Abraham Gosman’s career has been that of a true entrepreneur. Even before he graduated from the University of New Hampshire, he began his first venture by developing an inexpensive way to attach alligator and lizard skin to shoes, thus, earning him the title of “the largest reptile laminator in the US.” He moved on to the heath care real estate industry in the 1960’s by purchasing large, rundown mansions and restoring them into nursing homes. By the 1980’s Mr. Gosman took his company, Mediplex, public and in 1985 established a spin-off company, Meditrust, of which he assumed the positions of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. In 1986 he sold Mediplex to Avon Products for $220 million, while Meditrust continued to grow under his direction. Mediplex struggled under the Avon’s management and in 1990 Mr. Gosman repurchased the company for a mere $42 million. Once again, he turned Mediplex into a profitable company and in 1994 sold Mediplex again to Sun Healthcare for $320 million.
Meditrust is the largest health care real estate investment trust in the nation, investing in health care related facilities, with a diversified investment portfolio made up of 65% nursing homes, 14% retirement and assisted living facilities, 12% rehabilitation facilities, 4% medical office buildings, 3% acute care hospitals, and 2% psychiatric, alcohol and substance abuse facilities. The company purchases these facilities then leases the facilities back to the original management, thus achieving Meditrust’s main goal of producing and distributing its’ income to shareholders. Meditrust is exempt from corporate income tax since it distributes at least 95% of its taxable income to shareholders.
Mr. Gosman has always achieved ideal industry positioning, and has led his company to total assets of approximately $2.3 billion and built a personal fortune estimated between $300 and $400 million. He established Meditrust with the intention to buy or develop high quality facilities and lease them back to the operator. These investments have proven to be well timed due to the growth of HMOs and the decline in in-patient hospital care, combined with the aging baby-boomer population and an increased concern in keeping health care costs down.
As in his business ventures, Mr. Gosman has become an enthusiastic philanthropist. He is a Fellow of Brandeis University; a Trustee of the Wang Center for the Performing Arts; a Board Member of the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach; a member of the Board of Visitors of Boston University School of Medicine; a Trustee of Boston University, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Recuperative Center Association and Beth Israel Hospital; and is a Director of the University of New Hampshire Foundation. In 1992, he was the first United States Naval Institute Commodore to receive the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor. Mr. Gosman’s son, Andrew is a 1988 graduate of Babson College.