Nicky Oppenheimer

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Nicky Oppenheimer
Vladimir Putin in South Africa 5-6 September 2006-16.jpg
Born (1945-06-08) 8 June 1945 (age 69)
South Africa
Residence South Africa/United Kingdom/United States
Occupation Businessman
Net worth IncreaseUS$ 6.5 billion(March 2013)[1]
Religion Anglican
Spouse(s) Orcillia Lasch
Children Jonathan Oppenheimer
Parents Harry and Bridget (née McCall) Oppenheimer

Nicholas "Nicky" F. Oppenheimer (born 8 June 1945) is a South African billionaire businessman and former chairman of De Beers diamond mining company and its subsidiary, the Diamond Trading Company. He has a large interest in the diversified mining company Anglo American.[2]

In 1999 he joined forces with two of his friends to form Greene and Partners Investments, a venture capital firm which has funded a diversity of projects within South Africa and around Africa. In November 2011 the Oppenheimers sold the entirety of their 40% stake in De Beers to Anglo American.[3] He and his family control the Tswalu game reserve in the Kalahari,[4] set up by his friend Stephen Boler.

Early life[edit]

Nicholas is the son of Bridget (née McCall) and Harry Oppenheimer, and grandson of Ernest Oppenheimer, the first generation of the family to chair (from 1929) the De Beers diamond mining company in South Africa, founded by Cecil John Rhodes in 1888. He is of German Jewish descent on his father's side. He was educated in England at Harrow School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated with a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and later took the Oxford MA.[citation needed]


He was criticised amidst public attention in the West after the film Blood Diamond. Oppenheimer commented in 2005 that the Live8 concert was misguided, and that Africa is suffering from "donation fatigue" and that it was in Africa's interest for those with the resources to instead invest in income generating projects rather than just donate money.[5]

He is the only private person granted permission by the City of London to commute within the one square mile of the city by helicopter.[6]

Personal life[edit]

In 1968, he married Orcillia "Strilli" Lasch, daughter of industrial tycoon Helli Lasch; both are Anglican.[7]


  • Waltham Place: and its Surrounding Parish (2001) by Luke Over, Nicky Oppenheimer, and Chris Tyrrell (illustrator); ISBN 0-9541669-0-6

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Forbes: "The World's Billionaires: Nicky Oppenheimer & family March 2013
  2. ^ Nicky Oppenheimer profile in Forbes World's Richest People,; accessed 3 May 2014.
  3. ^ AFP (4 November 2011). "Oppenheimers leave the diamond race with $5bn sale". Mail and Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Tswalu site
  5. ^ Terry Macalister (2 July 2005). "I am an African". London, UK: The Guardian. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  6. ^ "On a Rotor and Prayer". CIX Online. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  7. ^ "Diamonds May Not Be For Ever – But At The Moment They Look Pretty Good", Jewish Business News by Clive Minchom, 11 June 2013; accessed 3 May 2014.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Harry Frederick Oppenheimer
Chairman of De Beers Consolidated Mines
circa 1983-Present
Succeeded by