Back in 2020, a shell company tied to financier Scot French paid $44 million to buy a Gulfstream G650 private jet from a bankrupt Texas corporation, court records show. Since then, East Coast-based French appears to have put that plane to good use, jetsetting across the country and skidding into Southern California to acquire two homes in ultra-posh neighborhoods, both of them loaded with interesting Hollywood histories.
French’s first purchase closed in July 2020, when he dropped $32.5 million on a tennis court estate in prime Beverly Hills. The property’s seller was Jonathan Brooks, a local hedge fund manager who had originally acquired the place in 2006 from Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, paying about $25 million. Designed by Wallace Neff, the two-parcel compound was also once owned by actors Fredric March and Florence Eldridge, and much later by philanthropist Wallis Annenberg.
During their marriage, Aniston and Pitt made the Beverly Hills mansion their primary residence, and they spent a fortune on A-list-style renovations — installing heated black-and-white marble floors in the kitchen, circa 1805 wood floors imported from France in the lounge, and adding a state-of-the-art movie theater. Brooks originally wanted $56 million for his residential piece of Hollywood lore, though the asking price was aggressively chopped to $44.5 million before French moseyed in with his lowball offer.
In September 2021, French traveled to Malibu, where the jetsetter forked out another $25.5 million to buy a lavish oceanfront home. And in what was likely not a coincidence, the home’s seller was once again Jonathan Brooks, who had acquired the Encinal Bluffs villa in 2005 from Nicolas Cage, paying nearly $10 million. During his 17 years of ownership, Brooks rebuilt and expanded the former Cage hideaway, transforming the property into a slick contemporary with “five-star resort-like” features, per the listing. The deal closed off-market, though Brooks had publicly wanted as much as $30 million for his Malibu place.
French, 51, has worked in finance and for top investment banking and private equity firms nearly his entire adult life, largely in New York City and beginning at what is now PricewaterhouseCoopers. Since 2007, he’s been a top executive at HPS Investment Partners, a global investment firm with $75 billion in assets under management; French serves as a managing director, a governing partner and the portfolio manager of key HPS funds. And while his personal net worth is not public knowledge, he’s clearly quite wealthy.
How wealthy? Pricey as they are, the Beverly Hills and Malibu properties aren’t even close to being the most expensive homes French owns. Records indicate that last August, the Florida resident used another shell company called Beechgreen LLC to pay $64 million for an oceanfront house on Palm Beach’s super-prime South Ocean Boulevard. A few weeks ago, French bullishly flipped that “Billionaires’ Row” mansion back up for sale — asking a whopping $115 million, despite few renovations. (The home has not yet sold.)
As for Brooks, the 58-year-old and his family have departed both Beverly Hills and Malibu for a new mansion they recently had custom-built in the exclusive Holmby Hills area of town.