In mid- 2012 Oleg Uritsky owned 45 Boston taxi medallions.
How smart an investor is Uritsky compared to current medallion owners? They’re betting that the value of their investment hasn’t peaked.
Before Uritsky cashed in his medallions, he described himself in his online bio as a widely recognized spokesman advocating on behalf of taxi fleet owners in the press and before government regulatory agencies.
In November 2012 Uritsky spoke for a group of taxi owners drawing up a lawsuit in Boston that would allege unfair competition and seek an injunction against Uber and “millions of dollars” in damages.
Did Oleg Uritsky bet on a change from regulatory crackdown? His background certainly gave him a unique insight.
During his regulatory legal career, Mr. Uritsky worked for the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
Compared to other taxi medallion owners, is their evidence that he is much more intelligent and financially savvy?
He received a joint JD/MBA degree from Northeastern University and completed postgraduate studies in monetary economics and corporate finance at Harvard University. Mr. Uritsky is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts and New York. He is a member of Harvard Club of Boston and Boston Committee on Foreign Relations. He has traveled extensively throughout Eastern and Western Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
He now believes in the superiority of real estate as an owner of over 900 rental units in Greater Boston. Uritsky is now Founder and Managing Partner of Fort Point Angels, a fund that invests in seed and early-stage investments.
His 45 medallions were sold when the medallion price was in the $600,000 range, so the total value of his sales was approximately $27 million.
On the other hand for every sale, there is a buyer.
Between 2009 and 2014, the highest volume buyer was Ed Tutunjian the owner of Boston Cab. Tutunjian is currently under federal investigation.
The second ranked buyers were James Endicott and his daughter, Tina Endicott. Together from 2009 to 2014 they purchased 14 medallions. On paper the medallions have been purchased by several of their corporations, all registered at their two addresses: 10 Patriot Way in North Reading and 275 Main Street in Charlestown. The Endicott’s corporations include:
- Cobalt Cab Inc.
- Greenbriar Taxi Inc.
- Harvest Cab Inc.
- Massfleet Inc.
- Mystic Leasing Inc.
- Pearl Cab Inc.
- Sams Cab Inc.
- Union Cab Inc.
- Veita Cab Inc.
- Vigor Cab Inc.
In October 2014 Endicott was chosen to represent the interest of large medallion owners on Mayor Walsh’s Taxi Advisory Committee. During the first meeting on October 9, 2014, referring to Uber and Lyft, Endicott said: “We are pitted against each other by nature.” The value of Endicott’s multimillion-dollar empire depends on halting the rise of Uber and Lyft. If the other 17 medallion owners with more than 10 medallions each and the Endicotts succeed in banning Uber and Lyft, who will benefit the most?
James and Tina Endicott have made a strong judgment that Boston taxi medallion values will continue to rise. Oleg Uritsky has placed his bet on a decrease.
Who will be the smarter investors?
James and Tina Endicott or Oleg Uritsky?