Curt Schilling's Mystery Investor
As 38 Studios ran out of money, laid off all of its employees, and careened toward bankruptcy, Curt Schilling claimed that, at the last minute, he’d found a savior. Schilling has said that he lined up a wealthy, local individual willing to pump $15 million into the Providence company, provided that Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee approved $5 million worth of tax credits. On the eve of the company’s bankruptcy, “We had conference calls through the night with this investor,” 38 Studios COO Bill Thomas said at a recent bankruptcy hearing, as reported by the Globe. Unfortunately for Schilling, Chafee declined to pour more taxpayer money into the company and the investor, who neither Schilling nor Thomas ever identified, disappeared. Ever since word first surfaced of the unnamed would-be savior, one of the more interesting mysteries of the 38 Studios saga has been the investor’s identity.
So who is that masked man?
When I interviewed Schilling for my story on 38 Studios, he declined to speak on the record about who the investor was. But when I followed up via text shortly after, he replied that his name was, “Rick Brady.” Schilling added, “That was the investor who was willing and able to write the check as long as the gov permitted tax credits.”
Now, so far as I can tell, there aren’t any ridiculously wealthy Rick Brady’s hanging around Providence. But there is a very wealthy Rick Bready (pronounced “Brady”) and it would be a pretty safe bet that he’s the person Schilling was referring to.
Bready is the retired chairman, president, and CEO of a company called Nortek, which manufactures an array of building products and is one of Rhode Island’s largest businesses. He’s also the chairman of the board of trustees at Roger Williams University. I reached out to Bready multiple times through the school, but he did not respond to my requests for comment. (I’m told he keeps a notoriously low profile.)
If Schilling and Thomas’s account of how things went down is accurate, Bready was poised to be a hero. But given what we now know about the chaos and dysfunction at 38 Studios, it looks like, when the last minute deal fell through, he may just have dodged a $15 million bullet.
Hat-tip to Boston magazine intern Amanda Newman for helping me make the Brady-Bready connection.