Resides: Bel Air
Education: Bachelor of business administration degree, UCLA; MBA, Harvard Business School; juris doctorate, Loyola Law School.
First job: Worked at North American Aviation at night while earning undergraduate degree
Career moves: Co-founded Kindel & Anderson after graduating from law school; in 1956, founded Ace Beverage as a distributor of Hamm and Budweiser beer. Through a series of acquisitions and other business ventures, Anderson formed holding company Topa Equities Ltd.
Industries served: Topa's 42 companies are engaged in real estate, beer distribution, insurance, automobile dealerships and financial services.
Boards: Mellon 1st Business Bank (which Anderson founded and later sold to Mellon); Saint John's Hospital and Health Center Foundation (former board president); Claremont McKenna College; YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles (former board chairman)
Recognition: Awarded the 2004 Humanitarian Award by the National Conference for Community and Justice
What is the greatest business lesson you've learned?
Take what you need. I don't take money out of my companies, and I never had any capital to start with. My father was a farmer, and I always struggled for capital. Today, I get a big kick out of seeing people build capital.
What is the greatest business challenge you've faced?
In the early 1990s, I owned a savings and loan and a thrift bank. It always kind of hurt me that some of them got into trouble. I had two guys running the businesses -- the thrift, and the savings and loan. They were competing against each other.
Both ended up losing money, and we sold Topa Thrift and Loan and Topa Savings in 1996. I probably should have watched them both a little closer.
Whom do you admire most in business and why?
There are a lot of people I admire. I certainly admire Warren Buffet. Although he's in a bit of trouble right now, I'm sure he'll come through it.
Over my career, I've been exposed to a lot of people, and the ones I admire are those with a lot of integrity and who do the right thing.