CA
SHERRY YOUNAN – WIFE OF OVER 30 YEARS. THEY MET AT CHURCH AND MARRIED SIX MONTHS LATER.
THEY HAVE FIVE CHILDREN: DAVID YOUNAN (31), DANIEL YOUNAN (30), WILLIAM YOUNAN (28), ALEXANDRA YOUNAN (26), AND ANDREW YOUNAN (19).
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS.
2002 – PRESENT
Early Life and Education
Zaya Younan came to the United States from Iran alone and essentially penniless. A pair of worn-out shoes he wore when he first came to America, a passage-marked Bible from his great-grandfather, and a $25 tip from a businessman who mistook him for the doorman are all that Younan had on him during his humble beginnings.
Eventually, Younan raised $800; he spent $760 on the only ticket he could afford—a hopscotch of four cities in a 48-hour flight. He had his passport and visa and was packing his clothes when his mother came upon him and asked him what he was doing. “I told her I was going to America,” Younan says. “I had it all figured out at the age of 13.” A year later, Younan’s parents and five sisters joined him in Chicago, where he’d go on to graduate from high school and earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Champaign.
Personal & Family Life
After being introduced by their priest at a local Assyrian Church in Los Angeles, the rest was history. Zaya & Sherry Younan married after dating just six months at the ages of 28 and 18, and immediately started a family. They have now been married for over 30 years. The two have five children, four boys and one daughter. Younan’s three eldest sons and daughter maintain various roles and positions, working for Younan Company’s private equity firm. His youngest son is currently playing basketball on a D1 scholarship at the University of Portland.
Younan resides with his wife in their 20-acres Los Angeles mansion, with famed neighbors like Britney Spears, Jamie Foxx, Matthew Fogarty, Ellen Degeneres, and more. In their free time, they vacationing at Younan’s various Chateaux-Hotel properties throughout Europe and enjoying their weekends at their various El Septimo Cigar Bar Lounges across the country.
Starting Younan Properties, Inc.
From the ages of 13 to 19, Younan worked several low-level minimum waged jobs. After graduating at age 19 from the University of Illinois with a Mechanical Engineering degree on a Saturday, Younan began working the following Monday. He spent more than a decade, starting as a Mechanical Engineer and then working his way up the corporate ladder, with major companies across the business spectrum including General Motors, Johnson Controls, and TRW. Younan was one of the few engineers who successfully completed major projects for the automobile industry, including building the automobile’s first Navigation system, airbag system, seat-warming system, and more!
Younan grew this business from scratch without any previous knowledge or connections, and always put in his own capital to grow the business. Since inception, YPI has managed more than 120 transactions, has purchased more than 35 properties and has completed transactions exceeding $10.8 billion. Today Younan owns 15 regional office buildings totaling 6.4 million square feet in the top markets in the US, making him one of the nation’s largest office property owners. The company’s portfolio of high-rise office buildings is worth $2.8B and has been recognized nationally, with Younan earning major accomplishments such as being crowned Dallas’ largest landlord.
Starting Younan Company Private Equity Firm
In 2016, Younan expanded his global footprint when he began to invest in several luxury Chateaux throughout Europe, quickly transforming them into four– and five-star Luxury Hotels. Growing up in such tremendous poverty, he says he was fascinated with the idea of castles, and always wanted to own one. This prompted Younan to establish global private equity firm Younan Company, with subsidiaries La Maison Younan & Younan Properties, Inc.
Over just a few short years, the company rapidly expanded its portfolio with Luxury Hotels, French Bordeaux vineyards, Golf Courses, Spas, and Resorts, Parisian Design agencies and luxury consumer products like Premium Cigars and Wines, across the world. To date, Younan has completed $8 Billion in transactions with Assets Under Management surpassing $5.8 Billion.
Mr. Younan has served as a member of the executive committee of the board of directors of the Lusk Center for Real Estate at the University of Southern California, a member of the board of directors of the Smithsonian Institute’s Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas, and a member of the board of advisors of Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village, California. He supports a myriad of charitable endeavors including the Boys and Girls Clubs, Autism Group, Wounded Warrior Project, Red Cross, A Child’s Hope Fund, and the LAPD West Valley Division.