Mr. Sands was the Founder, Chairman and sole shareholder of the second largest real estate and financial services company in California, and the seventh largest in the United States, including wholly owned entities in title insurance, home warranty, mortgage banking, and escrow. The company was staffed with 4,000 people in 65 offices, including franchised operations, and generated $9.4 billion in volume per year. In December, 2000, the company was sold to Coldwell Banker; (the franchised offices were not part of the transaction). Mr. Sands' background also included acquiring and turning around distressed companies, including FM and AM radio stations and two title insurance companies, as well as commercial real estate projects. He developed and operated hotels, office buildings, shopping centers, and high-end single-family housing projects.
Mr. Sands was honored as the recipient of the American Academy of Achievement Award. Former recipients of this prestigious award include U.S. Presidents, Nobel Laureates, and entertainment industry executives. He was also named one of the "Top 25 CEOs of the Decade" by California Business magazine and named one of the industry's top 13 "Movers and Shakers" (nationwide) by the National Association of Realtors.
Mr. Sands was the Founder and Chairman of Vintage Real Estate, LLC, a firm specializing in the acquisition and redevelopment of underperforming regional malls and shopping centers. Vintage Real Estate is led by a team of seasoned, hand-picked senior real estate executives with institutional backgrounds.
Mr. Sands was also the Founder and Chairman of Vintage Fund Management, LLC, a private equity fund that was established to expand his diverse non-real estate private investment activities spanning more than two decades. Vintage Fund Management continues to be led by a team of experienced private equity professionals and invests in growing middle-market companies. Its investor base includes one of the largest state pension funds, a well-known fund of funds, banks, as well as high-net-worth family offices. It has outperformed 85% of all private equity funds in the United States.
Mr. Sands personally invested in distressed companies with an eye toward turning them around.
eScreen, Inc. - www.escreen.com
In 2003 Mr. Sands, through his wholly owned entity, Vintage Capital Group, invested growth capital in eScreen, Inc. eScreen, founded in 1998, revolutionized the drug testing industry by developing the only FDA-cleared instant drug test. Today, eScreen is a technology leader, providing the only truly integrated electronic drug testing solution in the industry, and the largest provider of workplace drug programs in the United States. eScreen has been named to Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America four consecutive years, and in 2011 the Founder and Chairman was recognized by Ernst & Young as a finalist for the National E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
The growth capital investment provided by Vintage Capital Group helped to fuel the rapid expansion eScreen has achieved since the original Vintage investment in 2003. Several notable milestones since the closing of the investment included the recapitalization in 2008 whereby The Carlyle Group, one of the largest private equity firms in the United States, completed a growth equity investment in eScreen resulting in the return to Vintage of its original debt investment. Vintage Capital Group continued to own a significant minority equity stake in the business, and Mark Sampson, Managing Partner at Vintage, remained a member of eScreen's board of directors. In 2010 eScreen expanded its business through two significant acquisitive growth initiatives; eScreen acquired the Canadian operations of Verfications, expanding the product offering geographically, and completed a merger with Pembrooke, which advanced its innovative technology more extensively into the government marketplace.
In April 2012 Vintage was pleased to announce that eScreen was acquired by Alere Inc., a global diagnostic and health management leader at a significant profit.
For more information on the Vintage investment in eScreen, please refer to www.vintage-vfm.com.
Mr. Sands was appointed by President George W. Bush to the President's Advisory Committee on the Arts and liaison to the Kennedy Center and to the California Arts Council by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In addition, Mr. Sands was the Chairman of The United Way's Million Dollar Roundtable. Active in numerous community activities, Mr. Sands was a founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art and served as President of the Board of Trustees, as well as Co-Chairman of the Investment and Finance Committee until his death. He recently made a significant seven-figure donation to the Museum. He also served on the Boards of Chrysalis (a charity that rehabilitates homeless people), as well as the Los Angeles Opera and the Los Angeles Police Foundation.
In December 2014, Mr. Sands endowed the Fred Sands Institute of Real Estate at Pepperdine University. Pepperdine did not previously have a real estate program. It will now offer everything from certificates in real estate to Master's Degrees.
Fred’s wife, Dr. Carla Sands, succeeds him as Chairman and CEO of Vintage Capital Group. She was mentored by Fred over the many years of their partnership and is extremely active in the business. Dr. Sands brings a broad range of experience and interests to her position as Chairman. She shares her husband’s deep interest in real estate and architecture, as demonstrated by her seat on the Board of Visitors of the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture. Dr. Sands was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the Board of The California Cultural and Historic Endowment. Additionally, she has served on numerous Boards including The Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Los Angeles Music Center, The Council of the Library Foundation of the Los Angeles Library and is the Chairman of the Board of The Blue Ribbon and serves on its Executive Committee. The Sands were honored in 2010 at LA Alive, which is sponsored by the Music Center, for their service to the Arts in Los Angeles.