Speaking at the Global Governance event at Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City
10 August 1961 |
|Nationality||Germany, United States|
Albanian and Austrian mother
|Alma mater||New York University|
|Occupation||Investor and Philanthropist|
|Net worth||$2.0 billion
|Nicolas Berggruen Institute
Nicolas Berggruen (born 10 August 1961) is an investor and philanthropist. A dual American and German citizen, he is the founder and president of Berggruen Holdings, a private investment company and the Nicolas Berggruen Institute, a think tank that works on addressing governance issues. His father created the Museum Berggruen in Berlin. The press has sometimes referred to Berggruen as "the homeless billionaire" because he lives in hotels and does not own a home.
Education and Business Career 
Berggruen was born in Paris, the son of art collector Heinz Berggruen, and actress Bettina Moissi. His father was of German-Jewish descent and his mother a Catholic of Austrian and Albanian descent. His maternal grandfather was Albanian-Austrian actor Aleksandër Moisiu and his maternal grandmother, Maria, was from Vienna. Berggruen attended the École Alsacienne in Paris and Le Rosey in Switzerland, before completing a baccalauréat as a candidate libre in 1978. That same year, at the age of 17, he worked as a trainee at London Merchant Securities, known today as LMS Capital Plc. He subsequently obtained a Bachelor of Science in Finance and International Business from New York University in 1981. He later worked for the investment company Bass Brothers Enterprises, in its real estate group. Between 1983 and 1987, Berggruen was a Principal at Jacobson and Co.
In New York, he began building his fortune, based on a trust fund worth about $250,000, by buying real estate before moving on to stocks, bonds and a portfolio of private equity and venture funds as well as hedge funds. He founded Berggruen Holdings, Inc. in 1984 to act as investment adviser to a Berggruen family trust that has made over 50 direct investments in businesses since its inception. In 1988, he and Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr. co-founded Alpha Investment Management, a hedge fund that was reportedly sold to Safra Bank in 2004. Today, the investments Berggruen oversees through Berggruen Holdings are highly diversified, including the Karstadt department store chain in Germany, the Keys Hotels in India, the IEC College chain of vocational schools in California, and assorted companies in energy, manufacturing, distribution, media and real estate. Forbes magazine estimated Berggruen's net worth at $2.3 billion. Berggruen is a member of the World Presidents' Organization, and he is a director on the board of PRISA.
Arts and Philanthropy 
Berggruen is a member of the Board of the Museum Berggruen in Berlin, the Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA), the International Councils of the Tate Gallery in London, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He is also a member of the Beyeler Foundation. In close cooperation with LACMA he has been making acquisitions intended for the museum, including artworks by Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley, Charles Ray, Chris Burden, Bruce Nauman, Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Martin Kippenberger, and Thomas Schütte. Berggruen is interested in architecture and has collaborated on development projects with Richard Meier, Shigeru Ban, and David Adjaye.
Political Interests 
In 2010, Berggruen founded the Nicolas Berggruen Institute through which he aspires to develop and implement more effective systems of governance. Through the institute, he has launched several government reform projects including the 21st Century Council which is focused on global governance challenges, the Council for the Future of Europe, to support work on European integration and the Think Long Committee for California a bi-partisan effort focused on reforming California's system of governance.
The 21st Century Council was formed in 2011 to address gaps in global governance. The group includes political leaders such as Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Felipe González, Gerhard Schröder, Gordon Brown, George Yeo, Pascal Lamy, and Zheng Bijian. The council also includes several Nobel laureates and leading thinkers such as Joseph Stiglitz, Michael Spence, Lawrence Summers, and Francis Fukuyama as well as business and technology leaders Eric Schmidt, Jack Dorsey, and Pierre Omidyar among many others.
The Council for the Future of Europe, was formed in 2011. In a statement released by the group in September 2011, the group advocated for a stronger, more integrated Europe suggesting that Europe's economic crisis can only be solved by a political solution. The group includes political leaders and thinkers such as Tony Blair, Gerhard Schröder, Felipe González, Jakob Kellenberger, Jean Pisani Ferry, Jacques Delors, Mario Monti and Robert Mundell.
His project in California, the Think Long Committee for California also includes members from politics, industry, labor from both Democrats and Republicans, such as George Schultz, Condoleezza Rice, Willie Brown, Gray Davis, Eric Schmidt, Eli Broad and Laura Tyson.
Berggruen is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Director on the Board of the Pacific Council on International Policy and a member of Foro Iberoamericano. He has in the past funded the campaigns of U.S. Democrats, including Senator Charles Schumer of New York and President Barack Obama.
Nicolas Berggruen is the author of a book on political governance: Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century: A Middle Way Between West and East, written with Nathan Gardels (Polity, 2012). He is a dual United States and German citizen.
- Forbes The World's Billionaires: Nicolas Berggruen retrieved March 15, 2013
- Jeremy Kahn (October 25, 2011), Billionaire Living Out of Tote Bag Amasses Fortune to Give Away Bloomberg
- Garofoli, Joe (25 September 2011). "Can billionaire Nicolas Berggruen fix California?". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- Der Spiegel: "Seinen Geist am Leben erhalten" by Ulrike Von Knöfel and Martin Doerry (in German) "Meine Mutter ist katholisch, mein Vater jüdisch" / My mother is Catholic, my father is Jewish
- Stacy Meichtry (September 29, 2011), Man Without a Country Wall Street Journal.
- Jori Finkel (March 18, 2012), Nicolas Berggruen explains why he intends to give art to LACMA Los Angeles Times.
- Nicolas Berggruen Forbes.
- Tett, Gillian (14 January 2011). "Lunch with the FT: Nicolas Berggruen". Financial Times. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- Joe Garofoli> (September 25, 2011)"San Francisco Chronicle".
- NBI 21ST CENTURY COUNCIL MISSION STATEMENT
- Halper, Evan (27 October 2010). "Bid to remake California state government finds major benefactor". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- "Burn the wagons". The Economist. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- Businessweek: "Deep Thoughts With the Homeless Billionaire" By Devin Leonard September 27, 2012
- Nicolas Berggruen Institute
- Berggruen Holdings
- "Man Without a Country". Wall Street Journal. 29 September 2011.
- “Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century"