It takes a certain amount of gusto to be a secretive, politically connected pharmaceutical benefits management mogul, especially one whom New Jersey newspapers refer to as “less a skeleton than a ghost.” And it takes an added level of nerve to quietly ask $75 million for an 18th-floor duplex at 15 Central Park West, particularly if it cost $23.5 million to buy. But it takes extra vim to put your second apartment in the area on the market, too.
Richard O. Ullman, who sold his National Prescription Administrators to one of the country’s biggest drug benefits companies in 2002 for over half a billion dollars, is asking $18.45 million for his 4,415-square-foot, 44th-floor apartment at Trump International on Central Park West. According to city records, he paid only $8 million for the condo five years ago.
His broker is Susan James, who was said to be handling his 15 Central Park West apartment when the news broke in November that it was quietly available for $75 million. Ms. James would not comment on the Trump International condo, even though it’s officially listed on her Web site. Nor would she say whether the 15 Central Park West duplex was still being unofficially marketed, nor would she confirm the reported tag. And only after a lengthy conversation did she agree to pass along questions to Mr. Ullman. He did not answer them, or return calls to his office or to a house in New Jersey.
According to a Bergen County Record profile written four years ago, when his longtime business partner, Doug Forrester, was running for governor, Mr. Ullman’s firm has been named in at least five class-action lawsuits. Meanwhile, one federal judge chastised the company for a mass mailing to “potential beneficiaries of a class-action settlement involving a thyroid medication,” and another federal judge found merit to charges that the firm “misappropriated trade secrets and breached a confidentiality agreement” to win a state contract.
Still, considering the firm’s half-billion-dollar sale in 2002, it’s not clear why Mr. Ullman would want to part with both apartments, or why he’s trying to net $61.95 million in the process. The listing for his Trump International condo, which was posted on Trump Realty’s Web site last week, has no photographs or floor plans. But it does say that the four-bedroom condo has customized lightning and sound systems, custom “built-ins” and “many extras!”