THE ICON: Jim Coulter
THE LEGACY: Jim Coulter isn’t from New Orleans, but he married a New Orleans girl, Penny Saer — which, let’s be honest, is the next best thing. So, when the city lay in ruins following 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, he, like many people, wanted to do something. Unlike most people, though, he was in a unique position to do so, as the billionaire owner of the San Francisco-based TPG, one of the largest private equity firms in the world. Not only did he quietly begin investing in the storm-ravaged city but actively researching how to best rebuild New Orleans’ business infrastructure and encouraging other investors and entrepreneurs to bet on the Crescent City. He was, in other words, there when New Orleans needed him most — and he still is.
THE ARTIST: Sean Randall, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “He dared to believe in us and followed through with focus and commitment.” — Merritt Lane, on Jim Coulter