Atlanta Hawks Basketball and Entertainment LLC, the ownership group headed by controlling partner Bruce Levenson, sold the National Basketball Association franchise to another ownership group headed by Tony Ressler in early 2015 according to Forbes.com. However, it seems Levenson and AHBE still have some unfinished Hawks business to attend to. They have filed a lawsuit stemming from the departure of Hawks general manager Daniel Ferry.
AHBE signed Ferry to a six year, $18 million contract in 2012. Ferry and the Hawks separated just prior to the sale of the team in 2015. AHBE settled Ferry’s contract for an undisclosed amount. Levensoon and AHBC had previously taken out insurance with New Hampshire Insurance Corporation (also known as AIG)to cover losses due to certain employment matters such as the Ferry contract.
According to the lawsuit, AIG has refused to acknowledge AHBE’s claim as of September, 2016. The lawsuit alleges breach of contract and insurance bad faith. AHBE is seeking to recover the Ferry settlement amount, a 50 percent penalty, and legal costs.
Bruce Levenson is a true American success story. Along with partner Edward Peskowitz, he started a business newsletter called Oil Express in 1977. At the start, the two worked out of Levenson’s apartment. The newsletter grew into United Communications Group. Today, it is one of the largest privately held business information firms in the world. UCG provides business data and analysis to a range of industries, including energy, mortgage banking and healthcare. Levenson’s tenure as owner of the Atlanta Hawks began in 2004. He also served on the NBA Board of Governors while he owned the team.
Levenson is also known as a philanthropist. For example, he helped found the United States Holocaust Museum. Levenson supports or has held leadership positions in a number of nonprofit organizations such as the I Have a Dream Foundation.