Nicholas “Nicky” F. Oppenheimer was born on 8th June 1945 in South Africa. He is a 71 year old South African businessman and philanthropist of German-Jewish origin. He is the former Chairman of De Beers diamond mining company, the Diamond Trading Company. He was listed under top 200 billionaires in the world in 2016 and he stood at rank 2nd among Africa’s Billionaires in 2017. His interests involve reading crime novels, relaxing with his dogs and playing cricket.
Early life and Career:
He went to Harrow School and Christ Church, Oxford. He graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He started working as his Father’s assistant and gradually in 1974; he became the Director of Anglo American and De Beers. He joined the Anglo American Corporation in 1968 as the Personal Assistant to the Chairman (his father) and worked in the Gold and Diamond Divisions. He faced certain challenges by other markets which made him expand his business into retailing.
He was the heir of De Beers’s diamond mining company. During an auction in the year 2016, the rare Oppenheimer Blue diamond, was sold for $57.5 million which set a record for the most expensive diamond sold at an auction. The Oppenheimer family maintained a dominating place in the world’s diamond trade for a really long time. In 2012, Nicholas Oppenheimer sold his 40% stake in DeBeers to mining corporate ‘Anglo American’ for $5.1 billion. He is also a non-executive director of Anglo American Corporation.
Family of Oppenheimer:
Harry Frederick Oppenheimer is the father of Nicholas F. Oppenheimer. He was a prominent businessman in South Africa and one of the world’s richest men. In the year 2004, he was voted 60th in the SABC3’s Great South Africans. He was the chairman of Anglo American Corporation for 25 years and chairman of De Beers for 27 years until he retired and passed on the position to his heir, Nicky. He also spent some time as the Member of Parliament for Kimberley (1948 to 1957) and became the opposition spokesman on economics, finance and constitutional affairs. He died in the year 2000.
Mother and sister:
Bridget Oppenheimer is the mother of Nicholas F. Oppenheimer and his sister is Mary Slack lives in Johannesburg.
Orcillia Lasch Oppenheimer is the wife of Nicholas F. Oppenheimer. She is the daughter of Helli Lasch, who is a renowned business tycoon.
Jonathan M. E. Oppenheimer is his son. He was born 18 November 1969. Like his father, he is a businessman too who has put in his efforts in the progress of De Beers and Anglo American Corporation continuing the legacy. He worth’s USD 6.8 billion as of November 2014. He is married to Jennifer Ward and has three children.
Awards and achievements:
He was the first recipient to be rewarded with an honorary doctorate in technology by Technikon Witwatersrand, South Africa. In 2004, he was awarded with the Presidential Order of Honor. In the same year, he received an honorary fellowship from London School of Economics.
He along with his son established the Brenthurst Foundation in 2005 to strengthen Africa’s economy. He has been engaged in environmental conservation and preservation. In 2008, he donated $10 million to fund undergraduate and post graduate South African students.
He has put in a lot of efforts for the development of his country and the people. He once quoted, “Africa needs a hand-up and not a hand-out.”
His net worth is $7 Billion according to Forbes, as of January, 2017. He is the second richest person in Africa, according to Forbes. Forbes ranked him at 174th spot in the list of world billionaires in 2016 and 2nd in Africa the same year.