Warren Hellman

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Warren Hellman
Warren Hellman by Ron Baker.JPG
Warren Hellman at Old Settler's Music Festival in Driftwood, TX (2010).
Born Frederick Warren Hellman
(1934-07-25)July 25, 1934
New York City
Died December 18, 2011(2011-12-18) (aged 77)
San Francisco, California
Residence San Francisco, California
Education University of California, Berkeley (BA, 1955)
Harvard Business School (MBA, 1959)
Occupation Private equity, Investment banking (prior)
Employer Hellman & Friedman
Known for Founder of Hellman & Friedman, Hellman, Ferri Investment Associates (today Matrix Partners)

F. Warren Hellman (July 25, 1934 – December 18, 2011) was an American private equity investor and co-founder of Hellman & Friedman, a multi-billion dollar private equity firm.[1] Hellman also co-founded Hellman, Ferri Investment Associates, today known as Matrix Partners. He started and funded the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival. Hellman died on December 18, 2011 of complications from his treatment for leukemia.[2]


Hellman co-founded Hellman & Friedman in 1984 with Tully Friedman and served as chairman of the firm as well as a member of the Firm's Investment and Compensation Committees.

Before H&F, Hellman was a founding partner of Hellman, Ferri Investment Associates which would later be renamed Matrix Management Company. Today, Matrix is among the most prominent venture capital firms in the U.S.

Before that, Hellman worked in investment banking at Lehman Brothers, where he served as President as well as head of the Investment Banking Division and Chairman of Lehman Corporation.

Hellman received his undergraduate education at the University of California, Berkeley and he received an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Family history[edit]

Though his fortune was largely self-made, Hellman was the great-grandson of Isaias W. Hellman, a prominent early California banker (President of Wells Fargo Bank), philanthropist, and a founding father of the University of Southern California.[3] Isaias Hellman's sister-in-law was married to Mayer Lehman, one of the founders of Lehman Brothers. His mother, the former Ruth Koshland, was a successful California wool merchant. His family is not connected to the Hellmann’s mayonnaise company.[4]

Hellman's daughter, Frances Hellman, is the Dean of the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at UC Berkeley.[5]

Other affiliations[edit]

Hellman was the primary sponsor and provided funding for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.[6][7][8] In 2011, Speedway Meadow was renamed Hellman Hollow to honor his history of philanthropy and civic involvement in San Francisco.[9]

Hellman was a donor and supporter of Jewish Vocational Services (JVS), a nonprofit organization that helps people transform their lives through work.

Hellman was a Director of D.N.& E. Walter & Co. and Sugar Bowl Corporation. He was also a member of the advisory board of the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. In 2005, Hellman was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Hellman was the Chairman of the Board of The Bay Citizen, a non-profit news organization focusing on the San Francisco Bay Area. The Bay Citizen was founded with a $5 million contribution from the Hellman Family Foundation.[10]

Hellman was the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Mills College from 1982-1992, and as a result of protests reversed the college's decision to go co-ed in 1990.[11]

He formerly served as a Director of numerous portfolio companies, including Eller Media Company, Nasdaq Stock Market and Young & Rubicam.

Hellman served in the U.S. Army from 1955 through 1957.

Warren Hellman was honored by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in December 2011. Speedway Meadow, the location of his festival Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, has been officially renamed "Hellman Hollow".


  1. ^ Hellman & Friedman Raises $8.8 Billion Buyout Fund. Bloomberg, October 1, 2009
  2. ^ [1]. Bay Citizen, December 18, 2011
  3. ^ Amster, Joseph. "Finding fulfillment :Warren Hellman joins his daughter for a special double b’nai mitzvah". Jweekly.com. Retrieved 27 August 2009. ,
  4. ^ Peter Lattman (December 19, 2011). "Warren Hellman, 77, Investor Who Loved Bluegrass, Dies". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ "Frances Hellman to head L&S Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences". Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Warren Hellman strums those recession blues. San Francisco Business Times, February 22, 2008
  7. ^ Warren Hellman: A tough banjo to pluck. San Francisco Examiner, September 20, 2008
  8. ^ Made Money, Makes Music. Forbes, October 5, 2006
  9. ^ Gordon, Rachel. "Warren Hellman honored with Golden Gate Park meadow renaming | City Insider | an SFGate.com blog". Blog.sfgate.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19. 
  10. ^ "The Bay Citizen". The Bay Citizen. Retrieved 2011-12-19. 
  11. ^ Gordon, Larry (1990-05-19). "Mills College Scraps Plan to Admit Men". Los Angeles Times. 

External links[edit]