Alex Yemenidjian was born in Argentina in 1955 into the family of an ordinary Armenian shoemaker. When he was 13 years old, his family moved to the United States in search of a better life and settled in Los Angeles. In 1977, Alex Yemenidjian graduated from college as an accountant. He would then teach the theory of taxation at the University of California for several years.
The beginning of Yemenidjian’s successful career of an economist was marked by a job offer from the Las Vegas casino “Flamingo” owned by billionaire Kirk Kerkorian. Kirk Kerkorian would highly appreciate the productivity and talent of Yemenidjian, eventually making him his “right hand”.
Alex Yemenidjian became the financial manager of a number of Kerkorian’s companies. From 1997 to 2001, Kerkorian made several deals buying and selling the ownership stake of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Every time, Yemenidjian sold the stake for bigger money than he had bought.
The repeated change of ownership led MGM to losing most of its film archive, as well as to losing the image of one of the most successful Hollywood producers. Kerkorian entrusted the restoration of MGM’s glory to Alex Yemenidjian, entrusting him with the management of the company.
MGM’s financial turnover was significantly less than that of its competitors, but under the leadership of Yemenidjian, the company significantly increased its budget in a short amount of time. The key to Yemenidjian’s success was the talent to choose the “correct” pictures for production.
In 2001, “Hannibal” was released. Having earned $332 million in the first 4 months of its release, it was the tenth highest-grossing film of the year. The low-budget “Heartbreakers” in the first month alone grossed over $40 million. “Original Sin” starring Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie earned $36 million. By the decision of Alex Yemenidjian were shot “The Godfather 3” and a James Bond film as well.
“Alex Yemenidjian is not just a financial genius, he is a magician. What he has done is a miracle,” Jack Valentine, former chairman of the American Film Institute, said in an interview. After such a success, Kirk Kerkorian entrusted Yemenidjian with the management of almost all his companies.
And only after the passing of Kerkorian, Alex Yemenidjian began developing his own business. Today, he is the owner of the Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. He continues the charitable activities of Kerkorian who had given him a start in life. Alex Yemenidjian renders great financial assistance to the Armenian diaspora of the US, Armenia, and Artsakh as well.