McCombs Partners serves as the investment management division of McCombs Enterprises, the family office of Red McCombs.
Billy Joe “Red” McCombs is the founder of the Red McCombs Automotive Group, a co-founder of Clear Channel Communications, a former owner of the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, and the Minnesota Vikings, and the namesake of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a long-standing member of Forbes magazine’s top 400 richest Americans and has owned nearly 400 businesses during his career. He is married to wife Charline and has three daughters, eight grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
McCombs is recognized as one of the leading automobile dealers in the United States. His career began in 1950, and since then he has owned and represented almost every brand of vehicle. The operations have included retail dealerships as well as importation and distribution of Japanese and Korean vehicles. McCombs Automotive ranked 6th in the U.S. in sales in 1998, exceeding $1.7 billion in revenues, with more than 100 locations.
In addition to serving two terms as Chairman of the Ford Dealer Council, and consistently ranking in the Top 100 Dealers in the United States, McCombs has also been inducted into the National Automobile Dealers Association Hall of Fame. He has held numerous positions of leadership with the Texas Auto Dealers Association and the National Auto Dealers Association. Each of his auto dealerships has earned national recognition awards for sales and service excellence.
McCombs pioneered the used car business model employed by most retail auto dealers in the United States. The innovative aftermarket products and the customer service divisions he created are considered to be industry standards. McCombs is a frequent speaker to industry groups and he is known as an innovator and leader throughout the automobile industry.
McCombs is the co-founder of Clear Channel Communications, Inc. Clear Channel is the largest radio station operator and outdoor advertising business in the world with operations conducted in more than 30 countries. The company was sold to private investors for an excess of $20 billion in 2008.
In addition to the automobile and sports businesses, McCombs is a successful investor and developer of real estate. The properties include apartment residences, condominiums, office buildings, resorts, and land development. The real estate group also has a commercial construction company.
McCombs Energy is a well-recognized oil and gas producer in the United States. By sharing expertise and partnering with the best in the industry, McCombs has built this energy company into a very successful operation. Properties are located in the United States, the Gulf of Mexico, and Colombia.
McCombs has a longtime interest, passion and record of success in owning and operating professional sports teams. At age 25, he purchased his first professional sports team, the Corpus Christi Texas Clippers in the Big State Baseball League. In 1973, McCombs founded the San Antonio Spurs and built the team into one of the most successful sports franchises in the United States. In 1982, McCombs purchased the NBA Denver Nuggets, and rebuilt the franchise into a successful operation . In 1988, McCombs re-purchased the San Antonio Spurs and created the business and talent base for what is now a basketball dynasty that has won four NBA Championships.
In 1998, McCombs realized a life-long dream and purchased his first NFL team, the Minnesota Vikings. During the 1999 to 2000 season, the first year under Red’s management, the Vikings went on to a 15-1 season, going to the NFC Championship for the first time in 11 years. Under Red’s direction, the team went to the play-offs four times, the NFC championship two times and sold out every game in seven seasons. McCombs received the Owner of the Year Award from FOX’s Terry Bradshaw and the Executive of the Year Award from Pro Football Weekly. He sold the team in 2005.
McCombs is an astute and successful investor. In addition to the many companies he has invested in throughout his business career, McCombs also invests in young, talented business people and leading companies through McCombs Partners. He not only provides a needed infusion of cash into these new businesses, but also contributes managerial leadership and advice, mentoring these young entrepreneurs as they build their ideas into successful enterprises. These investments include a range of businesses such as on-line savings plans, on-line advertising, automobile dealer software, real estate and consumer lending, and technology incubators. The investments also include public and private equities, fixed income, commodities, and derivatives.
Ranching is another business as well as personal interest of McCombs. He raises and markets Texas Longhorn cattle. He was the first to syndicate a registered Texas Longhorn bull for $1 million. Red McCombs Ranches hold large acreage positions with herds of both registered and commercial cattle in several states.
Giving to others is a way of life for Red McCombs. He is quick to offer help to those in need, and his generous concern for others is evident in all that he does. McCombs has worked in various leadership positions in his community. His family foundation gives over 300 monetary gifts each year to community, education, and health-oriented charities.
In May 2000, McCombs gave a $50 million cash gift to The University of Texas at Austin College of Business Administration and Graduate School of Business. To honor McCombs for his extraordinary gift, the UT System Board of Regents authorized the school to rename itself the Red McCombs School of Business. McCombs believes that his investment in the business school, which he attended in the 1940s, will have a far reaching effect because of the students. “This school is the blood supply for the growth and the hope of Texas and the nation,” he said. “This is not a gift, it’s an investment.”
In July 2005, Red and Charline McCombs donated $30 million to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to create The Red and Charline McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer. “Charline and I are proud that M.D. Anderson will be at the forefront of this new era in cancer care, early detection and treatment”, stated McCombs. Since 1980, Red and Charline have supported M.D. Anderson through contributions to the George and Cynthia Mitchell Basic Sciences Research Building, the George and Barbara Bush Endowment for Innovative Cancer Research and M.D. Anderson’s “Fulfill the Promise” capital campaign.
Other gifts in the educational arena include the Red and Charline McCombs Field, home to the University of Texas Women’s softball team and the Red and Charlene McCombs Campus Center at Southwestern University.
These prestigious honors come as a direct result of McCombs’ generous gifts of his money, his time, and his expertise. The McCombs Foundation has made contributions approaching $100 million.