Nicolas Berggruen, Billionaire Founder
Berggruen Institute of Governance

Published on April 4 2014

Nicolas Berggruen is an American-German investor, philanthropist and a passionate art collector. He is the founder and President of Berggruen Holdings, a privately-held investment firm, and the Berggruen Institute of Governance, a think tank that focuses on addressing governance-related issues. He is also the co-founder of the WorldPost, which is a media publication that focuses on global issues. Berggruen currently has an estimated net worth of $2 billion, and has been ranked by Forbes as the 869th richest person in the world.

Nicolas Berggruen was born on 10th August 1961 in Paris to an art collector father, Heinz Berggruen, and an actress mother, Bettina Moissi. In 1981, he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Finance and International Business from the New York University. Berggruen started to build his fortune while in New York, based on a trust fund that was worth around $250,000. He acquired real estate before shifting to bonds, stocks and an assortment of venture funds, hedge funds and private equity.

In 1984, he founded Berggruen Holdings Inc. to serve as an investment advisor to his family’s trust that has made more than fifty direct investments in businesses since it was established. Four years later, he partnered with Julio Mario Santo Domingo Jr. to establish Alpha Investment Management, which is a hedge fund that was supposedly sold in 2004 to Safra Bank. Berggruen serves as a director on the PRISA board. 

In the year 2010, this self-made billionaire established the Berggruen Institute of Governance, through which he aims at developing and implementing more effectual systems of governance. He has launched various government reform projects through the institute, including the Think Long Committee for California, the Council for the Future of Europe and the 21st Century Council, which focuses on global governance challenges.

In addition to the above endeavors, Berggruen also has various institutional affiliations. He serves as a director on the Pacific Council on International Policy’s board. He is also a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. Berggruen is also a member of the Commission on Global Ethics and Citizenship, whose chairperson is Gordon Brown, former UK Prime Minister. 

Berggruen is also an active philanthropist, and has committed to give the majority of his fortune through the Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Trust. He also joined The Giving Pledge, which was established by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. He has a Bachelor of Arts from New York University. The 52-year old self-made billionaire is single and without children.

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