Terrance Watanabe Net Worth $150 Million
Nebraska-born businessman Terrance Watanabe has an estimated net worth of $150 million. He developed his fortune through his inheritance of the Nebraska-based Oriental Trading Co. It had been founded by his dad, Harry Watanabe, as a gift shop that sells party favors and trinkets in 1932. Since that time, the company has grown to 17 shops in the Midwest. During the second world war, when imports from Japan were restricted, the company went back to its Omaha base. Harry Watanabe turned to another company and purchased a ceramic shop which made Kewpie dolls and other ceramic items. The company resumed its imports from Japan in 1954 and became a major carnival supplier. It launched its first catalogue in 1956. In 1977, Terrance Watanabe became the president and was responsible for changing the firm’s focus from carnivals to supplying party goods for churches, schools, retailers, and individuals. Oriental Trading became a $300 million enterprise under his leadership. In 2000, he sold his entire stake in the business to Los Angeles-based private equity firm Brentwood Associates and he resigned as the CEO and president. The CEO lost much of his private wealth during an extremely public gambling run in 2007, considered one of the largest losing streaks in Las Vegas history.