FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
A renowned business innovator, dedicated civic leader and actively-involved philanthropist, Rick J. Caruso is the founder and Executive Chairman of Caruso®, one of the largest and most admired privately held real estate companies in the United States.
Under Rick Caruso’s leadership, the company has achieved a compounded annual growth rate of nearly 20% since its inception.
Caruso started his career as a real-estate lawyer in the corporate finance department of one of the nation’s largest law firms. Thereafter, he transitioned from law to pursue his lifelong passion for development, establishing Caruso Affiliated Holdings in 1987. Ignoring the traditional “shopping mall” approach to retail, he adopted a fresh, new strategy for development and revolutionized the industry with imaginative retail and mixed-use destinations that serve as timeless and beloved centers of town.
Caruso’s world-class portfolio continues to expand and includes the most internationally renowned and award-winning retail, residential, mixed- use properties and his newest addition, a Forbes 5 Star resort hotel destination, Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito, California. As cited by Green Street Advisors, Caruso properties consistently outperform traditional shopping destinations based on productivity and sales per square foot, with results three times higher than the industry average. Its flagship property, The Grove was ranked #2 on Fortune’s list of the 10 highest sales- generating shopping centers in the country.
At a Glance
3X HIGHERthan industry averagecaruso’s properties consistently outperform traditional shopping destinations with results three times higher than the industry average.
TOP 5IN SALES ON FORTUNECaruso’s flagship property, The grove, was ranked second highest sales-generating shopping centers in the country.
TOP 15ranking on shopping center todaycaruso is the only development company to have two of its properties ranked on Shopping Center Today’s list of the top 15 shopping centers in the world.
Caruso’s deeply held personal philosophy and commitment to giving back have further solidified his reputation as a compassionate member of the community. In 1991, he and his wife Tina, founded the Caruso Family Foundation, dedicated to supporting organizations that improve the lives of at-risk children in need of healthcare and education. Among the many nonprofit organizations that he supports, Caruso is actively involved with Operation Progress, Para Los Niños, St. Lawrence of Brindisi School and Verbum Dei High School, all focused on the historically underserved area of Watts, Los Angeles.
In 2019, Caruso announced a $50 million commitment to the Pepperdine School of Law, which has been renamed the Rick J. Caruso School of Law in recognition of the historic gift. The contribution, made through the Caruso Family Foundation, will expand educational access to exceptional, historically underserved student populations—a hallmark of the Caruso family’s philanthropic efforts in the Los Angeles area and beyond—as well as fuel several initiatives to strengthen the School of Law’s academic programming.
Caruso, a long-serving member of the USC community, also endowed the USC Caruso Department of Otolaryngology at the Keck School of Medicine and the USC Catholic Center, which provides spiritual connection for faculty and students of all faiths. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and a Juris Doctorate as a Margaret Martin Block Scholar from Pepperdine School of Law.
Awards & recognition
TRUE BLUE AWARDLOS ANGELES POLICE FOUNDATION
For positive change through philanthropic, business and civic leadership.
Commander in the order of St. Gregory the GreatPOPE FRANCIS
For service and generosity to so many in need.
Asa v. call awardUSC
The most distinguished alumni honor at USC.